European MPs: Investigate incitement in UNRWA textbooks

26 Members of European Parliament call on UN Secretary-General and EU Commission president to investigate UNRWA over incitement in textbooks.

Elad Benari ,

UNRWA school in Gaza
UNRWA school in Gaza
Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90

A cross-party group of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) on Monday sent a letter to the UN Secretary-General and EU Commission president demanding an investigation into the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) over the revelations of anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in its educational materials, i24NEWS reports.

The 26 MEPs, who represent all the major parties in the European Parliament, initiated by MEP David Lega (EPP, Sweden) and MEP Miriam Lexmann (EPP, Slovakia), raised significant concerns about the kinds of materials that UNRWA uses.

The letter expressed alarm about "UNRWA’s continued use of hateful school materials that encourage violence, reject peace, and demonizes both Israel and the Jewish people. We deeply deplore the agency’s lack of oversight, transparency and accountability with regard to the repeated revelations of teaching hate and incitement to Palestinian children under UNRWA’s care.”

The letter also condemned the use of EU taxpayers’ money to fund hate teaching and antisemitic provocation, which the authors maintained was a "grave misuse in violation of our values", according to i24NEWS.

They added that the revelations were particularly "disturbing" given that UNRWA's Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini addressed the European Parliament just last November, he personally guaranteed that in UNRWA schools 'there is absolutely no room for any teaching which would encourage violence, discrimination, racism or anti-Semitism.'"

In April, the European Parliament adopted a resolution condemning UNRWA for teaching hate and violence in Palestinian Authority (PA) schools.

The resolution expressed concern "about the hate speech and violence taught in Palestinian school textbooks and used in schools by UNRWA" and insists that financial aid be conditioned on the removal of educational materials that promote hatred and incitement to violence.

Created in 1949, UNRWA supplies aid to more than three million of the five million registered “Palestinian refugees” in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and territories assigned to the Palestinian Authority.

However, it is also notorious for its anti-Israel activities. During the 2014 counterterrorism Operation Protective Edge, Hamas rockets were discovered inside a school building run by UNRWA.

Likewise, a booby-trapped UNRWA clinic was detonated, killing three IDF soldiers. Aside from the massive amounts of explosives hidden in the walls of the clinic, it was revealed that it stood on top of dozens of terror tunnels, showing how UNRWA is closely embedded with Hamas.

The US, which was previously UNRWA's largest contributor, cut a full $300 million in funding to the agency in 2018, when Donald Trump was President. However, the Biden Administration recently announced it intends to resume aid to UNRWA as well as other aid to the Palestinian Authority which was suspended by the Trump Administration.



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