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EU Lawmakers Slam Palestinian Curriculum for Inciting Students to ‘Hate Jews, Emulate Terrorists’

avatar by Dion J. Pierre

A map of the Middle East from the PA issued textbook “Geography and History of Palestine, Grade 10.” Photo Credit: IMPACT-se.

European Union lawmakers are urging the European Commission to consider reducing funding to the Palestinian Authority (PA) if it continues refusing to purge its K-12 curriculum of materials that “incite schoolchildren to hate Jews and emulate terrorists.”

“This situation is simply intolerable, even more so as the EU is paying the salaries of the school teachers using this hateful material,” 32 members of the European Parliament wrote in a letter to the commission’s president on Tuesday. “This is a glaring violation of the most basic EU values and contradicts our common goal of working toward peace and the creation of a democratic Palestinian state.”

The European Commission has for years declared a “zero tolerance” policy for antisemitism, the signatories noted, but neglected to hold the PA accountable for failing to issue new textbooks based on the standards of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The EU continues to be the largest benefactor of the PA, which has seen donor funding significantly decrease since 2008, according to a November report by the World Bank.

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“While we wholeheartedly support EU funding for the PA, EU taxpayer money must never be misused for incitement,” wrote the lawmakers. “We urge you to include the possibility of a reduction of funding in case the PA continues to refuse to make the necessary changes in the textbooks.”

Israeli education watchdog IMPACT-se issued a report in January highlighting examples of antisemitism in the PA’s curriculum for the 2021-2022 school year, including study cards for 11th graders that accuse Jews of being “in control of global events through financial power” and leveraging “Zionist influence” to trigger wars between major powers.

Marcus Sheff, the CEO of IMPACT-se, said on Wednesday that the parliament members who wrote to the European Commission are “angry and frustrated.”

“After passing legislation condemning the Palestinian textbooks and after the European Union extracted a commitment that it would remove the hate, the Palestinian Authority clearly set out to deceive Brussels by simply reprinting the old books for the new year,” Sheff said. “The EU was entirely unaware of this and of the ten thousand pages of new, hateful teaching material the PA produced on their dime. The legislators have good reason to be outraged.”

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