The British government has confirmed it will undertake a substantial review of Palestinian school textbooks amid concerns that aid money is funding a curriculum that is inciting violence against Jews and Israelis, The Jewish Chronicle reported Wednesday.
The Department for International Development (DFID) said it had “successfully pushed” for the review of primary and secondary textbooks used in schools operated by the Palestinian Authority (PA).
The Georg Eckert Institute, a leading international institute for analyzing education, has been commissioned by DFID to carry out the initial scoping report to expedite the full review. The report is due in September 2019 and will be produced by an international group of experts.
DFID said that if evidence of material which incites violence is found in the textbooks, they will take action. 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.
“The UK is rightly at the forefront of the international community on this issue. We are working closely with the PA to ensure that all Palestinian children receive a decent education and are able to fulfil their potential,” International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt stated.
The PA said it would “engage constructively” with the findings.
Dame Louise Ellman, vice-chair of the Labour Friends of Israel, said in parliament in January 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.” Dame Louise was speaking as she introduced the International Development Assistance (Values Promoted in Palestinian National Authority Schools) Bill.
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.”
The report showed that Palestinian children as young as five years old are being taught that those who sacrifice themselves will be rewarded with “72 virgin brides in paradise.” The textbooks also glorify Palestinian “martyrs,” a synonym often used for terrorists, and encourages Palestinian children to carry out “attacks” against Jews.
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