UN agency teachers celebrate attacks on Israelis, says watchdog

Gaza math teacher Nahed Sharawi was just one of the UNRWA staffers documented in a new report by UN WATCH. Sharawi shared a video of Adolf Hitler to “enrich and enlighten” his students. 

By Meira Svirsky, World Israel News

An investigation into the staff at UNRWA, the UN agency that runs schools and social services for Palestinian refugees and their desendants, found that over 100 of its educators and staff have recently used their social media accounts to celebrate attacks on Israelis and promote anti-Semitism and violence against Jews.

In a report released Monday titled “Beyond the Textbooks,” the NGO UN Watch uncovered such posts that appeared on the public pages of the staff members. All the posts celebrated and promoted violence, even among young children, and violated the agency’s own rules as well as its stated values of zero tolerance for racism, discrimination or anti-Semitism.

“Around the world, educators who incite hate and violence are removed, yet UNRWA, despite proclaiming zero tolerance for incitement, knowingly and systematically employs purveyors of terror and anti-Jewish hate,” said UN Watch Director Hillel Neuer.

UN Watch is calling upon UNRWA’s major funders — the U.S., Germany, the UK and the European Union — to hold the agency accountable to its own standards and commitments.

“We demand that UNRWA address the core problem and demonstrate its genuine commitment to basic norms of education in its schools by publicly condemning UNWRA employees who incite terrorism and anti-Semitism, removing them from their positions, and creating an independent and impartial investigation of all of its staff,” stated UN Watch.

UNRWA’s staff numbers more than 30,000. Among their educators is Gaza math teacher Nahed Sharawi, who shared a video of Adolf Hitler with “inspirational” quotes to “enrich and enlighten” his students’ “thoughts and minds.”

Another UNRWA teacher, Husni Masri, posted classic anti-Semitic conspiracy theories charging that Jews control the world, created the coronavirus and seek to destroy Islam.

While the report documents only recent posts by UNRWA staffers, UN Watch contends, “Were UNRWA itself to examine its employees, on and off Facebook, it can reasonably be estimated that thousands of UNRWA employees would be implicated.”

In August 2018, then-President Donald Trump withdrew U.S. funding for UNRWA. Mike Pompeo, secretary of state at the time, tweeted, “Taxpayers deserve basic truths: most Palestinians under UNRWA’s jurisdiction aren’t refugees, and UNRWA is a hurdle to peace. America supports peace and Palestinian human rights; UNRWA supports neither. It’s time to end UNRWA’s mandate.”

Read  UN Security Council committee doesn’t recommend Palestinian membership vote

Shortly after assuming office, President Joe Biden restored U.S. funding to the organization with a $150 million contribution in April, 2021. By July, that number reportedly rose to $313.8 million.

Despite previously submitting “detailed evidence” of staff misconduct, UN Watch said that UNRWA has not fired teachers who incite racism and terrorism nor “taken any other meaningful action.”

“UNRWA should therefore be considered complicit in its staff members’ misconduct,” said the group.