Contact: Renee Young
Hadassah National Public Relations
June 24, 2019 – WASHINGTON –Hadassah, in partnership with IMPACT-se, sponsored a briefing Friday on Capitol Hill to discuss anti-Semitism and extremism in Palestinian Authority textbooks used in U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) schools. Speaking to Hadassah members, congressional staffers, pro-Israel community leaders and the media, Marcus Sheff, CEO of IMPACT-se and Representative Brad Sherman (D-CA), lead sponsor of the Peace and Tolerance in Palestinian Education Act (H.R.2343), explained why the textbooks are dangerous and the urgency of improving the curricula.
“Education has the power to change the world. Today, hundreds of thousands of Palestinian children in UNRWA schools are being taught from textbooks that promote anti-Semitism, demonize Israel and encourage violence,” said Karen Paikin Barall, Director of Government Relations for Hadassah. “We are committed to efforts to build a more peaceful and tolerant future. Hadassah proudly endorses efforts to hold leaders accountable and shine a light on the unacceptable state of affairs in UNRWA schools.”
“The extremism being taught in Palestinian schoolbooks is dangerous and runs counter to the decades-long mission to build a safe, secure and peaceful Middle East,” said Sheff. “Fostering open-mindedness in education is key to developing societies that respect each other’s differences. We are working toward eliminating negative influences in textbooks and promoting tolerance so that children can have a bright and hopeful future.”
IMPACT-se is a research, policy and advocacy organization that monitors and analyzes education. It employs international standards on peace and tolerance as derived from UNESCO declarations and resolutions to determine compliance and to advocate for change when necessary.
Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc. (HWZOA) is the largest Jewish women’s organization in the United States. With 330,000 members, Associates and supporters Hadassah brings Jewish women together to effect change and advocate on critical issues such as medical care and research and women's empowerment. Through the Hadassah Medical Organization's two hospitals, the world-renowned trauma center and the leading research facility in Jerusalem, Hadassah supports the delivery of exemplary patient care to over a million people every year. HMO serves without regard to race, religion or nationality and earned a Nobel Peace Prize Nomination in 2005 for building “bridges to peace” through equality in medical treatment. For more information, visit my.hadassah.org.