In a groundbreaking move, the Norwegian parliament has approved a cut to the Palestinian aid because of the lack of change in the Palestinian curriculum and the continued insertion of antisemitism, hate and incitement to violence and martyrdom this school year.
The Progress Party initiated the move to cut NOK 30 million (2,6 million $3.4 million) worth of funding, supported by the other governing parties in the Storting, the Norwegian parliament.
Progress Party MP Himanshu Gulati declared that “not a single krone should go to Palestinian education until this is clarified and they have stopped the hate education.’’
MP Sylvia Listhaug, deputy leader of the Progress Party, stressed that the Palestinian school curriculum ‘’abounds with calls for violence and hatred against Israel and for martyrdom to be glorified. It is quite clear that Norway cannot support this, therefore we want to cut this item.”
MP Toskedal of the Christian Democrat party, who is a member of the foreign affairs committee, said: “We have long been uneasy about both textbooks and teaching programs in the Palestinian territories. It is very important that the school focuses on peace and cooperation.”
In June, Norwegian Foreign Minister, Ine Eriksen Søreide, announced that more than half of the year’s planned funding to the Palestinian Authority’s education sector was being withheld until tangible improvements were made to the Palestinian curriculum. This followed on from an endorsement by the Norwegian parliament to withhold funding to the PA in December 2019.
Over the last month, IMPACT-se, the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education, an organization that documents hate speech in Palestinian educational materials, briefed the major parties from left to right of the Norwegian parliament on the lack of change in the Palestinian curriculum and the continued insertion of antisemitism, hate and incitement to violence and martyrdom this school year.
IMPACT-se CEO, Marcus Sheff, said: ‘’”Last December, the Norwegian parliament voted to withhold funds to the Palestinians until the textbooks were changed. That change did not happen. This year, parliament has again shown its responsibility by endorsing a cut to the PA aid budget. ‘’
He added: ‘’Until the hate and incitement is removed from Palestinian textbooks, the EU and European nations need to take note of Norway’s leadership on the issue, stop being a party to the daily incitement of Palestinian schoolchildren and to the embarrassing abuse of their own taxpayers’ funds.”
Conrad Myrland of the Norwegian pro-israel organization MIFF, which has also been active in briefing members of the parliament, commented: “The work of IMPACT-se in Norway over the last 16 months has been vital for the decision to cut the aid to the Palestinians in the 2021 state budget. It is clearly a reaction that is coming after MPs have been briefed on the education that is given in the schools and by the teachers Norway are funding in PA, and also because the budget coalition is fed up with PA’s “pay for slay” and other misuse of Norwegian’s taxpayers money.”