EU Insists on Tolerance in Palestinan Authority Textbooks

YERUSHALAYIM -

The European Union parliament has for the first time advanced legislation designed to prevent hateful content in Palestinian textbooks published with EU funding, The Times of Israel reported on Wednesday.

“The European Parliament… insists that educational material financed by Union funds, including PEGASE [Mécanisme Palestino-Européen de Gestion de l’Aide Socio-Economique], comply with the common values of freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination through education adopted by education ministers of the Union in Paris on 17 March 2015,” the legislation reads.

Anti-Israel and anti-Jewish content has been repeatedly condemned over the years by Israeli officials and media watchdogs, but until now the EU has not seen fit to take steps to correct the situation.

“It is bizarre that for over ten years, the PEGASE fund has transferred around 3 billion euro to the PA, a significant amount of which goes to the Palestinian education sector,” said Marcus Sheff, the CEO of Yerushalayim-based IMPACT-se — Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education, which advised the EU on the issue.

“In all that time, there have been no real attempts by the European Commission to ensure that Palestinian children, who the EU supports in the classroom, receive an education based on European values — the values of peace and tolerance.”

Sheff noted that a new school curriculum begun in June 2017 which was billed as offering Palestinians skills, training and entrepreneurship for a better future was only more of the same. The texts, prepared in consultation with European representatives, “purposefully and strategically encourage Palestinian children to sacrifice themselves to martyrdom. The European Parliament has clearly decided that enough is enough,” he said.