(CNSNews.com) – The textbooks used to educate Palestinian children who live in refugee camps came under fire at a briefing on Wednesday on Capitol Hill where experts said lessons of intolerance and hatred toward Jews and Israel fill the books’ pages.
Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), chairman of the House subcommittee on Human Rights and co-chairman of the Bi-Partisan Coalition for Combating Anti-Semitism, told CNSNews.com that U.S. donations to the United Nations Refugee and Works Agency (UNRWA) make the federal government accountable for what is in the books.
“We are responsible for the content and the content has been, year in and year out, explosively anti-Semitic, anti-American and anti-Israeli,” Smith said, at the event he hosted with the Center for Near-East Policy Research, which is based in Jerusalem and which has studied the topic extensively.
Since the UNRWA began operations in 1950 in the wake of the Arab-Israeli war of 1948, the United States has been the largest contributor to the agency. The UNRWA oversees the health, education, and social services of some 5 million registered Palestinian refugees, including those in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The CRS reports that U.S. contributions to the UNRWA have steadily increased over the past decade, with nearly $228 million given in [fiscal year] 2010.