Will UNRWA schools in Jerusalem be part of the incitement crackdown?

Why should UNRWA schools be outside the jurisdiction of the Israeli Education Ministry?

David Bedein

OpEds David Bedein
David Bedein
credit David Michael Cohen

Over the past few weeks, there have been a number of news stories in the Israeli media that Israel will finally "crack down on incitement in east Jerusalem schools" and that "the Jerusalem Municipality is censoring textbooks designated for Arab students in Jerusalem" in order to delete the war education which has dominated Israeli Arab schools in Jerusalem ever since these schools began to adopt the virulent PA curriculum introduced in August 2000.

The latest one of those news stories appeared on Arutz Sheva.

However, before jumping to conclusions that a new policy is about to be implemented thoroughly, it is vital to note that representatives of the Israel Ministry of Education testified at  Knesset Parliament Education Committee on Oct. 27, 2015 that they do not supervise or oversee UNRWA schools,  curriculum  or the UNRWA teachers that operate in Jerusalem.

42% of the Arab students in Jerusalem study in UNRWA schools.
Jerusalem Municipality Education Department officials reported to me in an interview three years ago that 42% of the Arab students in Jerusalem study in UNRWA schools.

Israel Resource News Agency, the news outlet that I run in Jerusalem, has submitted an official formal inquiry to the Israeli government and the Israeli Knesset Education Committee, to ask if and when UNRWA schools will now be included in the  "crackdown on incitement in east Jerusalem schools."

We await an answer.

If UNRWA schools are not included in the crackdown on incitement in Jerusalem schools, that crackdown will be meaningless.

Since last October, Israel Resource News Agency has submitted numerous inquiries to all Israeli government officials  to ask why it is that the Israeli Ministry of Education, operating in sovereign Jerusalem, does not take  responsibility for  UNRWA schools which operate in sovereign Israel.

We await an answer