Thursday, 2 Dec 2021 - 28 of Kislev, 5782

The British government ends funding to Palestinian education following report on antisemitism in school textbooks

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The British move came after a campaign waged by the country’s pro-Israel community, including the Jewish Leadership Council, Board of Deputies, Zionist Federation, the Conservative and Labour Friends of Israel groups, supported by a research from IMPACT-se,  an organization that analyzes schoolbooks and curricula for compliance with UNESCO-defined standards on peace and tolerance, and briefings to policymakers.

The British government has announced that it is has ended direct funding to Palestinian education.

The announcement came in a written response to Labour Party MP Andrew Gwynne who asked the minister about government plans to review the allocation of funds following the publication of the European Union’s report into the Palestinian curriculum that found multiple examples of antisemitism, hate and encouragement to martyrdom in the textbooks.

While not linking the cut directly to the report, British Minister of State for Middle East and North Africa James Cleverly stated that funding of Palestinian Authority education and health worker salaries have indeed ended.

The British move came after a campaign waged by the country’s pro-Israel community, including the Jewish Leadership Council, Board of Deputies, Zionist Federation, the Conservative and Labour Friends of Israel groups, supported by a research from IMPACT-se,  an organization that analyzes schoolbooks and curricula for compliance with UNESCO-defined standards on peace and tolerance, and briefings to policymakers.

Over the past five years the British government spent an estimated $137 million on salaries of Palestinian civil servants responsible for drafting the PA textbooks. The British government has admitted that these education officials are “involved in the implementation process” of the curriculum. Funding of UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, has not been affected by the government’s decision.

On June 30, Under-Secretary of State James Duddridge, confirmed “acceptance that the EU report found that there continues to be anti-Israel, antisemitic content” and this is “not acceptable to the House or to the Government.”

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