Dear <<First Name>>,
The updated report on UNRWA self-learning material by IMPACT-se can be found here.
An IMPACT-se report,
released today, has found current UNRWA-produced materials still contain hateful content, despite promises by UNRWA
that this issue was resolved by November.
Senior government figures from countries donating to UNRWA echoed the organization’s assertion that the material is no longer being used.
The report finds UNRWA-produced school material distributed after November glorifies jihad and violence. A spelling exercise created by UNRWA condemns peace and normalization agreements between Israel and Arab states. Another exercise describes “pieces of corpses” being dispersed throughout city streets to teach grade 9 spelling. Israel, a UN member state, is solely referred to as “the Enemy” or “the Occupation” and is erased from maps of the region.
The UN body was initially pressured to acknowledge
the existence of this material following the publication of an IMPACT-se report
in January that found UNRWA staff had produced, printed, and distributed material which egregiously violated UN values. This material covered by the report was distributed beginning in March 2020 up until September 2020. UNRWA confirmed
the existence of “inappropriate" material but claimed that the problem had been detected internally and rectified by November – a period of eight months during which the material was taught.
Donor countries expressed serious concern over the matter but accepted UNRWA’s claim that the issue had been resolved. Germany, UNRWA’s largest donor, said "The Federal Government welcomes the fact that UNRWA has independently uncovered the problem and reacted promptly."
UK Minister for the Middle East and North Africa, James Cleverly, stated
, “UNRWA has reported that these materials are no longer circulated and are not used in current lessons. The issue was rectified by November 2020.”
However, content found in IMPACT-se’s new report proves this claim is false.
The existence of this content disproves the claim that the issue was independently detected and addressed by UNRWA by November 2020. Over 300,000 Palestinian children are still being taught hate, violence and intolerance.
UNRWA assured donors it had removed all the hateful content that its teachers had written. As this research shows, this is simply not the case. Moving the content to secure platforms, as UNRWA did with such alacrity, is not the same as removing the actual hate. UNRWA's promises about removing the content have been repeated in good faith by governments around the world. But a cursory inspection shows that its explanations do not make sense.
Adding to the pressure on UNRWA from several donor countries following IMPACT-se's original report, Dr. Darko Mocibob, Deputy Director for the Middle East and Asia Division at the UN’s Department of Political Affairs, commended
the “very solid” research in IMPACT-se’s original report on UNRWA-produced material. Mocibob stated he was “easily convinced” by the evidence and reaffirmed that there “shouldn’t be any percentage of such content which is antisemitic or worse in the UNRWA textbooks.”