The European Parliament’s Budgetary Control Committee passed a motion condemning the Palestinian Authority for creating new school textbooks containing violent and hateful material using funding provided by the EU.The motion is part of the union's annual budgetary procedure that examines exactly how European taxpayer funds have been spent on projects it carries out.
This motion has effectively frozen EU funding to the PA during its deliberation, while funding conditionality is being examined.
The motion was proposed by the left-leaning Renew Europe Party and supported by the centrist European People's Party. It demands that the Palestinian Authority be “closely scrutinized” and that the curriculum be modified “expeditiously.”
The EU “deplores that problematic and hateful material in Palestinian school textbooks has still not been removed and is concerned about the continued failure to act effectively against hate speech and violence in school textbooks and especially in the newly created study cards,” the motion reads.
The EU "requests, therefore, the Commission to closely scrutinize that the Palestinian Authority and relevant experts modify the curriculum expeditiously,” it says.
The motion stemmed from a January 2022 report by the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se), which was presented to the committee's members in a series of meetings that took place in recent weeks, led by the institute's leadership.The IMPACT-se report went over thousands of pages of new teaching material produced by the PA which was found to be worse than current or previous Palestinian textbooks produced by PA civil servants – whose salaries are funded by the EU – that directly call for violence against Jews and Israel, as well as promote antisemitism.
“This new resolution received bipartisan support: left-leaning parliament members are as concerned about the Palestinian Authority teaching hate as their right-leaning colleagues," IMPACT-se CEO Marcus Sheff said. "Meanwhile, a funding freeze worth hundreds of millions of euros is in place because of the textbooks.
“The issue is being discussed by EU member state ministers and the EU Commission president," he said. "But the Palestinian Authority leadership remains unshakable in its belief that teaching to follow in the footsteps of a terrorist like Dalal al-Mughrabi is worth the pain. That’s a terrible decision.”
Deliberations on continued funding suspension and conditionality of EU funding to the PA have now reached EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and its College of Commissioners.