Minister for the Middle East, Rt. Hon. Alistair Burt MP condemned inciting material in Palestinian textbooks and said the UK’s response to it “must be rigorous”, in a Westminster Hall debate on the subject on Wednesday.
Mr Burt said that the UK “strongly condemns all forms of violence and incitement on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”.
The Middle East Minister added that during a meeting in May in the West Bank city of Ramallah, he raised incitement with the Palestinian Education Minister in a meeting about the UK’s future support to the Palestinian Authority, underlining that “our continued support will come with a continued strong challenge to the Palestinian Authority on education sector incitement”.
He emphasised: “Let me be very clear: education has no place for materials or practices that incite young minds towards violence. I have seen the reports expressing concern about the content of new Palestinian textbooks, and I take the findings of those reports seriously”.
Mr Burt said: “Our response must be rigorous, evidence-based and made in the company of other international supporters of the Palestinian education system, in order to ensure that the Palestinian Authority hear a strong, credible and unified voice about what must be done so that their textbooks support peace and do not incite violence”.
The debate was led by Labour Friends of Israel Chair Joan Ryan MP.
In an intervention to her speech, CFI Vice-Chairman John Howell OBE MP asked whether she had noted that “textbooks for Palestinian children contain the phrase that cities in Israel such as Tel Aviv are in occupied Palestine?”. He added: “That goes completely against the two-state solution”.
Click here to read the transcript in full.