Europe

Labour MP Calls UK Funding of Hate-Filled Palestinian Textbooks a “Scandal”

A Labour MP has described the use of British taxpayers’ money to fund a Palestinian school curriculum which incites violence against Israelis and propagates anti-Semitic material as a “scandal,” The Jewish Chronicle reported Tuesday.

Dame Louise Ellman, vice-chair of the Labour Friends of Israel, said in parliament that the minds of Palestinian children were “being poisoned” with hatred and “the opportunity for Britain to help promote the values of peace, reconciliation and coexistence squandered.”

The MP for Liverpool Riverside said: “This is not about a peaceful future. It is a scandal.” Dame Louise added: “Five-year-olds taught the word for ‘martyr’ as part of their first lessons in Arabic. Eleven-year-olds taught that martyrdom and jihad are ‘the most important meanings of life’.”

Flanked by LFI chair Joan Ryan and supported by Labour MPs Ian Austin and Rachel Reeves, Dame Louise observed: “Outside the classroom, too, children are subjected to a barrage of vicious antisemitic propaganda. Children’s programmes on official PA TV feature children reciting poems calling Jews ‘barbaric monkeys, ‘the sons of pigs’ and the ‘most evil among creations’.”

Dame Louise was speaking as she introduced her International Development Assistance (Values Promoted in Palestinian National Authority Schools) Bill in parliament on Tuesday.

The legislation demands that teaching programs in schools run by the Palestinian Authority (PA) that receive financial assistance from Britain should promote values such as peace, freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination.

Britain is set to donate £125 million ($160 million) to the (PA) by 2021, of which £20 million ($25.6 million) will be devoted to the education curriculum.

“Take the naming by the PA of schools, summer camps and sports tournaments after terrorist murderers and Nazi collaborators – at least 20 PA schools in the West Bank and Gaza named after terrorists and three after Nazi collaborators,” Dame Louise noted.

“Ministers have been repeatedly asked to suspend all aid to the PA which directly or indirectly finances those teaching and implementing this curriculum until fundamental changes are made. They have refused to do so. It is now time to require them to act,” she continued.

Dame Louise’s bill also requires the British government to release an annual review to ensure that funds are spent in line with UNESCO-derived standards of peace and tolerance in education.

The British Department for International Development recently came under fire for politicizing a review of incitement against Jews in Palestinian textbooks, after it was revealed that the investigation will also include an assessment of Israeli textbooks.

The problem of incitement in PA textbooks prompted the European Union’s Parliament to pass legislation in April 2018 that would prohibit EU aid from funding anti-Israel texts.

In 2017, IMPACT-se reported that PA textbooks had become even “more radical,” despite assurances from the PA Ministry of Education that they hadn’t. Marcus Sheff, CEO of IMPACT-se, observed, “There is clear evidence of a strategy of radicalization of young Palestinians, devised and implemented by the ministry, which includes a commitment to an Arab Palestine encompassing the entirety of Israel.”

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