As our current generation of possible peacemakers continues to fail to make breakthroughs in the peace process, many hope that the next generation will grow up and take over, accomplishing more than their predecessors. Recently, a group of young Palestinians and Israelis got together in an event titled “Dialogue for Peace Project.” This event was created to see how the next generation would deal with the peace process. Contrary to expectations of the Israelis, however, nothing was accomplished. According to Lital Shemesh, an Israeli journalist, “None of [the Palestinians] spoke of a . . . two state solution. They all referred to one state, their state.”
The question that this dialogue brings up is why? Why have Palestinian children’s education not consisted of information about the peace process or a two-state solution? One source of Jew hatred comes from a UN organization that runs schools for Palestinian children, called the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). This organization spends about $500 million per year provided by American and European taxpayers. Some of the money is spent on textbooks produced by the Palestinian Authority, of which a central theme is the right of return, and some money is spent on teachers who teach their students that “Israel must be wiped out.” One example of a radical teacher is Alwad al-Keek, a headmaster in one of the UN schools who built bombs and Qassam rockets for Islamic Jihad. Essentially, the proponents of the peace process are creating barriers to stop it indefinitely.
The only way to create a population willing to negotiate for peace is through education. The current system is limiting opportunities for peace and creating a population of radicals who are taught that Israelis are “occupiers.”
Contributed by CAMERA Intern Eli Cohn