Two of Germany’s leading newspapers Die Welt and Der Tagesspeigel have criticised an EU study by the Georg Eckert Institute (GEI) into Palestinian textbooks, quoting the IMPACT-se monitoring organisation’s highlighting of mistakes made by the reviewing institute.
The papers ran with the headlines “How Germany helps finance Antisemitism” and “Bombs in Books”, adding to increasing international criticism of the report and raising serious concerns as to its credibility.
The Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se) discovered that antisemitism, incitement to violence and hate in the textbooks were ignored by the GEI and that researchers had in fact been reviewing Israeli Jerusalem Municipality textbooks, presenting them as belonging to the Palestinian Authority. These Israeli textbooks were the only examples of peace, tolerance and recognition of Israel cited in the report.
Dr. Riem Spielhaus, the head of the study at the GEI, admitted in a recorded interview with Der Tagesspiegel that the Israeli textbooks were indeed mistakenly included in the review.
Die Welt wrote that this statement directly contradicts earlier justifications given by the EU for the inclusion of Israeli textbooks.
German parliament members responded to the coverage, tweeting their incredulity at the flawed review and subsequent EU cover up, and calling for German payments to be halted to the Palestinian education sector.
Demands to withdraw EU funding to the Palestinian Authority were also laid out in a letter sent to the European Commission last week, signed by 21 members of the European Parliament, associated with the Transatlantic Friends of Israel (TFI).
In March, former school teacher and newly elected Conservative MP Jonathan Gullis led his first Westminster Hall debate on the subject of radicalisation within the Palestinian school curriculum. 20 Conservative MPs were in attendance in the debate, which focused on concerns about the content of the PA’s school textbooks which contain incitement of hatred, martyrdom, and violence towards Israelis.
The debate followed an exposé in the Daily Mail at the start of the year, which laid bare the disturbing content of textbooks, and MPs have raised the issue on numerous occasions in the House of Commons in recent years.