Hamas’s refugees department strongly denounced the UN’s Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for staging trips for Palestinian students to the US, Europe, and South Africa to sightsee Jewish holocaust museums, calling the trips “suspicious”.
The department said UNRWA selected ninth grade honor students for a tour of holocaust centers in the West.
“We cringed when reading an article in the British Guardian newspaper and watching a film it prepared about a trip for 16 ninth-grade students to New York during which they were briefed about what happened on September 11 and then taken to the Museum of the Jewish Holocaust.”
UNRWA teaching staff taught the students how the Jews suffered at the hands of the German Nazis, and expressed sympathy for them.
UNRWA does not have the freedom to teach as it sees fit, Hamas said. But the agency said it was committed to teaching along the programs adopted in its five areas of operations, and should abide by that program in Gaza, one of those five areas.
“When an international organization specializing in Palestinian refugees takes on teaching human rights, that requires focusing on the rights of Palestinian refugees, with no need to address the rights of the oppressed from other regions in the world. The children cannot comprehend the oppression of all of the world’s peoples. The oppression and suffering of the Palestinians by the hands of the Jewish occupiers is a good enough example.”
“The point of the trip is strange. What is America’s connection to human rights when it is not bound by them? It violates them day and night in all corners of the world, and inside America itself.”
If students must go on a trip, then why not to Vietnam to learn about the three million who died in the US war in the region; or to Africa, where people were stolen and taken as slaves in Europe and America in previous centuries?
“We denounce this suspicious act in hopes that UNRWA education officials in the Gaza Strip will not repeat it; and we hope the Palestinian Authority will take a national stand to put a stop to ideological corruption on Palestine’s youth.”