Palestinian Authority textbooks have remained largely unchanged and still contain incitement to violence and hatred despite European Union promises to work with the PA to revise them, according to a study by the Palestinian Authority. Israeli nonprofit IMPACT-found last week.
Following an in-depth study of Palestinian textbooks conducted in 2021, a European Union spokesperson said that while most PA teaching materials meet international standards, some encourage ‘antagonism towards Israel’ .
“We have agreed to work with the Palestinian Authority to this end…with the express purpose of promoting and facilitating change,” she said. “The European Union has absolutely no tolerance for hatred and violence as a means of achieving political goals.”
According to the IMPACT-se report, however, many of the same problematic programs remain in effect in PA schools many months later.
The report provides numerous examples of what the organization calls incitement to violent terrorism. Dalal Mughrabi, known in Israel for her role in a brutal 1978 terror attack, is hailed in the textbooks as a heroic resistance fighter. Violence is described as a “legitimate right” for Palestinians seeking to “resist the occupation”.
In an Islamic education textbook, fifth-grade Palestinian students are told their “duty to Al-Aqsa Mosque” – Islam’s third holiest site – includes “jihad and martyrdom in pursuit of its liberation “. The non-profit organization notes that Israeli rule is frequently described as “deadly and oppressive”.
The textbooks also say that Zionism is a “racist ideology” based on “false premises” such as the membership of Jews in “one national group”.
The Palestinians reject the argument that their textbooks constitute an incitement. In a speech at the United Nations last year, PA President Mahmoud Abbas defended the program as merely expressing their national narrative.
“We are made to explain and justify what appears in our educational materials, even if it explains our narrative and our national identity. Meanwhile, no one is asking to review Israeli programs and media, so the world can see the true incitement of Israeli institutions,” Abbas said.
The European Union, the PA’s biggest donor, has at times raised concerns about Palestinian incitement. Between 2008 and 2020, Brussels donated around $2.5 billion in direct budget support to the PA.
Some European Union parliamentarians have called for tighter restrictions on aid to Ramallah until the latter revises the content of its textbooks. A measure launched last year to condition EU funding on such revisions was eventually scrapped.
“The Palestinian Authority seems to have gone to great lengths to deceive its donors. Faced with a clear call from the EU to create new textbooks free of hate and anti-Semitism, the PA simply reprinted the old ones,” IMPACT-SE director Marcus Sheff said in a statement. a statement.
In at least one case, however, a poem used in Palestinian textbooks appears to have been edited to remove hateful content. In the poem “O Jerusalem,” by famous Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani, a line blaming Jews for the death of Jesus was deleted.