EU: We Will Investigate Incitement in Palestinian Schools

YERUSHALAYIM -
Palestinians gather near the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip during a protest, March 30. (Reuters/Amir Cohen)

The European Union has undertaken to investigate the incitement against Israel in the textbooks of the Palestinian educational system. Yisrael Hayom reports that a spokeswoman for the European Union’s foreign minister, Federica Mogherini, has confirmed that the EU will investigate the issue.

The official announcement of the intention to study the contents of the textbooks was given by Mogherini a month ago to  European Parliament member Marianne Peter, who had asked her about the matter, but had not published it yet.

Peter raised the issue following an appeal by the Impact C research institute, which examines the contents of textbooks in educational systems around the world. Several years ago, the Israeli branch of the organization discovered harsh findings about the messages against Israel and the Jews that appear in the new books of the Palestinian education system.

Following the discovery, the Institute contacted many countries that support the Palestinian education system and presented its findings, including to the European Parliament.

In response to an inquiry by Yisrael Hayom, it was confirmed in Mogherini’s office that the preparations for such a study had begun.

“The European Union is in the process of completing the reference conditions before conducting the study,” the report said. “The subject of the Palestinian curriculum was recently discussed in the European Parliament, which emphasized the importance of values ​​such as peace, freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination in education, aimed at providing a comprehensive, unbiased and objective analysis of the current Palestinian textbooks without any predetermined agenda or outcome. The study will be based on international standards, such as UNESCO’s Peace, Tolerance and Nonviolence in Education, “the European Union said in response to Yisrael Hayom.

“The EU has repeatedly spoken with its Israeli and Palestinian partners about issues and concerns about incitement to hatred and violence that are inconsistent with the promotion of a two-state solution, and greatly exacerbate the lack of trust between the parties.”

It should be noted that the European Union is the main sponsor of the Palestinian Ministry of Education, which is responsible for educating 1.3 million students.

According to the Institute’s findings, the school system, which was renewed only three years ago as a result of criticism from the world, includes first through 12th graders with 200 books, in which there are many cases of incitement and hatred.

A common example can be found in the mathematics book for fourth graders, where there are addition and subtraction exercises using the counting of shaheeds. A science book for the seventh grade illustrates Newton’s law of gravity with the help of a Palestinian demonstrator with a slingshot and questions about the physical strength of the stone shot toward the standing soldiers of the IDF.