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May 2, 2023 12:48 pm

European Union Official Assures Israel No Funding for Palestinian Incitement and Terror


avatar by Dion J. Pierre

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen is seen during a visit to Germany. Photo: Reuters/Christian Marquardt

The European Union assured Israel on Tuesday that its aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) will not fund terror groups and programs inciting violence against Israel, in remarks first reported by i24. 

EU Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi made the commitment to Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen during his diplomatic meeting to Belgium, which included a session with European Parliament President Roberta Metsola.

“I agreed with Commissioner Varhelyi that the European Union will not transfer budgets to the Palestinian Authority that will be used for incitement against Israel,” Cohen announced after the meeting. “Israel is not opposed to aid to the Palestinian Authority, but we will not allow a situation in which these budgets go indirectly to terrorist activity or incitement against Israel.”

Officials with the EU Commission did not return The Algemeiner’s request for comment.

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Cohen added that he and Varhelyi discussed commissioning a study on antisemitism in Palestinian textbooks, a follow up to a 2019 report by the George Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research that analyzed 156 PA textbooks and found that they trafficked in antisemitic tropes, glorified terrorists, omitted references to Israeli-Palestinian peace-agreements, and excluded Israel from maps of the region.

Examples of antisemitic material provided to children living in territory controlled by the Palestinian Authority include study cards for eleventh graders accusing Jews of being “in control of global events through financial power,” assignments instructing seventh graders to describe Israeli soldiers as “Satan’s aides,” and a textbook chapter imploring Muslims to “liberate” the Al-Aqsa Mosque, according to Israeli education watchdog Impact-se.

Teachers and staff working at Palestinian schools, who are funded by money the EU gives to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA) also promote antisemitism and hate on social media and in the classroom, a report issued by Impact-se in March said, citing over 200 examples of the problem.

UNRWA received over $511.5 million in funding from the European Union and United States in 2021. In May, the EU announced that it would contribute $266 million to the agency through 2024.

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

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