”UNRWA strengthens terrorism,” Barkat charged, holding up a school textbook that praises a notorious Palestinian terrorist.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat called on the State of Israel to assert its sovereignty in its capital and to ensure that the United Nations agency dedicated solely to the so-called Palestinian refugees is removed from the city.
“Money is not an excuse, and budget is not a consideration when we come out and say: in Jerusalem there are no refugees, there are residents, and sovereignty is ours,” Barkat said Wednesday during the Knesset’s Internal Affairs Committee’s meeting on the Jerusalem Municipality’s plan to remove the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) from the capital.
Earlier this month, Barkat announced that Jerusalem is in the process of removing UNRWA from the municipality for “creating a false sovereignty.” He is pushing to have UNRWA-run schools closed by the end of the current school year.
”UNRWA strengthens terrorism,” Barkat charged. He showed the committee a textbook taught at UNRWA schools that praises notorious Palestinian terrorist Dalal Mughrabi.
Mughrabi led the most lethal terror attack in Israel’s history, known as the Coastal Road massacre in 1978, during which she and other Fatah terrorists hijacked a bus on Israel’s Coastal Highway, murdering 37 civilians, 12 of them children, and wounding over 70.
”This is what the children of Jerusalem are being taught under their care — terrorism,” the mayor added. ”And this must stop.”
A recent survey of new textbooks issued by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and used by Palestinian students, shows that they continue to express the same basic principles that appeared in previous textbooks: delegitimizing the state of Israel, encouraging violence and omitting any trace of encouragement for peace.
The books, which are strongly hostile to Israel and the Jewish people, are also used by UNRWA-run schools.
Time to End ‘Historical Distortion’
”The time has come to remove UNRWA from Jerusalem and replace their failing education, welfare, health and cleaning services with municipal services. This is also the desire of the Arab residents themselves,” he underscored.
He noted that President Trump’s decision to cut support to UNRWA earlier this year “created a window of opportunity for implementing a plan and putting an end to this historical distortion.”
”The time has come to stop this lie about refugees in Jerusalem,” Barkat said. ”They are not refugees, but residents who need to receive services from the municipality like any other resident. Money is not an excuse. It costs us two percent of the city’s total budget.”
Committee Chairman MK Yoav Kisch seconded Barkat when he said that “on a diplomatic level, there is a window of opportunity. I accept the criticism that this should have been done sooner, but it was more difficult.”
MK Yehuda Glick said that Barkat’s decision “to begin a process of removing the trash from Jerusalem must include this trash that is called UNRWA, a body which deals solely in incitement rather than education.”
“They take people who want to integrate into Israeli society in Jerusalem, want to be a part of Israeli society, and encourage them not to integrate, not to move forward academically and stay behind. They teach them that Israel is the enemy,” he added.