Unprecedented: EU body links textbook antisemitism to Palestinian attacks

European Parliament resolution contains unprecedented criticism against the Palestinians for the inciting textbooks it pays for; says will freeze funding until changes made

The European Parliament passed a resolution condemning the Palestinian Authority for continuing to incite violence, antisemitism and hatred in its textbooks. It is the fourth year in a row that such a resolution was passed, but is the first resolution to demand its removal. The resolution passed on Wednesday called to freeze of funding to the Palestinian Authority until its curriculum is adjusted to international standards of peace and tolerance and hatred is removed.
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The books are written by officials of the content development division of the Palestinian Ministry of Education, whose salaries are paid by the European Union. The condemnation decision passed by a majority of votes and was accepted following support of the center-left parties who voted in favor of a resolution text with unprecedented critical wording against the Palestinians compared to previous years.
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כוח הכבידה של ניוטון בשיעור מדעים לכיתה ז' מלמדים באמצעות השימוש ברוגטקות שמכוונות כלפי חיילים
כוח הכבידה של ניוטון בשיעור מדעים לכיתה ז' מלמדים באמצעות השימוש ברוגטקות שמכוונות כלפי חיילים
Newton's Law of Gravity is taught in a 7th-grade textbook through rockets aimed at soldiers
For the first time, a European condemnation resolution explicitly links the incitement in the textbooks it funds to the recent increase in Palestinian terrorist attacks by schoolchildren and teenagers.
The resolution recognizes for the first time the existence of antisemitism in the textbooks and explicitly demands its removal; previous resolutions that were adopted only mentioned incitement to violence without directly calling for the removal of problematic content, but with a more vague call to use content that would adhere to the values of the United Nations.
The wording of the resolution repeats a threat to withhold funding from the Palestinian Authority that was passed by the parliament in December, as first reported by Ynet, if the textbooks do not change.
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EU statement
EU statement
EU statement threatens to withhold funding until incitement is removed
(Photo: Screenshot)
The text of the resolution even repeats and emphasizes that the hateful content has not yet been removed – contrary to the Palestinians' repeated claims and promises to the European Union that the books have undergone a positive change, and refers to the repeated requests of the European Parliament to the Palestinians on the issue while demanding that the Palestinian Authority change the "complete curriculum quickly."
The European Parliament voted no less than five times Wednesday before the final vote on the resolution of condemnation against separate attempts to delete or refine the text of the resolution, after an extensive lobbying campaign by the Palestinian delegation to Brussels and pro-Palestinian organizations. These efforts failed.
The condemnation comes as part of the European Union's annual monitoring of its budget that examines how taxpayers' money was invested in projects carried out by the EU and was passed by an overwhelming majority of votes, with 451 for and 151 against, and five abstentions.
For the first time, a European condemnation resolution explicitly links the incitement in the textbooks it funds to the recent increase in Palestinian terrorist attacks by schoolchildren and teenagers
The European Union Commissioner in charge of aid funds for the Palestinians, Olivér Várhelyi, announced last week that European Union funds will not be used for incitement toward Israel and promised during a meeting with Foreign Minister Eli Cohen that the EU will finance further research on incitement and antisemitism in Palestinian Authority textbooks.
The European Union Commission also addressed the issue of incitement in the Palestinian Authority's textbooks during a hearing in the plenary of the European Parliament held in preparation for the vote. European Union Equality Commissioner Helena Dalli said that the EU will work to bring all Palestinian teaching materials into "full compliance" with international standards of peace and tolerance.
In December, the European Union Commission said that "vital" changes are required in the Palestinian Authority's curriculum while promising that "further reform of the curriculum will address problematic issues in the shortest possible period of time."
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הפרלמנט של האיחוד האירופי ב שטרסבורג צרפת
הפרלמנט של האיחוד האירופי ב שטרסבורג צרפת
European Parliament in Strasbourg, France
(Photo: Reuters)
In May 2021, the European Union suspended its full funding to the Palestinian Authority for more than 13 months for using European aid funds to write new textbooks that incite violence after a similar resolution passed by its parliament calling for aid funds to be conditional.
Studies and policy recommendations of the international research institute IMPACT-se, which researches and analyzes the contents of textbooks around the world to encourage contents of peace and tolerance, formed the basis of the action for the condemnation decision following the presentation of studies on the contents of the textbooks of the Palestinian Authority by Israel and other countries in the region in recent years.
"This is a big embarrassment for the Palestinians, who acted tough in Brussels against the decision," Marcus Sheff, CEO of the research institute, said "This is an indication of Europeans' outrage and frustration with a Palestinian national strategy of inciting schoolchildren to hatred and violence with their taxpayers' money, year after year. This will surely be taken into account by the European Commission and will affect the funds for the Palestinians, according to the commissioner Olivér Várhelyi, who stated last week that the Union funds can no longer be used for incitement against Israel."
Arik Agassi, the institute's deputy director, said: "The research and policy institute IMPACT-se will continue to work with governments and ministries of education in Israel, the Middle East and the world to promote values of acceptance of the other, peace and tolerance in textbooks."
First published: 11:44, 05.11.23
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