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EU Investigates Palestinian Curricula over Alleged Hate Education

EU Investigates Palestinian Curricula over Alleged Hate Education

Friday, 17 May, 2019 - 08:30
Pupils gather in front of a school run by the United Nations Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) in Gaza City on August 29, 2018, on the first day of classes after the summer holidays. (AFP/ Mahmud Hams)

The European Union (EU) has decided to investigate the new Palestinian textbooks after reports said they promote against peace with Israel.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini stated that the EU took this decision after a study by a non-government organization showed that the new Palestinian textbooks are even more radical than previous editions.

The purpose of the probe is to "identify possible incitement to hate and violence and non-compliance with UNESCO standards regarding peace and tolerance in education," Mogherini said.

"Incitement to violence is incompatible with the promotion of the two-state solution, and greatly exacerbates the lack of trust between the communities,” she added.

The EU grants the Palestinian Authority annually around EUR360 million, much of which goes to the Education Ministry. The EU passed a legislation in April 2018 to prevent hateful content in Palestinian textbooks.

The Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education, IMPACT-SE, published last month a 70-page document with hundreds of examples of incitement for hate in the new Palestinian textbooks.

According to the investigation by IMPACT-SE, the 2018-2019 curriculum has intentionally omitted studies about peace or the presence of Jews before 1948.

"The European Union is the largest financial donor to the Palestinian Ministry of Education. But European taxpayers' money and good will have been abused for years, with generations of young Palestinians systematically undergoing radicalization," said Marcus Sheff, CEO of the institute.

 "There is no excuse and no justification. The PA takes hundreds of millions of euros and in return educates millions of children to violence, hatred, and Jihad. We hope that the EU's in-depth examination of this issue will help put an end to this abuse of children and will finally enable young Palestinians to finally receive a meaningful education for peace and tolerance,” he added.

However, the Palestinian Ministry of Education said that its previous and updated curricula are committed to the message of openness, independence, and international standards. They also reinforce the identity and belonging to the Palestinian community and demand the end of the occupation, it said.

The ministry added that in the past two years it requested an impartial European committee to compare the Israeli and Palestinian curricula but Israel rejected the move, which means that the occupation’s curricula are full of incitement.

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