Thursday, 23 May 2019 - 18 of Iyyar, 5779

EU to investigate incitement to hatred and violence in Palestinian school textbooks

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BRUSSELS—The European Union will investigate incitement to hatred and violence in the Palestinian curriculum, EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said in response to a question from a member of the European Parliament.

In her written answer to Croatian European Parliament member Marijana Petir, from the European People’s Party (EPP), Mogherini, who is also Vice-President of the European Commission, said :  ‘’It can be confirmed that an academic study on Palestinian school textbooks is planned. Necessary funds have been reserved in the 2019 budget.’’

She added that the study shall be carried out by an independent and internationally recognised research institute. ‘’Terms of Reference for the study are currently being prepared with a view to identifying possible incitement to hatred and violence and any possible lack of compliance with Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) standards of peace and tolerance in education,’’ she said.

The study is to provide for a comprehensive analysis of the current Palestinian textbooks. The work on the study is likely to start in spring 2019.

Mogherini stressed that ‘’incitement to violence is fundamentally incompatible with advancing a peaceful two-state solution and is greatly exacerbating mistrust between the communities.’’ ‘’The EU has therefore repeatedly discussed this issue with the two parties,’’ she concluded.

The EU is the largest financial donor to the Palestinian Ministry of Education.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini : ‘’It can be confirmed that an academic study on Palestinian school text books is planned. Necessary funds have been reserved in the 2019 budget.’’

The fact that the EU is taking the lead in investigating incitement in the Palestinian  text books is a results of the campaign of IMPACT-se, a research policy and advocacy organisation that monitors and analyzes education, in the European Parliament and the European Commission to seek changes to the Palestinian curriculum whose textbooks encourage young Palestinians to engage in violence, jihad and martyrdom, which are widely and systematically inserted across all grades and subjects. The books contain anti-Semitic tropes and reject peacemaking as the way to resolve conflict.

Through IMPACT-se lobbying, the European Parliament passed unprecedented legislation in April 2018 designed to prevent EU aid to the PA from being used to teach hate. In September 2018, the parliament’s Budget Committee voted to freeze €15 million in aid to the PA Ministry of Education.

‘’EU taxpayer money and goodwill have been abused for years while whole generations of young Palestinians are systematically radicalized,’’ said IMPACT-se.

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