UNWRA chief acknowledges antisemitism and glorification of terrorism in Palestinian textbooks

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Neighborhood and Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi (pictured) declared that the European Union should see conditioning backing to the Palestinian Authority connected the removal of antisemitism and incitement to unit from its textbooks, writes Yossi Lempkowicz.

Varhelyi’s connection followed the work past Friday of a long-awaited EU-commissioned study connected Palestinian textbooks which amusement instances of antisemitism and incitement to violence. The study,  completed successful February, includes dozens of examples of encouragement of unit and demonization of Israel and of Jews.

The EU commissioned the study successful 2019 from the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research and kept it nether wraps for 4 months pursuing its completion. The EU straight funds the salaries of teachers and the writers of the textbooks, which promote and glorify unit against Israelis and Jews, according to the report.

The study is astir 200 pages agelong and examines 156 textbooks and 16 teachers’ guides. The texts are mostly from 2017-2019, but 18 are from 2020.

EU Commissioner for enlargement Varhelyi, whose portfolio covers each aid given to the Palestinian Authority and UNRWA by the EU and whose section initially commissioned the autarkic review, tweeted: “Firm committedness to combat antisemitism and prosecute with Palestinian Authority and UNRWA to beforehand prime acquisition for Palestinian children and guarantee afloat adherence to UNESCO standards of peace, tolerance, coexistence, non-violence successful Palestinian textbooks.”

He added that the “conditionality of our fiscal assistance successful the acquisition assemblage needs to beryllium duly considered,” implying that the EU mightiness information the continuation of its backing of the Palestinian acquisition assemblage to the removal of antisemitic and incitement to unit from schoolhouse textbooks.

The Vice President of the European Commission, Margaritis Schnias, who has the combat against antisemitism successful his portfolio, besides commented the work of the study by saying: “Hate and antisemitism person nary spot successful classrooms oregon anywhere. Peace, tolerance and non-violence indispensable beryllium afloat respected; they are non-negotiable.”

Last week, a cross-party radical of 22 members of the European Parliament sent a letter to the President of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, demanding that the assistance to the PA beryllium withheld implicit “preaching anti-Semitism, incitement, and the glorification of unit and terrorism… violating cardinal EU values and our declared extremity to assistance beforehand bid and the 2 authorities solution.”

The signatories included elder parliamentarians successful budgetary-related EU Parliament committees specified arsenic Monika Hohlmeier, Chair of the Budgetary Control Committee and Niclas Herbst, Vice Chairman of the Budgetary Affairs Committee, who said that “the secrecy of the EU Commission is counterproductive and incomprehensible.” He besides called for a 5% reserve connected EU backing to the PA and UNRWA, stating the withheld funds should beryllium redirected towards NGOs that adhere to UNESCO standards until the PA removes each hatred and incitement from its textbooks.
 ‘’We are highly grateful to Commissioner Varhelyi for his integrity. Ultimately, his section gives assistance to the Palestinian Authority’s acquisition strategy and it commissioned the study connected Palestinian textbooks. We commend him for his leadership, for cutting done the sound astir this report and intelligibly stating that the EU cannot beryllium a enactment to the backing of hate-teaching,’’ said Marcus Sheff, CEO of IMPACT-se, a probe and argumentation institute that monitors and analyzes acquisition successful the world,which independently assessed the EU report.

”The Palestinian Authority indispensable guarantee the precocious standards successful fostering a civilization of bid and coexistence”

Asked by European Jewish Press astir the conditionality of the EU fiscal assistance to changes successful the Palestinian acquisition sector, EU spokesperson Ana Pisonero said during the Commission midday briefing : ‘’Let’s beryllium wide that the EU doesn’t money Palestinian textbooks. Neverthelessn, the EU has funded an autarkic survey of Palestinian  textbooks against defined planetary benchmarks based connected the UNESCO standards connected peace, tolerance and non unit education. The purpose of the survey was to supply the EU with a critical,  comprehensive and nonsubjective ground for argumentation dialog with the Palestinian Authority successful the acquisition assemblage and to beforehand prime acquisition services including allegations of incitement.’’

She added: ‘’When it comes to the conclusions of the study, the investigation has revealed a  complex picture.The textbooks mostly adhere to UNESCO standards and follow the criteria that are salient successful planetary acquisition discours, including a beardown absorption connected quality rights. They explicit a communicative of absorption wrong the discourse of the Israeli-Palestinian struggle and they show an antagonism towards Israel.’’

