Wiesenthal Center Urges UN Secretary General Gutteres to Denounce Anti-Semitism in UNRWA Curriculum
February 10, 2021
( L-R Dr. Arnon Groiss, David Bedein, Lower left to right, UN Deputy Director, Dr. Darko Mocibib, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, UN's Eric Lindblad)
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is urging UN Secretary General Gutteres to denounce anti-Semitic content in UNRWA curriculum and to demand that they be eliminated from UNRWA schools.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, SWC’s Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action, participated in a briefing about UNRWA’s record by the Near East Policy Research Center to Dr. Darko Mocibib, Deputy Director, Middle East and West Asia Division, at United Nations HQ in New York.
Dr. Arnon Groiss, a respected academic expert who has been reviewing textbooks, curricula, and teachers’ guides used in UNRWA schools for over two decades, presented a PowerPoint focusing on the inculcation of anti-Semitic hate to Palestinian children in their classrooms.
David Bedein, Director of the Near East Policy Center, who has lobbied for reform and change in Palestinian Schools for the last three decades, spoke of footage taken by his team that captures the environment in UNRWA schools in Gaza. “Young children are heard singing songs calling for extermination of Jews and large photos of Palestinian terrorists adorn the entrances to some of these schools," Bedein said.
Rabbi Cooper told the UN diplomats that “this is an intolerable situation. If the status quo is left unchallenged, another generation of Palestinian children will be raised to hate, to extol violence, and prepare for war. We urge Secretary General Gutteres to denounce the anti-Semitic content within the UNRWA curriculum and urge real change.”
“We are aware that the major donor nations led by Germany and Japan, among many others, have the direct power to demand such change, but we need the Secretary General Gutteres, a consistent opponent of anti-Semitism, to add his powerful voice, demanding change. It is simply inconceivable with so much of the Arab world embracing reconciliation, mutual respect, and peace with the Jewish State, that a UN agency would be teaching Palestinian children just the opposite,” Rabbi Cooper concluded.
Dr. Mocibib promised to convey the Wiesenthal Center’s request to the UN Secretary General.
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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).