"Members of the European Parliament pressed the head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Wednesday over reports of incitement to violence and prejudice found in Palestinian textbooks used in it schools.
In a hearing with UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini, members of the Committee on Foreign Affairs raised the possibility of greater scrutiny over educational materials used by the UN agency, which serves the descendants of Palestinian refugees from Israel’s 1947-48 War of Independence.
'I have serious concerns regarding the textbooks,' said German MEP Dietmar Köster, from the left-leaning Socialists and Democrats party.
'In view of UNRWA’s serious shortcomings in recent years, I believe the European Parliament has no other choice but to discuss the question of whether we need stricter oversight over the agency.'
'Just this April, our very own budgetary discharge report criticized UNRWA for the hate speech and violence taught in UNRWA schools and questioned whether UNRWA has the proper mechanism in place to ensure adherence to UN values,' Köster said.
In June, a long-awaited European Union analysis found that Palestinian Authority textbooks trafficked in antisemitic tropes, removed previously-included references to Israeli-Palestinian peace agreements, and 'glorified' as heroes terrorists convicted of killing Israelis.
Köster also cited research from IMPACT-se, an Israel-based nonprofit which studies curricula in the Middle East, that found UNRWA-branded educational materials had included calls to violence and a rejection of peacemaking efforts..."