Watchdog group IMPACT-se succeeds in getting European Parliament to pass resolutions demanding an end to EU funding of Palestinian education unless incitement is removed from the textbooks.
By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel
The European Parliament passed resolutions Thursday condemning the Palestinian Authority (PA) for continuing to teach hate and for using European Union (EU) aid to fund Palestinian textbooks that feature incitement against Israel.
The resolutions came after ongoing briefings of European legislators by the watchdog group IMPACT-se, which documented in detail the PA’s refusal to change textbooks that teach hate speech and violence in opposition to European standards.
IMPACT-se director Marcus Sheff said the aim is to prevent the abuse of EU aid used to pay the salaries of Palestinian teachers who teach hate and incitement. The parliamentary resolutions called on the European Commission to ensure that hundreds of millions of Euros in annual EU funding to the PA will only used to promote peace and tolerance in Palestinian schools.
“This parliament, which oversees the spending of the European Commission, is clearly exasperated by the continued payment of massive grants to the Palestinian educational sector, which is then promptly turned into one of the most hate-filled, violent and extreme curricula worldwide. We are proud to have worked with members to pass these resolutions,” Sheff said.
The EU legislation noted that problematic material in Palestinian school textbooks has still not been removed and pointed to the continued failure to act effectively against hate speech and violence in Palestinian textbooks. The EU is also insisting that the salaries of teachers and education sector civil servants, financed by the EU, go towards teaching curricula that reflect UNESCO standards of peace, tolerance, coexistence and non-violence.
Sheff’s organization worked with EU parliamentarians to get the resolutions passed and has been meeting with key EU committees to keep the Palestinian curriculum “a hot-button issue.”
However, Sheff slammed the EU Commission for deciding to make his report on Palestinian incitement classified.
“Classifying the report is senseless and, frankly, seems highly suspicious,” he said, noting the EU is facing a “moment of truth” and must decide whether to continue to ignore the parliament that oversees its spending, now that it is aware that the EU is funding Palestinian incitement.
“EU funds should be spent on peace and mutual understanding,” said German legislator Niclas Herbst of the European People’s Party. “Paying teachers to teach anti-Semitism and incitement to violence through Palestinian schoolbooks should never be subsidized by EU-money. The result of votes today is a strong signal on this regard.”
The three resolutions were passed by an over 60 percent majority of the EU Parliament.