'Camp Jihad' Partly Funded by US Tax Dollars?

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Imagine a summer camp that teaches children how to make "holy war" against their enemies.

If that's not bad enough, American tax money could be helping pay for the facilities where the lessons on jihad are held.

"Camp Jihad" is a 20-minute documentary film exposing summer camps that encourage Palestinian Arab children to take back their homes from Israel violently.

In one scene a teacher is coaching the children in a chant:

Teacher:  "Palestine is an Arab land from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea."
Children:  "Palestine is an Arab land from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea."

In another instance, one boy says in an interview, "Attacking stage-by-stage is not the right way. If we attack them altogether at once, that will be the answer."

When asked, "How will you defeat the Jews?" a second little boy says, "By missiles!"

The film also points to a connection between these camps and the United Nations.

While they weren't sponsored by the United Nations Relief Works Agency, they were held at UNRWA facilities. Some say that makes the organization just as responsible.

In the film, Amina Hinawi is identified as the UNRWA camp director in the Gaza Strip. Throughout the film, children are encouraged to say from where their families came.

They name Israeli cities, like Haifa and Jaffa.

"We teach the children about the villages they come from," Hinawi explained. "This way every child will be motivated to return to their village. UNRWA finances this summer camp."

Filmmaker David Bedein, who heads the Israel Resource News Agency said U.S. taxpayers and the international community fund UNWRA. 

"The director of UNRWA was in our office several years ago and explained everything happening in the UNRWA facility goes on with the permission and authorization of UNRWA," Bedein told CBN News.

In the film, a teacher tells her young students:

"While our families were having fun on the beach, we were having a barbecue, and a wolf appeared. Who is the wolf? The Jews! Isn't it true that the Jews are the wolf? What did the Jews do to us? They expelled and deported us! They killed and shot our families."

UNRWA takes care of millions of Palestinian refugees and their descendants. In fact, the Palestinians are the only refugee group with its own separate U.N. agency.

A spokesman told CBN News that UNRWA was not involved in the camps.
"It isn't an UNRWA summer camp. It has nothing to do with UNRWA," Christopher Gunnes said.

Further investigation revealed that UNRWA allowed a third party to use the facility for the camps. Israel says that makes the agency responsible.

"They acknowledged that this happened and they've discontinued relations with the third party who was using their facilities," Foreign Ministry spokesman Paul Hirschson told CBN News.

Hirschson said the West and the world should still be concerned.

"It's not the first time it's happening in UNRWA facilities even if it's not UNRWA itself who's doing it," he said.

"You know it's my money and your money. It's taxpayer money that's funding them and you would think that perhaps they would be able to vet the organizations they're allowing into their facilities," he said.

"UNRWA does not get money from the United Nations. It gets money from 38 democracies," Bedein explained. "The leading ones are the United States and the European Union."

"At the end of the day, this kind of violent brainwashing is not helpful to anybody," Hirschson said.

One scene summed up their aim. It showed little girls chanting, repeating after a teacher:

"Praise Jerusalem. It is the best city on earth. Long live Palestine."

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CBN News
Julie Stahl and Chris Mitchell

Julie Stahl and Chris Mitchell

CBN News Middle East Bureau

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