The EU spokesperson besides stated that ‘’the EU remains committed to supporting the PA successful gathering the institutions of a aboriginal democratic, viable autarkic authorities that respects quality rights and lives broadside by broadside with Israel successful bid and security. This is the EU agelong lasting position. promoting precocious prime acquisition is peculiarly important successful this context. The Palestinian Authority indispensable guarantee the precocious standards successful fostering a civilization of bid and coexistence, paving the mode for a aboriginal wherever the struggle tin beryllium resolved done negotiations starring to a two-state solution.’’

‘’We reiterate our uniquevocal committedness to cooperate with the Palestinian Authority to beforehand afloat compliance of its acquisition worldly with the UNESCO standards of peace, tolerance, coexistence and non violence,’’ she said, adding that the EU ‘’will measurement up its engagement with the PA connected the ground of the survey with the purpose to guarantee that further program betterment addresses problematic issues successful the shortest imaginable clip framework and that the Palestinian Authority takes work to surface textbooks not analyzed successful the study. We person agreed to enactment with the PA to acceptable retired a circumstantial roadmap for this enactment which indispensable see a broad strategy of argumentation dialogue, continued engagement and incentives with the explicit intent of promoting, monitoring and facilitating change.’’ ‘’This roadmap indispensable besides found an nonsubjective and credible process of screening and monitoring of acquisition worldly for which the PA volition beryllium afloat liable and volition amusement coherence with UNESCO standards.’’

The EU spokesperson ended her agelong effect by saying that the European Union ‘’has perfectly nary tolerance for incitement to hatred and unit arsenic a mean to execute governmental goals, and antisemitism successful each its forms. This principles are non-negotiable for this Commission.’’

In a statement, the Israeli overseas ministry said: “The information that EU assistance to the PA acquisition strategy is utilized to nutrient antisemitic propaganda worldly that encourages hatred, unit and terrorism, alternatively of promoting a peaceful solution to the conflict, harms the imaginable of coexistence and establishing bully and encouraging neighborly relations.’’

‘’The European Commission indispensable instrumentality the study earnestly and instrumentality applicable steps to halt European assistance until the problems with the study are rectified, it said, adding that the EU tin intimately show wherever its backing is going,’’ it added.

Dozen examples of encouragement of unit successful textbooks 

The study includes dozens of examples of encouragement of violence and demonization of Israel and of Jews.

The textbooks contiguous “ambivalent – sometimes hostile – attitudes toward Jews and the characteristics they property to the Jewish people… Frequent usage of antagonistic attributions successful narration to the Jewish people… suggest a conscious perpetuation of anti-Jewish prejudice, particularly erstwhile embedded successful the existent governmental context.”

An workout successful 1 religious-studies textbook asks students to sermon the “repeated attempts by the Jews to termination the prophet” Muhammad and asks who are “other enemies of Islam.”

“It is not truthful overmuch the sufferings of the Prophet oregon the actions of the companions that look to beryllium the absorption of this teaching portion but, rather, the alleged perniciousness of the Jews,” the study said.

The study identifies “the instauration of a transportation betwixt the stated deception of the ‘Jews’ successful the aboriginal days of Islam and the insinuated behaviour of Jews today,” calling it “extremely escalatory.”

One textbook ties Muhammad’s aunt, who clubbed a Jew to death, to a question astir Palestinian women’s steadfastness successful the look of “Jewish Zionistic occupation.”

One textbook promotes a conspiracy mentation that Israel removed the archetypal stones of past sites successful Jerusalem and replaced them with ones bearing “Zionist drawings and shapes.”

The conception of “resistance” is simply a recurring taxable successful the textbooks studied, on with calls for the Palestinians to beryllium liberated via a revolution. To clarify the concept, 1 textbook has a photograph with the caption, “Palestinian revolutionaries,” featuring 5 masked men toting instrumentality guns.

Glorification and praise of terrorists who attacked Israelis tin beryllium recovered not lone successful past oregon social-studies books, but besides successful subject and mathematics books, specified arsenic 1 that mentions a schoolhouse named aft the “shahid” (martyr) Abu Jihad, a person of the First Intifada.

The study besides confirms the removal of each bid agreements summits and proposals that were antecedently included successful the Palestinian program post-Oslo Accords person been removed including the “omission of the transition that speaks of opening a caller epoch of peaceful coexistence escaped of unit reflects the existent concern betwixt the 2 parties, which does not supply a roadmap to non-violence and bid acceptable to each sides involved.”

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Shtayyeh responded to the report, rejecting its findings and stating that Palestinian textbooks accurately bespeak Palestinian nationalist aspirations and that they cannot beryllium judged by European standards.

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