January 11, 2024 | Flash Brief

UNRWA Teachers Glorify Terrorism in Group Chat

January 11, 2024 | Flash Brief

UNRWA Teachers Glorify Terrorism in Group Chat

Latest Developments

Gaza teachers employed by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) celebrated as Hamas terrorists massacred Israelis on October 7, the nonprofit UN Watch revealed on January 9. A Telegram channel for UNRWA teachers features posts praising Hamas and inciting further terrorism. In one case, the administrator of the online chat group posted an image of a vest wired with explosives with the caption “wait, sons of Judaism.” Another teacher prayed that “God grant” the terrorists “victory.” In a third case, an UNRWA teacher formerly employed by the BBC encouraged civilians in northern Gaza to stay in their homes despite repeated warnings from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to move south.

Expert Analysis

“If UNRWA is to truly serve the Palestinian population, it needs to shed the hate it teaches its students and disavow the antisemitism that has been disseminated through its staff. Those who want Palestinians to grow up with a bright future must ensure the teachers who educate their children are role models of peace and don’t use Hamas’s playbook as their curriculum. Funders of UNRWA, including the American taxpayer, should take a hard look at this exposé and decide if the tuition and scholarship they are underwriting merits a full-scale reform given the violence currently being taught.” — Toby Dershowitz, Managing Director of FDD Action

“Under the tutelage of UNRWA schools, generations of Palestinians have been fed a diet of hatred. The dehumanization and incitement have resulted in unspeakable violence against Jews and Israelis. October 7 should serve as a wakeup call to the international community, and UNRWA should immediately be defunded.” — Enia Krivine, Senior Director of FDD’s Israel Program and National Security Network

UNRWA Incitement

UNRWA schools teach Palestinian children to deny Israel’s legitimacy, incite antisemitism, and pursue violence and jihad. IMPACT-se, an international research and policy organization that monitors and analyzes education around the world, published a study after October 7 documenting the statements of more than a dozen UNRWA employees who publicly praised Hamas’s massacre. The study also recorded the statements of more than 100 UNRWA employees who promoted hatred and violence on social media prior to the attacks.

UNRWA and Hamas

UNRWA does not recognize Hamas as a terrorist organization and has a history of hiring members of Hamas. U.S. law forbids American funding for UNRWA to be used for “furnishing assistance” to terrorists. Washington cut funding to UNRWA in 2018 at the direction of President Donald Trump, but President Joe Biden unconditionally resumed funding UNRWA in 2021, delivering $1 billion to the United Nations agency over three years. The United States is now UNRWA’s single largest donor.

United Nations’ Bigotry Towards Israel: UNRWA Anti-semitism Poisons Palestinian Youth,” Congressional Testimony by Jonathan Schanzer

The Terrorist-Aid Agency,” by Jonathan Schanzer

Stop the UN from enabling Hamas war crimes,” by Richard Goldberg and Enia Krivine


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