A new report compiled by the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se) has found that the most recent Palestinian Authority (PA) school textbooks are even more extreme than previous editions.
The new Palestinian curriculum for 2020-21 remains unimproved despite pledges by Palestinian and European leaders that official textbooks would be revised, removing inflammatory content, the study said.
The study stressed that in some aspects the content of the textbooks had worsened: “The textbooks remain openly antisemitic and continue to encourage violence, jihad and martyrdom. Peace is still not presented as preferred or even possible”.
It states that mathematics is still taught in fourth grade (age 9-10) by adding numbers of “martyrs” who died in each Intifada.
IMPACT-se CEO Marcus Sheff said: “It is disastrous that over one million Palestinian children are condemned to yet another year of sitting in PA and UNRWA schoolrooms being fed hate and incitement on a daily basis”.
Speaking about the issue in Parliament on Thursday in response to Conservative MPs who had raised concerns, Middle East Minister James Cleverly said: “The former Secretary of State for International Development, my right hon. Friend the Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed, raised this issue with the Palestinian Authority’s Education Minister on her very first phone call in post. The Foreign Secretary also raised it with the Palestinian Prime Minister and the Education Minister on his recent visit to the OPTs. We have pressed the EU to publish its interim report on Palestinian textbooks. We want it to be addressed at pace and transparently”.
The European Parliament in May passed three resolutions condemning the PA for continuing to include hate speech and violent material in school textbooks.
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.