UNRWA Palestinian textbooks promote antisemitism, hate and violence - IMPACT-se

Palestinian textbooks issued by UNRWA encourage Palestinian children to "sacrifice their blood to liberate Jerusalem" and incite against Jews and Israelis.

 UNRWA employees take part in a sit-in demonstration, according to them against anticipated austerity measures within the organisation, in Amman, Jordan November 8, 2021. (photo credit: REUTERS/JEHAD SHELBAK)
UNRWA employees take part in a sit-in demonstration, according to them against anticipated austerity measures within the organisation, in Amman, Jordan November 8, 2021.
(photo credit: REUTERS/JEHAD SHELBAK)

Palestinian textbooks produced by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) contain antisemitic, hateful and violent passages, an IMPACT-se analysis published on Thursday found.

Some of the antisemitic passages include labeling Jews as inherently treacherous in an Islamic education drill. In a grammar exercise, Jews are implied to be impure and that they defile al-Aqsa Mosque.

A poem included in the educational content glorifies the killing of Israelis, portraying dying as martyrs by killing Israelis as a "hobby."

One of the hateful and violent ideas taught to Palestinian children can be found in a grammar exercise that encourages Palestinians to "sacrifice their blood to liberate Jerusalem," with terms such as "Jihad warriors" included.

The textbooks were also found guilty of attempting to erase Israel's existence and legitimacy. UNRWA materials erased Israel from its educational content, instead referring to the entire area as Palestine. Students are also tasked with labeling Israeli cities as Palestinian cities with Arabic names, IMPACT-se revealed.

 Philippe Lazzarini, the commissioner-general of UNRWA, visits Sheikh Jarrah on June 2. (credit: AMMAR AWAD/REUTERS) Philippe Lazzarini, the commissioner-general of UNRWA, visits Sheikh Jarrah on June 2. (credit: AMMAR AWAD/REUTERS)

Disinformation on Israel abundant in UNRWA textbooks

Conspiracy theories and disinformation on Israel are also prevalent in the UNRWA textbooks.

In some passages, Israel is described as a European state implanted by anti-Arab imperialists. It is also taught that Israel tortures Palestinian prisoners and violently threatens their families.

Palestinian children are also taught fake Israeli policies meant to "erase Palestinian identity." These policies include alleged attempts to "steal and falsify" Palestinian heritage and "erase Jerusalem's cultural heritage."

UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini met with IMAPCT-se officials two months ago and was presented with the report prior to its publication. In the meeting, IMPACT-se raised concerns over hate materials produced by UNRWA and secrecy over teaching materials.