Summary: As a longtime supporter of Israel, please read this as a proposal to
consider support for the new UNRWA Policy Initiative. Recognizing the efforts that
you have invested over the years in supporting efforts that seek to present Israel's
case to the media in the context of the PLO war on the Jewish State, the time has
come to address UNRWA as a primary roadblock to peace.
The Nahum Bedein Center for Near East Policy Research is dedicated to proactive, investigative
research and the publication of well-documented data on the core issues of Israeli-Arab
relations, in order to provide insight into the complex reality of Israel for decision makers,
journalists and the general public.
To this end, the Center commissions top-flight journalists, film makers, academics and
researchers to produce investigative reports and documentary films on Israeli-Palestinian
relations, the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), the media
and schools of the Palestinian Authority, Palestinian Authority security force and the United
Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA).
The Center sponsors press conferences and briefings at the US Congress, Canadian Parliament,
Israeli Knesset, the UN Correspondents Association in New York City, the National Press Club
in Washington DC, and other venues which impact upon public opinion, decision makers and the
The Center calls attention to the humanitarian plight of the Palestinian refugees in UNRWA-
administered refugee camps since 1949. with a suggested overhaul of UNRWA policies, to
adopt standards of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) criteria used
for refugee rehabilitation worldwide
I. Vital Background
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) was created in 1949 following Israel's
War of Independence to serve as a temporary entity to render aid to one-half million Palestinian
Arabs displaced as a result of the hostilities.
However, since 1950, UNRWA contiues to operate 59 refugee camps in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan,
Gaza, Judea and Samaria (including Jerusalem). It offers welfare, health and education services
to the 1948 refugees and their descendants who are relegated to conditions - without hope for
the future. in "temporary" refugee camps since 1949.
Fully 58% of the UNRWA budget is earmarked for schools that use the Palestinian Authority
UNRWA, serving 6.7 million descendants of Arab refugees from the 1948 war, works under the
funding and logistical support of 67 donor nations and 33 international relief agencies.
Seventy-three years later, in the PA texts taught in UNRWA schools, Israel does not exist and is
replaced by an entity known as "Palestine."
The 1993 Oslo process was supposed to yield the first independent Palestinian Arab curriculum
that would promote peace and reconciliation. That did not happen.
Instead, the Center commissioned a review of more than 1000 PA textbooks handed over to
UNRWA since 2000.
Our review of the new PA curriculum shows a new generation of children indoctrinated
towards total war on Jews, while delegitimizing and demonizing the very presence of Jews in the
land of Israel. .
It is imperative to organize people of conscience to mobilize policy-makers of the UNRWA
donor nations to tell the media about the message conveyed by the UNRWA schools which
blindly use a war curriculum of the Palestinian Authority, which runs under the aegis of the
Palestine Liberation Organization, not according to the principles of the United Nations.
II. The Need
The Center's experts, who have reviewed new Palestinian Authority schoolbooks used by
UNRWA, show that PA UNRWA education features three fundamentals:
1. Delegitimization of Israel's existence and the Jews' very presence in the country, which
includes denial of their history and the existence of any Jewish holy places there.
2. Demonization of both Israel and Jews, with implications regarding the Jews' image in the
eyes of children who hail from a traditional society.
3. Incitement and the absence of a call for peace with Israel. Instead, there is a call for
a violent struggle for the liberation of the whole country.
The conclusion: Palestinian Authority textbooks reject the existence of the State of Israel, and
the very presence of its Jewish citizens in the country, whose history and holy places there are
denied. PA texts used by UNRWA simply do not promote any semblance of peace. Instead, PA-
UNRWA texts advocate a violent struggle for the liberation of all of Palestine, which is not
limited by the 1967 lines and in which terror plays a central role.
PA education allows no room for a "two-state solution." In the words of Benny Begin, a retired
Member of Knesset, "the PA does not want a two-state solution. The PA wants a two-stage
The country's Jewish history is denied, including the existence of archaeological evidence
to the contrary.
The center's comprehensive research shows that the existence of Jewish holy places in the
country is totally denied, including the Western Wall. Having been considered foreign settlers,
Jews anwhere in Israel are not counted as legitimate inhabitants, and all cities they build,
including Tel Aviv, are absent from maps in the textbooks used in PA schools. The prime PA
school map, titled "Map of Palestine," does not show any Jewish city, except Eilat, which
appears under its Arabic name, "Umm al-Rashrash." (Social Studies, 2020, Grade 6, Part 1, p.6)
Indeed, the Center has studied all 125 maps shown in UNRWA schools. In every school, the
names of Arab cities replace Jewish cities, on both sides of the 1949-1967 lines.
