European Parliament committee votes to freeze €15M to PA over inciting textbooks

"There was only a vision of one state from the river to the sea, which is not EU policy," IMPACT-se CEO Marcus Sheff said.

Palestinian students display their new Palestinian educational syllabus at the beginning of his new school year in Gaza Strip September 7, 2000 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Palestinian students display their new Palestinian educational syllabus at the beginning of his new school year in Gaza Strip September 7, 2000
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The European Parliament’s budgetary committee voted to freeze more than 15 million euros from the Palestinian Authority if they do not remove incitement from their textbooks.
“The reserve will be released,” the bill reads, “when the Palestinian Authority has committed to reform its school curriculum and textbooks to bring them in line with UNESCO standards for peace and tolerance in school education.”
The bill, an amendment to the EU’s draft budget proposed by Budgetary Control Committee chairwoman MEP Dr. Ingeborg Grässle, is expected to go to a plenary vote on October 24. If the bill passes the plenary vote, the EU will withhold €15,440,597 until the PA changes its textbooks.
The European Union is the largest single donor to the Palestinian Authority.
“The textbooks published by the PA in 2017, which are financed by the EU... contain, across all subjects, numerous examples of violent depictions, hate speech – in particular against Israel – and glorifications of jihad and martyrdom,” the bill states. “As has already been pointed out by Parliament in its resolution on the 2016 budget discharge (par. 272), European Union-financed teaching and training programs should reflect common values.”
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IMPACT-se, a textbook analysis organization, said its recent report contributed to the budgetary committee’s decision.
“We are delighted that our policy recommendations have been taken up, and are certain this will help sway the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Education to stop inciting 1.2 million Palestinian children and take hate out of their curriculum,” IMPACT-se CEO Marcus Sheff told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.
Sheff explained that once European parliamentarians were made aware of the contents of PA textbooks, “no matter what part you’re in, you don’t want... to be paying to encourage jihad or a one-state solution.”
The IMPACT-se report showed there was no mention of Israel or two states for two nations living side by side. Israel was almost only referred to as the “Zionist occupation,” and the textbooks include antisemitic motifs and “incorporate the memes of heroism and martyrdom... in clashes with Israelis.”
“There was only a vision of one state from the river to the sea, which is not EU policy,” Sheff said.
IMPACT-se COO Arik Agassi cited “a very negative trend of serious anti-American content,” in Palestinian textbooks, including blaming the US for the September 11, 2001 attacks.