Teachers and schools at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) have been found to encourage terrorism and antisemitism, according to a new report released by two watchdogs.
Gathering teaching material from grades 5-9 across 10 verified UNRWA schools, the report found 47 new cases of incitement by UNRWA staff, directly breaching the agency’s policies on racism, antisemitism and discrimination.
The report, conducted by United Nations Watch and the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se), also identified 133 UNRWA educators and staff promoting hate and violence on social media.
In March 2022 and September 2021, fifth graders at UNRWA’s Al-Zaytun Elementary School in Gaza were taught to glorify Dalal Mughrabi, a terrorist who took part in the killing of 38 Israeli civilians, including 13 children, in 1978.
Photos from the classroom show Mughrabi as “the fighting leader” and a “hero.”
The report also highlighted a number of teachers’ disturbing behaviour online, such as Nizar Khalil Abu Shaheen, a UNRWA West Bank teacher who shared a post in In June 2021, spreading antisemitic conspiracies about “wealthy Jews controlling the UAE.”
The post also quoted “The International Jew” by Henry Ford, claiming “the Jews prefer to lead the world from behind.”
“With a budget of $1.6 billion, nearly 60% of which goes to education, and a staff of 30,000, the UN agency might be the most heavily funded educational undertaking in the history of international aid. And yet our report today demonstrates how UNRWA has consistently breached its duty of care to the children attending its schools,” Marcus Sheff, CEO of IMPACT-se, said.
“UNRWA is obsessed by PR spin and fundraising, but disinterested in the extremism of its educational network. If it had wanted to stop the hate-teaching, UNRWA would have done so years ago,” he added.