Palestinian Schools Still Teach Hate

Time and again, Palestinian Authority (PA) officials, as well as administrators for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), have promised their Western backers that they will do away with textbooks that encourage violence and anti-Semitism. Yet a study released last fall by IMPACT-se, an organization that monitors the Palestinian curriculum, shows that there has been no progress to speak of. Marcus Sheff, the organization’s director, describes some of these textbooks and explains how schools that use them continue to get funding from America and Europe:

Newton’s Second Law is taught by way of a slingshot and the image of a violent confrontation. Nine-year-old children in the third grade recite a poem calling for “sacrificing blood” to remove the enemy from the land by “eliminating the usurper” and “annihilat[ing] the remnants of the foreigners.” Young Palestinians are even exhorted to sacrifice themselves. They are taught that jihad is the pinnacle of ambition, that martyrdom for boys and girls is a life goal. In perhaps the ultimate betrayal of young people, they are told that choosing death is better than choosing life. . . .

A long-classified report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) on the Palestinian curriculum taught in UNRWA schools was obtained by the congressional offices of Lee Zeldin and Scott Perry, and . . . a double deception was uncovered. The report shows that when UNRWA officials responsible for the PA curriculum were presented with irrefutable evidence that American funds had been abused to inculcate intolerance, they pledged to create supplementary materials to rectify the issue. However, the findings further show that UNRWA took no such actions, but instead lied to Washington about having done so. In other words, UNRWA officials were caught red-handed not only deceiving the U.S. government, but having gone to great lengths to avoid teaching the most basic principles of tolerance and respect.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Anti-Semitism, Palestinian Authority, Palestinians, Politics & Current Affairs, UNRWA

An American Withdrawal from Iraq Would Hand Another Victory to Iran

Since October 7, the powerful network of Iran-backed militias in Iraq have carried out 120 attacks on U.S. forces stationed in the country. In the previous year, there were dozens of such attacks. The recent escalation has led some in the U.S. to press for the withdrawal of these forces, whose stated purpose in the country is to stamp out the remnants of Islamic State and to prevent the group’s resurgence. William Roberts explains why doing so would be a mistake:

American withdrawal from Iraq would cement Iran’s influence and jeopardize our substantial investment into the stabilization of Iraq and the wider region, threatening U.S. national security. Critics of the U.S. military presence argue that [it] risks a regional escalation in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Iran. However, in the long term, the U.S. military has provided critical assistance to Iraq’s security forces while preventing the escalation of other regional conflicts, such as clashes between Turkey and Kurdish groups in northern Iraq and Syria.

Ultimately, the only path forward to preserve a democratic, pluralistic, and sovereign Iraq is through engagement with the international community, especially the United States. Resisting Iran’s takeover will require the U.S. to draw international attention to the democratic backsliding in the country and to be present and engage continuously with Iraqi civil society in military and non-military matters. Surrendering Iraq to Iran’s agents would not only squander our substantial investment in Iraq’s stability; it would greatly increase Iran’s capability to threaten American interests in the Levant through its influence in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.

Read more at Providence

More about: Iran, Iraq, U.S. Foreign policy