Killing Jews is featured as an integral part of the liberation struggle, including a four-page
lesson exalting the female commander of a terror attack against an Israeli civilian bus on Israel's
Coastal Highway in 1978, in which 38 Jews - men, women and children - were murdered: "Our
Palestinian history is replete with many names of martyrs who sacrificed their souls for the
homeland, among whom is the martyr Dalal al-Mughrabi, who painted with her struggle a
picture of challenge and bravery that has made her memory eternal within our hearts and minds.
The text before us shows her struggle and journey." (Arabic Language, 2020, Grade 5, Part 2, p.
The time is now ripe to transform UNRWA into an entity that replaces Arab refugee camps with
communities that would live in peace with Israel.
Our Center will now launch an effort to ask donor nations to transform UNRWA into an entity
that indeed resettles refugees rather than perpetuating a war.
In six meetings held with the UN Secretary General and his staff, these top UN officials have
stressed that the only power to change UNRWA policy rests with the donor nations.
The time has come to promote conditioning aid to UNRWA on its ceasing its incitement and
collaboration with terror-affiliated organizations.
In response to donor country concerns, the Palestinian Authority this year presented its "Reforms
Proposal" to the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee's (AHLC) biannual session in May 2022 in
Brussels. Notably, however, this document utterly fails to address Palestinian incitement against
Israel. Indeed, it justifies the continuation of the "Palestinian narrative" and justifies continued
III. The Project at Hand
Our goal is to ask major donor countries embrace an active role in ending the refugee crisis that
has plagued Israel, its Palestinian Arab neighbors, and international organizations since 1949.
In pursuit of that goal, we will work to condition aid to UNRWA on the following guidelines:
1. An independent audit of donor funds that originate from 68 nations. This would address
documented reports of wasted resources, duplication of services, and an undesired flow
of cash to the terror groups that have dominated UNRWA operations for the past 18
2. Replace UNRWA textbooks with standard UN textbooks: School books now used by
325,000 students who learn in UNRWA schools indoctrinate every UNRWA school child
to devote their lives to the "right of return" - by force of arms. By replacing UNRWA
textbooks with standard UN texts and maps, UNRWA and the UN will have no ability to
hide behind bureaucratic excuses for continued incitement and antisemitism embedded
within current texts.
3. Publish of a list of all UNRWA employees, all of whom must adhere to restrictions on
Hamas and PLO affiliation in accordance with laws of western nations that forbid aid to
any agency that employs members of a terrorist organization.
4. Introducing UNHCR standards to UNRWA to advance resettlement of fourth- and fifth-
generation refugees from the 1948 war. UNRWA "refugees" have spent some seven
decades relegated to refugee status. By adopting the political stance of Arab maximalists,
UNRWA flouts its own commitment to the welfare and future of Arab refugees from
1948 and their descendants.
To accomplish these objectives, we will:
- Provide translations of UNRWA textbooks, films and other relevant materials in the local
language of each major donor country.
- Educate countries of the Office of Internal Services (OIOS) at the UN, formed in 1994 to
ferret out waste and corruption, yet has done next to nothing regarding UNRWA.
- Work with key parliamentarians in each country to champion efforts to reform UNRWA
and provide briefings to the various working groups within their respective legislative
- Commission new reports and films which document the UNRWA/PA school system to
show the continued and ongoing indoctrination of Palestinian youth with antisemitism
and violence perpetuated with UN dollars.
IV. Track Record of Success
Our research and investigations have been used by Members of the US Congress, Parliaments,
NGOs and the United Nations to inform their efforts in seeking reforms within UNRWA.
The Meir Amit Center for the Study of Intelligence and Terrorism now uses our research as the
exclusive source of "education for terror" for the Israel Defense and Diplomatic Establishment:
We have conducted briefings for legislators and international officials over the past 20 years,
including the US Congress, since 2003, the Canadian Parliament in 2012; British Parliament in
2014; UN Correspondents Association in 2018; German Bundestag, Foreign Office, Interior
Ministry and US Ambassador to Germany in 2019.
