Gaza Strip schools fostered the depraved sensibility that fueled the Oct. 7 butchery perpetrated by Hamas jihadists in southern Israel. While Hamas exercised dictatorial authority over the whole of jihadist indoctrination in Gaza, the Palestinian Authority produced the textbooks and lesson plans, and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in significant measure administered the schools. The defeat of jihadism in Gaza will not be complete without a fundamental reorientation of its educational system.
American policymakers must grasp the preaching of hatred, violence, and Islamist supremacy woven into Gaza education. One obstacle is that many U.S. diplomats – even more the younger career foreign service officers who staff them – will have been indoctrinated at American universities in opinions and ideas championed by the jihadists.
Training for terrorism inscribed in UNRWA Arabic language textbooks and other Hamas educational materials falsifies history, encourages submission to government-sanctioned doctrines, and fosters loathing of Jews, Israel, America, and the freedom and democracy central to the West. Hamas’s savage rampage on Oct. 7 through Israel’s border communities was not a hideous departure from central tenets of Gazan education but rather gave faithful expression to them.
UNRWA’s Palestinian schools promulgate intolerance and Islamic supremacy. UNRWA education features a systematic insertion of violence, martyrdom, overt antisemitism, and jihad across all grades and subjects, with the proliferation of extreme nationalism and Islamist ideologies throughout the curriculum, including science and math textbooks; rejection of the possibility of peace with Israel; and the complete omission of any historical Jewish presence in the territory of modern-day Israel.
UNRWA staff members heaped praise on Hamas terrorists for the Oct. 7 slaughter and the role played by UNRWA school graduates in the barbarities.
UNRWA teachers develop students’ reading comprehension through a story that celebrates suicide bombers and the decapitation of Israeli soldiers. A map for fourth graders in UNRWA schools erases Israel by placing a Palestinian flag over all the land between the Jordan river and the Mediterranean Sea. A fifth-grade reading lesson, Hooray for the Heroes, glorifies Palestinians “associated with war, violence, religious extremism, and terrorism".
UNRWA schools teach sixth-grade students that “the Zionists are the terrorists of the modern age, and they are fated to disappear”.
The UN must be destroyed.