Analysis by Rachel Avraham on the ongoing Peace Talks between Israel and the Palestinians
As Palestinians and Israelis negotiate a peace agreement, UNRWA teaches young Palestinians to support waging a violent jihad and to not accept any solution that excludes Israel’s annihilation as a nation state.
Jews are “The Wolf” Photography: Channel 2 News
UNRWA serves 5 million Palestinians living across the Middle East who are descended from Palestinian refugees. Around 750,000 Palestinians fled their homes in the wake of Israel’s establishment as a Jewish state in 1948. Yet, instead of helping these Palestinians to be absorbed into their host countries and become productive citizens, the United Nation’s Agency devoted to Palestinian refugees instead prefers to educate Palestinians in a manner that encourages the continuation, rather than the cessation, of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
In an expose produced by the Center for Near East Policy Research, it was found that UNRWA summer camps educate their participants to seek a right of return to Israel proper and to engage in a violent jihad against the Jewish state, even though their funding comes from 20 donor nation-states, with the largest donor being the United States. “Since WWII, more than 50 million people have become refugees as a result of a war. UNRWA is the only refugee agency that actively encourages refugees to act upon the right of return. That means the right to take back villages that no longer exists, where people in Israel now live. This is their understanding of peace starts here,” the Center for Near East Policy Research reports.
One teacher at an UNRWA summer camp explained, “We teach the children about the villages that they came from. The children learn the names of all of the villages, not just the names of big cities like Jerusalem. This way, every child will be motivated to return to their village,” She asserted, “UNRWA finances this summer camp. I’m very appreciative of UNRWA because the children of Palestine and Gaza need this.”
Another teacher related, “We teach the culture of the Nakba (Palestinians refer to Israel’s creation as a catastrophe) to our campers. That way, they know their origins. Even the names of their teams for example, Haifa, Acre; every team is named for a village that they left.” She added, “This will remain embedded in the memory of every child. We try, on Nakba Day, to commemorate the Nakba in the school. Last year, on Nakba Day, we built tents. We named each tent after a village where the refugees came from.”
The Center for Near East Policy Research showed a video of one female teacher, dressed from head to toe in black and wearing a jilbab (face veil), telling a group of young Palestinian children around elementary school age at the UNRWA summer camp: “In 1948, we were expelled from our homes where our ancestors lived an honorable life. And then came the occupation and they were expelled from their homes. We had to live in tents. We will return to our villages with power and honor. With God’s help and our own strength, we will wage war. And with education and jihad, we will return!”
Another female teacher, after describing how Palestinians prior to 1948 used to live in villas and go every day to the beach, is documented to have told a group of children at the UNRWA summer camp that the Jews are “wolves.” She proclaimed, “Isn’t it true that the Jews are wolves? What did the Jews do to us? They expelled and deported us. They killed us and shot our families. They expelled us from our villages. They arrested our fathers and grandfathers. Correct? And where did they expel us to?” The children answered, “To the refugee camp.”
The children of the summer camp Photography: Channel 2 News
Still another UNRWA teacher taught Palestinian children: “What happened in the Balata Refugee Camp? We offered martyrs, prisoners, suicide bombers! Houses were destroyed. What happened in this refugee camp? Who is related to a martyr? Whose father or brother is a martyr or in prison? “ Some of the children raised their hands. She continued, “Why were there martyrs? In order to liberate Al Aqsa and to return to Haifa and Jaffa. Palestine is an Arab land from the river to the sea.” She then had all of the children in her class chant: “Palestine is an Arab land from the river to the sea. We went Haifa! We want Acre! We are going to Al Aqsa!”
Apparently, UNRWA schools do more to teach Palestinian children to hate Israel than schools funded by Arab governments. One female Palestinian youngster claimed, “UNRWA schools teach us about the Nakba. The government schools teach us about the Nakba, but the course load is less than in our schools. They teach us about the Right of Return, about how life was like before and how they were expelled, in the days of the Nakba in 1948 and about how they expelled us from our villages.”
A young boy discussed some of the activities at the UNRWA summer camp: “We construct kites and write the names of our villages on them, like Jura, Haifa, Acre, Jaffa and our bunks are named after the villages.” A young girl at the camp stated that she and the other children drew pictures of Palestine, which they consider as existing from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. Another child related: “The summer camp teaches us that we have to liberate Palestine and we have to be determined in order to return.”
At the camp, a young child sang, “We are the revolutionaries. We are filled with rage. We are the hope of the generations. With our deeds, heroism has been written. We are the rising sun. We are the sword and also the joy. We are the children’s joy. We will forget the difficult days and the difficult events. We are like strangers in our homeland. We seek freedom. Happiness is distant. But victory is close. It will be precious.” Another young child sang at the UNRWA summer camp, “In this world, we are like birds without feathers. My mother tells her neighbor: Collect stones. Throw them at the Israeli patrol!” Still another child sang, “When we die as martyrs, we are going to heaven. Don’t say we are children because life made us older. In Palestine, there is no childhood. There is no childhood without Palestine.”
This kind of education has a profound effect upon Palestinian children attending the UNRWA summer camp. One young child around elementary school age explained, “I want to return to Kfar Kassem, whether the Jews like it or not. I will defeat the Jews. They are a gang of infidels and Christians. They don’t like Allah and do not worship Allah. And they hate us.” A young boy described how he plays games with his friends of Palestinians and Israelis killing each other and that he sincerely believes that he will move to Israel after the country is destroyed “by missiles.”
Another young boy related, “No to negotiations. Attacking stage by stage is not the right way. If we attack them altogether at once, that will be the answer. The resistance in Gaza was not enough. We need to unite and fight together in order to return. Not slowly but all at once.” Despite the adverse affect that UNRWA education has had upon promoting peace and tolerance between Palestinians and Israelis, numerous countries, many of them western democracies, continue to fund UNRWA.