Letter to the editor: Palestinian UNESCO Acceptance Bogus

  Dear editor, If you were a teacher, would you pass a student who does not meet the criteria to pass?  Accepting the Palestinians into the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is the equivalent of passing a failing student.  Despite the lopsided vote in favor of admitting the Palestinians, UNESCO has set out requirements that a country must meet in theorganization’s codex. These criteria include a fact-based school curriculum and media.  Numerous non-governmental organizations have reported that these schools have designed a curriculum intended to incite hatred and violence against Israel and Jews, denying Israel’s very right to exist.  This is not a recipe for peace and coexistence. NGOs have reported that the curriculum and media directed at children “actively praises and glorifies Jihad,” martyrdom, suicide bombers and the mass murder of Jews.  This acceptance of Palestine into UNESCO is much more serious than giving a failing student a passing mark.  Relaxing and ignoring the standards in order to admit the Palestinians may be a deal-breaker when it comes to the possibility of achieving peace between Israel and Palestine.  The future leaders of Palestine are being taught from before kindergarten to hate Israel.  According to Eldad Pardo of the Hebrew University, “this does not coincide with UNESCO’s principles.” It is important to note that Israel has also been a member of UNESCO and has met all of UNESCO’s criteria.  Its educational system does not incite against Palestinians, and the Yitzhar yeshiva was recently shut down by the Israeli government on the mere suspicion of incitement. To exempt Palestine from the accepted standard of behavior applied to other states is also demeaning and insulting to the Palestinians.  Are the countries of the world trying to say that Palestinians are too backward to live up to global criteria?  Would passing a failing student even out of pity be a moral thing to do?  I would propose that such a policy hinders that student, or in this case, the Palestinians from reaching their full potential.  This recognition sends the message that Palestinians don’t have to recognize or work towards peace with Israel. This precedent will not bring peace to the Middle East — only negotiations can do that.  Nor does it bode well for civil rights and democracy in a Palestinian state. Sincerely, Jeremiah Rozman Class of 2014