EU releases delayed report confirming incitement, anti-Semitism in Palestinian textbooks

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European Union flags in front of the European Commission building in Brussels. Credit: Amio Cajander via Wikimedia Commons.

 The European Union released its delayed report on Palestinian textbooks on Thursday, confirming that Palestinian Authority textbooks contain anti-Semitism and incitement to violence.

“The report has been released after three declarations of the European parliament condemning anti-Semitism and hate in the P.A. curriculum, dozens of questions in parliaments around Europe and the E.U. sitting on the final version for months,” said IMPACT-se CEO Marcus Sheff.

“While deeply flawed, it states what has been obvious to all for years: that the Palestinian Authority systematically incites over a million children to anti-Semitism, hate and violence every school day. The question remains: Will the E.U. finally take action to condition funding to the Palestinian authority on reforms to the curriculum as the European parliament has demanded?”

According to IMPACT-se, the report “confirms that anti-Semitism, glorification of terrorists and their acts, calls to jihad and martyrdom, negation of Israel’s existence and messages which exacerbate the conflict are present throughout the P.A. curriculum.” However, the watchdog group said that the E.U. report also has “serious shortcomings” in terms of how it presents its findings and what it missed.

In early June, the German newspaper BILD published findings from the report and asked why they were never publicized. The publication stated that the report was commissioned in 2019 by then-E.U. foreign affairs representative Federica Mogherini and examined teaching instructions published by the Palestinian Ministry of Education between 2017 and 2020.

The release of the report comes after a group of nearly two-dozen European lawmakers sent a letter to the president of the E.U. Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, demanding the withholding of aid until the incitement and anti-Semitism in P.A. textbooks ends.

Daniel Schwammenthal, director of the American Jewish Committee’s Brussels-based E.U. Office, the AJC Transatlantic Institute, called on the E.U. to take action to bring an end to incitement in P.A. textbooks, including possibly withholding aid.

“The deeply troubling study was long in the making and confirms what previous reports had documented over the past several years: The Palestinian Authority systematically poisons the minds of Palestinian children, teaching them hatred against Jews, the glorification of terror and the denial of Israel’s right to exist. This outrage has been allowed to continue for far too long and I urge the Commission to take immediate action,” said Schwammenthal.

“Time is of the essence,” he stressed. “Unfortunately, far too many Palestinian children have already been taught with this hateful material. The textbooks must be immediately replaced and should the Palestinian Authority refuse to do so, the commission will have no other choice but to follow the Norwegian example and withhold some funding to bring about the necessary change.”