A watchdog monitoring peace and tolerance in the Middle East has accused the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) of distributing educational materials containing antisemitism and calling for jihad.
The Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School (IMPACT-se) has published a report that alleges that material promoting jihad and violence was distributed by UNRWA to hundreds of thousands of pupils in the Palestinian Authority and Gaza, which is controlled by the genocidal antisemitic terrorist organisation, Hamas.
UNRWA reportedly said that an internal review had been conducted. The UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini blamed the distribution of the offending educational materials on the coronavirus pandemic. “Unfortunately, in the rush to continue students’ education uninterrupted, some material the Agency had previously identified as not in line with UN values was mistakenly included.”
The Australian Department of Foreign Trade and Affairs (DFAT) has said it would investigate the issue, following the IMPACT-se report. Australia gave $8.39 million in 2020, making it the 19th-biggest contributor to the $921 million pledged to UNRWA in 2020.
A DFAT spokesperson told The Australian newspaper: “UNRWA has a fundamental obligation to remain unbiased and impartial while it delivers its humanitarian mandate.”
According to the IMPACT-se report, some textbooks erased Israel from maps or labelled the country as “Palestine.” Other books featured phrases such as: “Jihad is one of the doors to Paradise” and “The motherland is worthy of any kind of sacrifice.” A social-studies booklet aimed at fourteen- and fifteen-year-olds contains the claim that Israel “deliberately spreads disease by dumping radioactive and toxic waste”, which is reminiscent of the age-old antisemitic trope that Jews spread disease.