The Palestinian Authority continues to incite young schoolchildren to armed struggle against Israel in its textbooks – textbooks that are used by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to teach incitement in Israel’s capital city, says investigative reporter David Bedein, who spoke in an interview with Arutz Sheva’s Hebrew-language news service.
The books in question include passages praising terrorists killed while attacking Israel as “martyrs”. They also teach children that Arabs descended from those who fled Israel during the War of Independence have a right to “return” to Israel.
Bedein’s finding that the textbooks in Arab schools in Jerusalem are as problematic as those used in PA schools elsewhere is backed by a frank interview with PA Minister of Education Lamis al-Alami, who spoke with a member of Bedein’s investigative team and told her that the textbooks provided by the PA for UNRWA schools are the precisely the same in Jerusalem as in Ramallah, Shechem and Gaza.
“These books discuss war against Israel, martyrs, the right of return. It’s the first education system since the Third Reich which prepares its pupils to demonize Jews and to wage war against the Jews ” Bedein said.
He invited listeners to verify his story for themselves, saying, “Go to book stores on Salah a-Din street [a major road in eastern Jerusalem – ed.] and compare the books you see there to those sold in Ramallah and Gaza. It’s the same thing, books engaged in racist incitement against the Jewish people.”
Arab schools in Jerusalem receive funding from the Jerusalem municipality. UNRWA schools in Jerusalem and elsewhere receive much of their funding from 38 nations, primarily from the United States and the European Union. Two UNRWA facilities are located inside Jerusalem – in the neighborhoods of Shuafat and Kalandia.
Bedein first raised the issue of incitement in Jerusalem schools 10 years ago. Among those he spoke to was former prime minister Ehud Olmert, then mayor of Jerusalem, who responded at a news conference to Bedein’s question with little concern. “They can teach what they want, and we’ll teach what we want,” Olmert said about incitement in the PA school books being used by Arab schools with funding from the Jerusalem municipality and the Israel Ministry of Education.
Bedein expressed hope that current Israeli leaders will now eact differently. Three officials have the power to change the situation, he said – Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Education Minister Gidon Saar and Education Committee head Zevulun Orlev.
A new film, “For the Sake of Nakba”, details the connection between the UNRWA and PA incitement. Bedein and the research agency that he heads, the Center For Near East Policy Research, www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com, produced the new movie in response to a challenge to prove the reports of incitement in UNRWA schools. The video was recently screened on Capitol Hill. It is based on first-hand testimony from PA leaders and teachers and students in UN schools. It will also be shown at the Orthodox Union’s Israel Center in Jerusalem Tuesday August 10th at 11:30 a.m., followed by “For the Sake of Allah”, Bedein’s film about what Hamas prisoners say they would do if released.