Monday, 13 Jul 2020 - 21 of Tammuz, 5780

Norway’s FM announces withholding of funds to PA education until textbooks are improved

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The announcement follows instructions given last December by the Norwegian parliament to withhold funding.

Last month, at IMPACT-se’s initative, the European Parliament passes three resolutions condemning the Palestinian failure to stop hate in school textbooks and oppose EU aid to the PA being used for this purpose.

Norway’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Ine Eriksen Søreide, has announced that more than half of this year’s planned funding to the Palestinian Authority’s education sector had been withheld until tangible improvements are made to the PA curriculum.

The Norwegian Minister cited his February meeting with PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh during which he warned of the move.

The announcement follows instructions given last December by the Norwegian parliament to withhold funding.

The cross-party parliamentary decision cited a        ‘’credible’’ report by IMPACT-se’s showing systematic insertions of violence, martyrdom and jihad across all grades and subjects in the Palestinian textbooks. IMPACT-se is a Jerusalem-based  watchdog which monitors peace and cultural tolerance in school education.

The parliament called the PA curriculum “devastating to the peace process.”

IMPACT-se and the Norwegian pro-Israel group MIFF presented to the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee members and the media, triggering the parliamentary declaration.

The decision will affect the NOK 55 million (5,19 million euros) sent by Norway to the PA each year.

Last month, at IMPACT-se’s initative, the European Parliament passes three resolutions condemning the Palestinian failure to stop hate in school textbooks and oppose EU aid to the PA being used for this purpose.

The resolutions were adopted as amendments by the European Parliament’s Committee on Budgetary Control by MEPs across the EU political spectrum.

The legislation notes that problematic material in Palestinian school textbooks has still not been removed, points to the continued failure to act effectively against hate speech and violence in Palestinian textbooks. It calls on the European Commission to ensure that salaries of teachers and education sector civil servants financed by the European Union are used to teach curricula that reflect UNESCO standards of peace, tolerance, coexistence and non-violence.

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