Videos of UNRWA students shot on location in UNRWA facilities while being indoctrinated to
carry out violent attacks against Israel were instrumental in showing leaders around the world of
the dangers posed by UNRWA's educational system.
The Terror of Return movie, shot on location at UNRWA facilities and screened at the UN,
helped convince Members of the US Administration and Congress to place conditions on aid to
UNRWA until UNRWA changes its curriculum. This policy was supported on both sides of the
Indeed, former Chairman of Senate Foreign Relations Committee Senator Jim Risch
commissioned a GAO report identifying the continued textbooks of incitement used in UNRWA
Congressional Staffer Hal Rogers led the effort in the House to condition aid to UNRWA in FY
'22 State and Foreign Operations Bill:
o United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).—Pursuant to section
7048(d), funds appropriated under this heading shall be made available to
UNRWA unless the Secretary of State determines and reports to the Committees
on Appropriations that UNRWA is violating certain policies related to neutrality,
impartiality, prohibiting weapons in their facilities, regular inspections,
educational materials, financial transparency, and auditing practices…United
Nations Relief and Works Agency.—Not later than 90 days after enactment of this
Act, the Secretary of State shall submit a report to the appropriate congressional
committees on the degree to which UNRWA is complying with the policies and
procedures described in section 7048(d) and the areas in which the Department is
partnering with the Agency on new guidelines or reform efforts. Such report shall
include an updated description of the mechanisms UNRWA has in place to
identify incitement and other unacceptable subject matters, including anti-Semitic
content, in locally-produced textbooks and the procedures in place to substitute
such material with curriculum that emphasizes the importance of human rights,
tolerance, and non- discrimination.
V. The Challenges
The biggest challenge the Center faces is a shortfall in funding. Unfortunately, three of our
largest supporters passed away. As a result, plans for 2021 were significantly curtailed to deal
with the budget shortfall. The $50,000 raised in the interim was simply not enough.
Another challenge is that UNRWA is an embedded program within the UN. Thus, its 1949
mandate is renewed every 3 years with most countries continuing to fund UNRWA as an
automatic budget line. Automatic UNRWA budget approval must be replaced with conditional
VI. Our Plan
a. US Congress
We will build upon our legislative success in 2021-22 by strengthening the conditioning of US
funding to UNRWA through the following mechanisms:
- Drafting specific legislative language conditioning aid on the above requirements.
- Identifying congressional members (House/Senate) and getting agreement for an
appropriations request submitted by a Democrat AND a Republican (separate requests) in
both the House AND the Senate with the same language.
- Work with Appropriations Committee staff to understand the need for such language to
be included in the section on UNRWA funding.
We will establish working groups of congressional members who share the goal of transforming
UNRWA policy through private meetings, staff level briefings and member-level meetings when
We aim to build a consensus of congressional members that can support a common denominator
requiring UNRWA to change its ways or lose out on US funding. This effort has worked in the
past and the political environment today is still welcoming in this area.
b. Parliamentary Bodies (in Canada, UK, Sweden, Germany)
We have planted seeds over the past years through our interactions with the parliamentary bodies
in Canada, Sweden, the UK and Germany. We need to identify and hire a political operative in
each of these countries who can navigate the parliamentary process in these countries similar to
our efforts in Washington DC.
Our initial efforts will be to work with a representative in each country and to work on setting up
a briefing in each parliament to begin building support for the UNRWA policy initiative.
To work towards achieving the goals outlined above, CFNEPR must expand its current
infrastructure over the next 2-5 years, beginning with the following immediate hires:
- Investigative Reporters in 5 major donor countries
- Social Media specialist
- Public Relations consultant
- U.S. Congressional lobbyist
- German Bundestag lobbyist
- Translator for Hebrew, English and German
- Production of a new UNRWA movie, shot on location
Toward this end, CFNEPR seeks $560,000 per year to continue executing the UNRWA Policy
Initiative over the next two years.
- $75,000 for Project Director/Administrator
- $20,000 for Translators of 50 texts into German, Hebrew, English
- $50,000 for Investigative Reporters
- $75,000 for Public Relations and Social Media Support
- $120,000 for U.S. Congressional lobbyist
- $60,000 for German Bundestag lobbyist
- $40,000 Expenses (office materials, travel, events)
- $20,000 Discretionary Budget
- $100,000 to produce a new UNRWA documentary.