British NGO: UK taxes fund PA hate education

Britain denies damning report, says stringent checks in place to ensure aid doesn't fund propaganda.

By JONNY PAUL, JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT
January 19, 2008 22:30
3 minute read.
British NGO: UK taxes fund PA hate education

hamas mickey mouse 224.8. (photo credit: CNN)

British taxpayers are funding hate education and violence in the Middle East, according to a new report published by a British NGO over the weekend. In the first of a series of papers analyzing the effectiveness of Britain's overseas aid, the Tax Payers Alliance (TPA), which lobbies for lower taxes and better government, has published a report looking at the effects of British aid spending in the Palestinian territories. "Funding Hate Education" reveals disturbing evidence on the millions of pounds of British tax revenue has been funneled into hate education and promoting violence in the Middle East. Some of the money is even being used to fund school textbooks that teach children in Palestine to worship violence and hate all non-Muslims. "With moves towards a peace settlement at Annapolis and an American presidential visit to Israel, there is real hope that a peace deal can be reached," said Matthew Sinclair, author of the report and policy analyst at the TPA. "In order for a deal to stick over the long term, however, it is essential that the Palestinian population fully accepts it. This is why it is particularly concerning that British aid is supporting the radicalization of the Palestinian population, particularly the children." The report, launched by the TPA with the Conservative Friends of Israel in Parliament on Thursday, shows that part of the £47.5 million of British aid to the Palestinian territories goes towards textbooks that praise insurgents in Iraq and encourage execution of apostates and idealize martyrdom. The report offers as examples programs on the Palestinian Authority's official TV station. Many aimed at children urge violence against non-Muslims and promote the view that Israel should not exist. "We want to kill the Jews. Kill them one by one, make their children orphans and their wives widows," exhorted one televised sermon in November 2006. According to the report, one PA pre-school program, broadcast in 2004, featured the following exchange between a girl and a puppet: Girl: "If a boy comes in front of your house where a tree is planted and cuts it down, what would you do?" Tarabisho (the puppet): "I'll fight him and make a big riot. I'll bring AK-47s and I'll commit a massacre." "The future of the peace process in Israel and Palestine depends at least as much on positive attitudes among young Palestinians as it does on success at the negotiating table," Sinclair added. "British taxpayers' money is supporting the radicalization of Palestinian youth and hurting our objectives in the region. This needs to, and can, change." David Lidington, Shadow Foreign Office Minister, said he was "disturbed" by the report's findings. "It is imperative that future generations... are taught a message of reconciliation and mutual understanding," he said. Lidington said he had contacted representatives of both the Palestinian Authority and the UN Relief and Works Agency to discuss the issues raised in the TPA report. Conservative MP Patrick Mercer said it worried him "deeply that British taxpayers' money is being used, quite improperly, for destructive purpose... While aid needs to be directed to the needy, its abuse for terrorist purposes is grotesque." Hannu Takkula, vice-chairman of the European Parliament's Committee on Culture and Education, said that children's rights "include [the] right to a hate-free educational system. Since the EU is financially supporting the Palestinian administration, including the educational system, it has to ensure that the values taught to these kids correspond to the fundamental values of Europe itself." A spokesman for the Department for International Development said in response to the TPA report that "[The UK doesn't] fund the PA directly and therefore [doesn't] fund textbooks. UK aid is spent on helping Palestinians to pay doctors and teachers, maintain water and electricity supplies and support refugees." The spokesman said that the department ran "stringent checks" to ensure that aid money was not being used to fund violent propaganda.


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