By Dan Calic
Fresh information has surfaced suggesting UNRWA (United Nations Relief Works Agency) continues to undermine the peace process.
A recently released documentary produced by the Center for Near East Policy Research provides evidence of how UNRWA has been fomenting terror during summer camps in Judea/Samaria and Gaza.
The film titled Camp Jihad was shown to a select group at the Knesset on October 22. Attendees of the showing included freelance writers, diplomats, and representatives of the Israel Ministry of Strategic Affairs.
The host was David Bedein, Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research, who produced the documentary.
In addition to the film screening Dr. Arnon Groiss, an Arab-language journalist who has done extensive research on the educational system in Gaza and Judea/Samaria was a featured speaker. He brought numerous textbooks approved by the PA and used in UNRWA sponsored schools and camps. Each contained information designed to delegitimize Israel’s existence and right to the land, while promoting the right of return of the so-called “refugees.” The misinformation in the sample textbooks gives students inaccurate and skewed material which is aligned with the Palestinian effort to undermine the peace process and promote violent jihad. Thus, rather than being educated, in an unbiased academic environment, the students are essentially being trained to become future terrorists. Instead of becoming tomorrow’s scientists, doctors, lawyers, etc. the children are taught to hate Jews and die for the cause of Israel’s destruction. What UNRWA is doing can only be described as institutionalized child abuse.
Regarding deligitimization, a fifth grade textbook says “Haifa and Gaza are two Palestinian ([port cities).” A quote from an eighth-grade textbook exclaims- “O brother, the oppressors have exceeded all bounds and jihad and sacrifice are necessary.”
As for the film, it consists of numerous clips of children, many under 10 years of age, who were interviewed while attending two UNRWA sponsored summer camps. One camp was in Balata, near Nablus, the other is in Gaza. Some instructors and counselors are interviewed as well.
Once again the reoccurring them of Israel’s deligitimization and jihad are ever-present. Acre, Haifa, Jaffa, and Ashkelon are all viewed as Palestinian towns which the children bemoan returning to, even though none of them ever actually lived there.
The return won’t happen by means of a negotiated peace agreement, according to the children. It will take place through violent jihad. In one clip a one young girl passionately sings “…we are revolutionaries filled with rage…” Another scene shows a room full of children being told by an instructor their families were attacked by a “…wolf who killed them and expelled them…” When asked who the wolf is the children all say in unison “the Jews.” Still another young girl proudly proclaims “I will defeat the Jews, they are a gang of infidels and Christians.” One boy acknowledges playing games where Palestinians “shoot Jews” and will defeat them “by missiles.”
Upon learning of the documentary UNRWA posted a statement on their web site denying they sponsored the camp in Balata saying “the summer camp shown in the West Bank is not affiliated with, or organized by UNRWA.” This in spite of the fact the film crew was greeted by UNRWA teachers and staff. ” UNRWA’s statement also said “…absolutely nothing anti-Semitic or inflammatory was done or said in the scenes filmed in Gaza.” Oh really? One child filmed in Gaza said “I must return to my land and reconquer it.” Apparently this statement doesn’t fit the UNRWA definition of “inflammatory.”
In reaction to the comments from UNRWA the film’s producers published an ad in the Jerusalem Post challenging them to a “public forum in the presence of media and the diplomatic corps, to discuss UNRWA’s educational policies.” While the phones continuously ring in the office of the film producers, thus far none have come from UNRWA, accepting the invitation for a public forum.
The majority of financial support for UNRWA comes from U.S. and European taxpayers.
Keep in mind the film was made simultaneous to peace negotiations between the Israeli’s and Palestinians. Since all material used by UNRWA is approved by the PA, the film’s producers contacted the office of Tzipi Livni, who heads the Israeli negotiating team. They wanted to know if Livni plans to raise the issue of incitement during negotiations. When asked the spokesperson for Livni said the issue is “premature and irrelevant.”
My question is does it become relevant, before or after the children “return to their land and reconquer it?”
Dan Calic is a writer, history student and speaker. See additional articles on his Facebook page