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.