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Letter to the Editor: UN agency’s schools promote hatred of Jews, Israelis

Often there’s only enough time for my “elevator speech” when someone asks me, as a dual citizen of Israel and the United States, when peace will come to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Here’s how I answer: When the Palestinian Arab school books stop referring to Jews as the sons of apes and pigs and stop calling for Muslims to kill Jews every chance they get, THEN I will believe that for the following generation there is hope for peace.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees had recently published revised grades 1 to 12 schoolbooks that were supposed to have removed the incitement against Jews. In a translation of the Arabic schoolbooks by the Jerusalem-based Center for Near East Policy Research, researchers found that the attitudes toward Jews were based on de-legitimization, demonization, and indoctrination to violent struggle. There was no call for peace or coexistence with Israel.

The texts create the false impression that the Arabs preceded the Jews in the country in antiquity and that the Jews’ historical claims are false. Jewish holy places are presented as Muslim holy places usurped by the Jews. Jewish cities are not shown on the maps. Jewish inhabitants are presented as a threat to Jerusalem’s Arab character, as occupiers and infiltrators, and as illegitimate and temporary. What had been called the “Arab-Israeli conflict” in earlier editions is now called the “Arab-Zionist conflict.”

If you don’t want your tax dollars spent on this UNRWA indoctrination of hate, contact your Congressional representative and your senators and make your views known.

Marsha Stein, Natick, MA and Netanya, Israel

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