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Palestinian Authority Slammed by EU Budget Committee for New Textbooks With Increased Hate Speech and Violence




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The European Parliament’s Budgetary Control committee yesterday passed a
motion condemning the Palestinian Authority for drafting and teaching new
violent and hatful materials using EU funding. The motion is part of the EU’s annual budgetary procedure which scrutinizes how European taxpayer funds have been spent through projects carried out by the EU.

This as EU funding to the PA is frozen during deliberations on funding conditionality because of textbook hate.

The motion was proposed by left-leaning Renew Europe Party and supported by
the centrist EPP party. It demands that the Palestinian Authority be
“closely scrutinized” and that the curriculum be modified “expeditiously”.
The motion reads:

- *Deplores that problematic and hateful material in Palestinian school
textbooks has still not been removed and is concerned about the continued
failure to act effectively against hate speech and violence in school
textbooks and especially in the newly created study cards; reiterates its
position that all textbooks and materials supported by EU Funds which are
used in schools must be in line with UNESCO standards of peace, tolerance,
co-existence and non-violence; moreover, insists that salaries of teachers
and education sector civil servants that are financed from Union funds
such as PEGASE be used for drafting and teaching curricula which reflect
the UNESCO standards of peace, tolerance, coexistence, and non-violence, as
was decided upon by Union education ministers in Paris on 17 March 2015;
and European Parliament decisions on discharge in respect of the
implementation of the general budget of the European Union for the
financial years 2016, 2018 and 2019; requests therefore the Commission to
closely scrutinises that the Palestinian Authority (PA) and relevant
experts to modify the curriculum expeditiously.*

The motion is based on a January 2022 report by IMPACT-se that was presented to Committee members in a series of meetings in recent weeks by IMPACT-se’s leadership in the lead-up to the vote.

The IMPACT-se report uncovered thousands of pages of new teaching material
found to be worse than current or previous Palestinian textbooks produced
by PA civil servants whose salaries are funded by the EU that directly call
for violence and promote antisemitism.

As IMPACT-se pointed out to lawmakers, this material was written after the
EU Commission committed to a roadmap together with the PA to ensure new textbooks produced in 2021 would be free of hate.


IMPACT-se CEO Marcus Sheff said:

*This new resolution received bipartisan support: left-leaning parliament
members are as concerned about the Palestinian authority teaching hate as
their right-leaning colleagues. Meanwhile, a funding freeze worth hundreds
of millions of Euros is in place because of the textbooks. The issue is
being discussed by EU member state ministers and the EU Commission
President. But the Palestinian Authority leadership remains unshakable in
its belief that teaching to follow in the footsteps of a terrorist like
Dalal al-Mughrabi is worth the pain. That’s a terrible decision.*

French MEP Ilana Cicurel of the Renew Europe party said:

*The vote of our amendment by Budgetary Control committee members is a
clear call for action towards the EU to stop the funding and use of
educational contents that promote antisemitism and incite to hatred and
violence in Palestinian textbooks. In the aftermath of the recent wave of
terrorist attacks in which 11 Israelis were murdered we see where hate
leads. It is more than ever urgent to have educational material that fully
complies with UNESCO standards of peace, tolerance, coexistence and
non-violence. Since the beginning of the parliamentary term, we have been
asking the Commission to take pro-active measures to stop the spreading of
such contents in line with its own Strategy on combating anti-Semitism and
fostering Jewish Life. Not only is antisemitism incompatible with European
values, it is also unacceptable anywhere in the world *
German MEP Niclas Herbst of the EPP Party, Budget Committee Vice Chair said:

*I have a clear standpoint. There is zero tolerance for antisemitism and
promoting of violence. All Palestinian pupils have the right for an
education free of hatred and as long as we, the European Union finance an
education system we are also responsible for this. We need to talk about
funding, we need to talk about allocations. If we take our discharge
process (budgetary procedure) seriously, if we want to keep our credibility
we need to talk about the funding of the educational system in general,
because we cannot accept that this is financed with EU taxpayer money. We
should have zero tolerance when it comes to anitsemitism and it has to be
free of hate speech.*

Swedish MEP Charlie Weimers of the ECR party said:

*I’m delighted that the MEPs in the CONT Committee of the EP voted in
favour of the wording that deplores the problematic and hateful material in
Palestinian school textbooks and calls on the Commission to closely
scrutinise EU funding to the Palestinian Authority. For years, many of us
MEPs have spoken out about the incitement and support for terrorism that is
common in Palestinian society, including in its school curricula. I very
much welcome that this position is now adopted by the CONT Committee, and
hopefully soon by the whole* *EP. I would like to take the opportunity to,
once again, stress that terrorism has no place in society and runs counter
to a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I once more
strongly call on the Palestinian Authority, as well as the EU, to ensure
that Palestinian schoolbooks and educational material are fully in line
with UNESCO standards of peace, co-existence and non-violence.*

Deliberations on continued funding suspension and conditionality of EU
funding have now reached EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and
the College of Commissioners.

This according to a letter

sent by the leaders of left groups in the EU Parliament to the EU
Commission decrying the current funding freeze, demanding immediate
disbursement, and condemning any conditionality on textbook reform. Though
some aid is expected to be channelled to the PA later this year, the amount
to be made conditional on textbook reform is unknown.

The Committee vote follows statements made last week by Palestinian Prime
Minister Shtayyeh, Foreign Minister Maliki, and the PA curriculum chief
unequivocally refusing to pursue textbook reform after meetings held in
Ramallah with the EU Commissioner overseeing aid to the PA, visiting to
discuss the funding freeze due to textbook incitement.

IMPACT-se briefed Commissioner Varhelyi's office on the issue ahead of his
visit to Ramallah.

Palestinian PM Shtayyeh said during the meeting:

*The delay in European budget support for the past months had a negative
impact on the possibility of fulfilling our obligations towards the groups
that receive social support, as well as on the salaries of employees…. We
refuse to accept the conditioning of European aid.*

Foreign Minister Maliki said

*There is a problem of conditionality, which we are working to address.
These conditions focus on reforming the school curriculum as a prerequisite
for funds flowing in…"We will make it clear to him [Commissioner Varhelyi]
that we reject the idea of conditionality in return for restoring aid to
Palestine, and that he must reconsider his position and cancel this
conditionality. This is the message he will hear when he visits Palestine.*

PA curriculum chief, Tharwat Zaid doubled down on his support for textbooks
glorifying the murder of civilians and faulted IMPACT-se.

He said: *This European position is mainly linked to… ‘IMPACT-se’ … where they are
making attempts to incite against the Palestinian curriculum at the level
of European countries and the West in general… We are like any people in
the world. We have our symbols from Dalal al-Mughrabi, Abu Ammar, Ahmed
Yassin, Izz al-Din al-Qassam...etc. These are our symbols and heroes, and
they can only be present in our curricula as heroes.*


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