Luxembourg Urges EU to Recognize Palestinian State

YERUSHALAYIM -

Luxembourg is urging the European Union to recognize Palestine as a state, and Israeli officials are reportedly concerned about the initiative, according to Axios on Sunday.

Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn wrote a letter to E.U. foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and the E.U. foreign ministers, saying “it is time to start a debate within the European Union on the opportunity of a recognition of the State of Palestine by all its Member States.”

“The recognition of Palestine as a State would neither be a favor, nor a blank check, but a simple recognition of the right of the Palestinian people to their own State. In no way would it be directed against Israel. Indeed, if we want to contribute to solving the conflict between Israel and Palestine, we must never lose sight of Israel’s security conditions, as well as of justice and dignity for the Palestinian people.”

The letter was described as a response to the U.S. change in Mideast policy announced recently that it does not view Israeli presence in Yehuda and Shomron as a violation of international law.

The letter was circulated just ahead of the monthly meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council on Monday in Brussels.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry learned of the initiative on Friday and dispatched diplomats in Europe to ascertain how it would be received by the member states. While it appeared that Asselborn’s missive will not be on the agenda this time, it might well be taken up by the next EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting in January, Axios reported.

Meanwhile, the Norwegian Parliament decided last week to cut funding for the educational system of the Palestinian Authority, due to evidence of the existence of materials inciting violence, terrorism, and martyrdom in school curricula across the Palestinian territory, Ynet reported.

The evidence was provided in a report produced by the Yerushalayim-based Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se).

Norwegian Coalition lawmakers issued a statement condemning the incitement in the textbooks:

“Examples of content found in Palestinian school books include references to violence, martyrdom and terror,” read the statement. “The coalition considers this to be devastating to the peace process and the development of democracy in the region, as well as being an expression of irresponsible pedagogy, and finds it unacceptable that Norwegian funds support a school system that promotes such destructive values.”

At issue is the 220 Million Norwegian Krone aid (approximately $24 million) that Norway has promised to transfer to the Palestinian Education Ministry by 2022, unless they provide satisfactory improvements to the school materials.

Any references of the Oslo Accords and peace talks with Israel, which were previously mentioned in Palestinian textbooks, have been completely expunged, replaced by glorification of violence and Jihadist ideology, even in everyday subjects.

Physics, for example, is being taught by calculating the weight and distance of a rock being flung at the head of an Israeli soldier, while arithmetic focuses on counting Palestinian martyrs.

Norway’s decision follows a U.N. report last August, criticizing hate content in PA schoolbooks and demanded their immediate removal.

Additionally, the U.S. Congress has before it a proposal for bipartisan legislation which would require U.S. government agencies to publish a yearly report on the curricula in Palestinian Authority schools.