Andrew Percy MP expressed his concern at the ongoing partnership between the National Union of Teachers and Edukid; an educational charity promoting Palestinian ‘resistance’.
In his letter, the MP for Brigg and Goole wrote that content on Edukid’s website presents a “hard-line, one-sided view of what is an undoubtedly complex issue”.
Edukid has made a number of changes on its website following Mr Percy’s letter of complaint in November 2015, including an edit of the film ‘Just Like Us’ (filmed in Nazareth, Israel) which previously portrayed Nazareth as being in ‘Palestine’, and gave a one-sided, divisive account of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Referring to a video on Edukid’s website in which Palestinian students state their desire to “fight” Israelis, Mr Percy wrote: “As a former teacher, I find it offensive that children in this country are being presented with materials advocating the destruction of another state, let alone one that is an ally in our fight against Islamist extremism”.
The video also featured a song with lyrics including: “Scheming and plotting in Washington and Tel Aviv. Murderous plans that cause my people to grieve”, which were removed following Mr Percy’s comments.
In response to the MP’s letter, an Edukid representative said that the charity “took action on many of [his] points within 4 days of receiving [his] original email”.
The representative said that misleading wording on the Edukid website indicating that the city of Nazareth was located in ‘Palestine’ had been changed. Edukid conceded that aspects of the ‘Just Like Us’ gave an inaccurate depiction of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and stated that upon receiving Mr Percy’s letter, they “immediately withdrew the film from our site and edited the film”.
This news follows last summer’s controversy over a teaching resource pack provided by Edukid to the NUT entitled ‘My Name is Saleh’, which asked teachers to explore themes of Palestinian ‘occupation, freedom and resistance’. This was being taught to children as young as three.
At the time, various news outlets reported concerns expressed over this resource pack, due to the politicised content as well as frequent references to ‘Jews’ as opposed to ‘Israelis’ in the accompanying video.
CFI’s Parliamentary Chairman, Rt Hon Sir Eric Pickles MP said on this: “The NUT have well and truly crossed the line as to what is acceptable with this appalling document. Its reference to ‘Jews’ as opposed to ‘Israelis’ is particularly objectionable. I would suggest this pernicious document be withdrawn immediately!”
The resource pack was temporarily withdrawn following criticism. It is not known if it is back in use.