Palestinian schools funded by U.S. taxpayers "regularly call to murder Jews and create teaching materials that glorify terrorism, encourage martyrdom, demonize Israelis, and incite anti-Semitism," according to a report by independent watchdog groups.
The report identifies 133 United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) educators and staff members who "were found to promote hate and violence on social media," praising terrorist attacks on Israel and expressing support for Hamas, the militant group operating in the Gaza Strip. UNRWA is a U.S.-funded entity that operates in the Palestinian territories.
Another 82 UNRWA teachers and staffers at more than 30 schools are reported to be involved in "drafting, supervising, approving, printing, and distributing hateful content to students," according to the report.
The report shines a light on how UNRWA-run schools employ anti-Semitic instructors and use educational materials that advocate for the destruction of Israel. While UNRWA claims to enforce a "zero-tolerance" policy on racism and hate, its educational materials are rife with anti-Semitism, according to the report, jointly authored by U.N. Watch and the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education, both of which monitor UNRWA.
The findings, which were recently presented to Congress, are likely to fuel ongoing efforts by House and Senate lawmakers to defund UNRWA, which receives more than half a billion dollars from U.S. taxpayers. Funding to the group was mostly frozen during the Trump administration but restarted in 2021 by the Biden administration, which approved a $150 million payment for the organization.
"The hatred is systemic at UNRWA, and its internal self-auditing mechanisms are not fit for purpose," according to U.N. Watch's summary of the report.
Classroom presentations obtained by the watchdog groups show fifth-grade students being taught to glorify terrorists who have killed Israelis. Other educational materials instruct students to participate in the violent overthrow of Israeli government.
One lesson presented to ninth-grade students at an UNRWA school described the firebombing of Jewish bus as a "barbecue party," according to the report. Martyrdom is also described in another fifth-grade lesson as one of "the most important meanings of life."
UNRWA's blatant anti-Semitism and support for terrorism have long been a flashpoint in Congress.
In February, Sen. James Risch (R., Idaho) and Rep. Chip Roy (R., Texas) introduced legislation that would freeze U.S. contributions to UNRWA until it implements widespread reforms.
"UNRWA has a long history of employing people connected to terrorist movements like Hamas, promoting anti-Semitic textbooks, and using its schools to store Hamas weapons," Risch said in a statement to the Washington Free Beacon at the time. "It is unthinkable that U.S. taxpayer dollars would be used to help fund such an organization. This legislation will cease U.S. contributions to UNRWA unless the administration certifies that the agency is not affiliated with U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organizations and does not support anti-Semitic rhetoric."