Malala Yousafzai, co-recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, has donated $50,000 to rebuild Palestinian schools in Gaza that sustained damage during this past summer’s escalation in conflict between Israel and Hamas.
The $50,000 is from the World’s Childrens Prize she received in Stockholm and all of it will be going to the UN Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) which works exclusively with Palestinian refugees. Unlike refugees from the rest of the world who flee their countries of origin to escape imprisonment or death, Palestinian refugee status passes from generation to generation and one never need to set foot in Gaza or the West Bank to be considered a Palestinian refugee.
Needless to say UNRWA was delighted with this development and posted Malala’s remarks concerning the donation:
I am honored to announce all my World’s Children’s Prize money will go to help students and schools in an especially difficult place – in Gaza.
I am donating these funds to The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, which is performing heroic work to serve children in Gaza, in very difficult circumstances.
The needs are overwhelming – more than half of Gaza’s population is under 18 years of age. They want and deserve quality education, hope and real opportunities to build a future.
This funding will help rebuild the 65 schools damaged during the recent conflict. Innocent Palestinian children have suffered terribly and for too long. We must all work to ensure Palestinian boys and girls, and all children everywhere, receive a quality education in a safe environment. Because without education, there will never be peace. Let us stand together for peace and education because together we are more powerful.
This development is troubling for several reasons. First, UNRWA has been aiding and abetting Hamas and used their schools to house Hamas rockets. When this came to light, UNRWA simply gave the rockets back to Hamas.
Malala says “without education, there will never be peace.” Yet UNRWA funded schools have had a long history of de-legitimizing and encouraging violence against Israel, promoting the right of return for all present and future Palestinians. UNRWA does not supply its own textbooks, but rather uses ones supplied either by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank or Hamas in Gaza. There is nothing peaceable about Palestinian education.
Is Malala pro-Hamas or is she merely engaging in moral equivalence? Her statement during the Israel-Hamas conflict in July tends to suggest the latter in which she lamented the deaths of both Palestinians and called upon the international community to broker a ceasefire. Is Malala aware of UNRWA’s cozy relationship with Hamas? Or is she an idealistic, 17-year old who genuinely believes that her money will help bring about peace? Future words and deeds will determine whether Malala follows in the footsteps of other anti-Israel Nobel Laureates like Mairead Maguire, Bishop Desmond Tutu and President Obama.
There is no questioning Malala’s courage when it comes to promoting the education of girls in Pakistan. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of her decision to give money to UNRWA to rebuild schools which teach Palestinian children to hate Jews and yearn for the destruction of Israel.
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