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Judicial Watch • U.S. Pays for Palestinian School Books that Glorify Terrorism, Promote Extremism

U.S. Pays for Palestinian School Books that Glorify Terrorism, Promote Extremism

U.S. Pays for Palestinian School Books that Glorify Terrorism, Promote Extremism

JUNE 21, 2018

In a ghastly waste of taxpayer dollars, the U.S. government helps pay for Palestinian school books that glorify terrorism and promote extremism. The Palestinian Authority (PA) and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) uses the radical material to educate about 300,000 students in grades 1 through 11 at hundreds of schools in Gaza and the West Bank. The curriculum and inciting materials are largely funded by the U.S., which is by far the UNRWA’s biggest financial supporter.

As the UNRWA’s largest donor in 2017, Uncle Sam doled out a whopping $364 million, more than double the amount of the second-largest contributor, the European Union. The money helps provide millions of Palestinians throughout the Middle East with healthcare, food, schools and other vital services. Earlier this year the Trump administration slashed the funding by more than $300 million until the UNRWA, part of the famously corrupt United Nations, makes critical changes. The head of the UNRWA said in a mainstream news report that the shortfall in U.S. funding means there may not be enough money to re-open schools in August and September for the new academic year. Considering the PA curriculum that’s a good thing and likely part of the change that the Trump administration is seeking.

PA textbooks are radical, glorify martyrdom, demonize Israel, encourage war and teach children that Palestinian statehood can be achieved through violence. An in-depth analysis conducted by a research group that exposes intolerance in school textbooks found that the books “groom young Palestinians to sacrifice themselves to martyrdom,” promote the idea of a mass “return” to Israel, and “feature a radical Islamist, and occasionally, a Salafi worldview.” The probe found that inflammatory language is found in textbooks across the curriculum and that, besides eliminating Israel, the Palestinian curriculum routinely glorifies terrorism. Enraging passages and graphics from dozens of textbooks are included throughout the report. For instance, in a fifth-grade Arabic textbook jihad and martyrdom are celebrated as “the most important meanings of life.” A renowned Palestinian terrorist (Dala Mughrabi) responsible for the 1978 murder of 38 people—including 13 children—near Tel Aviv is described as a hero that students should be proud of.

The probe examined 66 textbooks from the overall curriculum and the report touches on a number of topics such as the concepts of jihadism and radicalization associated with religious teachings, including martyrdom and the PA’s relationship to global Islamism. “The curriculum exerts pressure over young Palestinians to acts of violence in a more extensive and sophisticated manner,” the review found. “The discourse is couched in terms of nationalist and religious martyrdom, across science, literature, history and religious education textbooks.” The analysis focused on the 2017-18 PA curriculum, which marked the first full reform of the Palestinian curriculum since 2000. “Radicalization is pervasive across this new curriculum, to a greater extent than before,” investigators found, adding that “with a comprehensive and oft-stated justification for defensive (obligatory) jihad, the curriculum’s focus appears to have expanded from demonization of Israel to providing a rationale for war.” Animosity toward Western imperialism and Europe in general is also widespread across the new PA curriculum.

To ensure that American taxpayers don’t continue to fund this outrageous education system, Congress has introduced a law that forces the government to verify that the PA isn’t using material that encourages “violence or intolerance toward other nations or ethnic groups.” Officially known as Palestinian Authority Educational Curriculum Transparency Act, the measure would force the State Department, which doles out the cash to the UNRWA, to verify that the PA educational material meets international standards of peace and tolerance. Specifically, the law requires the Secretary of State to submit annual reports reviewing the educational material used by the PA and the UNRWA. “The new Palestinian curriculums fail to meet the international standards of peace and tolerance in educational materials established by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization,” the bill states. “Textbooks used by the Palestinian Authority and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in the West Bank and Gaza demonize Israel, encourage war, and teach children that Palestinian statehood can be achieved through violence.”


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