Monday, 5 Jun 2023 - 16 of Sivan, 5783

European Parliament again condemns the PA for not removing hateful content in school textbooks

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For the first time, the European Parliament explicitly  acknowledges the existence of antisemitism in Palestinian school textbooks and explicitly demands its removal.

A resolution adopted at a large majority reiterates a threat to withhold funding from the PA, should textbooks fail to align with UNESCO standards.

The European Parliament has voted Wednesday a resolution condemning the Palestinian Authority (PA) for inciting to violence, antisemitism, and hate in its school textbooks for the fourth consecutive year, insisting that the EU freeze its funding to the PA until its curriculum is aligned with UNESCO standards and hate is removed.


The resolution was passed with a large majority of 421 in favor, 151 against, and 5 abstentions, with the support of the major center-left and center-right parties. The wording is noticeably more critical of the PA, compared to those previously passed by the European Parliament.

For the first time, an EU resolution explicitly links the drafting of PA textbooks it funds to ongoing Palestinian terrorism and, especially, to attacks perpetrated by young people. It acknowledges the existence of antisemitism and explicitly demands its removal. Previous resolutions mentioned incitement to violence without directly calling for the removal of antisemitism. The resolution reiterates a threat to withhold funding from the PA, should textbooks fail to align with UNESCO standards.

The resolution reiterates that hateful content “has still not been removed,” in contrast with repeated claims by the Palestinian Authority. It mentions repeated requests by the European Parliament to remove hateful content which has not been addressed; and calls to “closely scrutinize” the PA in order for it to change its “full curriculum expeditiously.”

The Parliament voted down separate attempts to delete the resolution five times, following an extensive lobbying campaign by the Palestinian delegation to Brussels and pro-Palestinian NGOs. ‘’This is an embarrassing defeat for the Palestinians in the capital of their largest donor,’’ commented the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se) which worked  alongside legislators and administrators in Brussels, ensuring that incitement to violence and hatred in PA textbooks remains a hot-button issue.

This week’s vote was part of the EU’s annual oversight of its budget, scrutinizing how European taxpayer funds have been spent through projects carried out by the EU.

Last week, European  Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi, whose department oversees all aid to the Palestinian Authority announced  that the EU “will make sure it’s not funding Palestinian textbooks that incite against Israel.”


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