A European Parliament has recently adopted a resolution "strongly condemning" the Palestinian Authority for incitement to violence and antisemitism in its school textbooks.
The resolution, adopted on December 14, emphasized the European Union is currently funding this material, and would have to suspend the funding in case of misuse.
The resolution was supported by a large majority of lawmakers, and was part of a motion regarding “prospects for the two-state solution.
Items number 28 and 29 address the Palestinian education curriculum, stating that EU-funded teaching must align with "UNESCO standards of peace, tolerance, co-existence and non-violence." The EU also states that it "strongly condemns the hate speech, violence and antisemitism that continue to be found on Palestinian Authority education curricula.”
Many MEPs stressed that if misuse of funds in this manner persists any longer, funding from the EU would be suspended indefinitely.
MEP Miriam Lexman, a central figure from the Slovak European People’s Pzrty (EPP) described Palestinian textbooks as “a key impediment to the resolution of the conflict.”
Dutch MEP Bert-Jan Ruissen, a member of the Reformed Political Party, part of the European Conservatives and Reformists said: “Is it too much to ask to attach a stipulation to subsidies to the Palestinian Authority? Whereby there are guarantees that our money won’t go to terrorist organizations and won’t be used for textbooks glorifying violence?”
EU’s Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli said it was "essential" to make significant changes to the curriculum.
In response to the decision, the PA said in a statement that that “the State of Palestine deeply regrets and is concerned about efforts by certain quarters in the European Parliament to inject false claims and attacks against Palestinian children, institutions, and UNRWA.”
On their end, Hamas that controls the Gaza Strip also released a statement in English, condemning "fallacies and positions" and accusing the EU of "an appalling bias towards Israel."
It's worth noting that the same textbooks are also used by UNRWA, which receives American financial backing.
Oliver Varhelyi, an EU commissioner who is overseeing the issue, said that a second review of textbooks is forthcoming and that the appropriate measures will be taken if the situation does not change.
For three years now, the EU has voted in favor of a clause in its annual budget, saying the PA must be "closely scrutinized" due to their failure to act effectively against hate speech.
Marcus Sheff, CEO of the pro-Israel organization Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-SE), said: “Hamas and the Palestinian Authority are in lockstep on the teaching of antisemitism, and incitement to violence in Palestinian schools."
The Israel-based NGO monitors education curricula around the world to ensure that they meet UNESCO standards.
i24NEWS contributed to this report