AJC Welcomes MEP Letter to EU Commission to End Incitement in Palestinian Textbooks

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AJC Welcomes MEP Letter to EU Commission to End Incitement in Palestinian Textbooks

5 May 2021 – Brussels – The AJC Transatlantic Institute welcomed a letter by 17 Members of the European Parliament to Commission President Ursula von der Leyen urging the Commission to help end the widespread incitement and glorification of martyrdom in textbooks issued by the Palestinian Authority. The letter, sent today by Austrian MEP Lukas Mandl, who heads the Transatlantic Friends of Israel (TFI) group in the European Parliament, urges the Commission to partially cut EU funding to Ramallah over its textbooks.

Read the letter here:

In the letter the MEPs explained why the EU executive body ought to act: “Because the EU directly pays the salaries of the Palestinian teachers using this hateful material in their classrooms, we must follow the example set by the government of Norway last year and withhold at least some funding to the PA until it finally replaces these terrible textbooks.”

“This is not a request we make lightly. It is precisely because we strongly support the goal of a negotiated two-state solution that we have reached the difficult conclusion that the EU has no choice but to withhold some funding. It is impossible to imagine a future where Palestinians and Israelis will live in peace and security next to each other as long as Palestinian children are being taught to hate,” the legislators added.

Daniel Schwammenthal, Director of the American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) Brussels-based EU Office, the AJC Transatlantic Institute, said: “For years the EU has been aware of widespread incitement in Palestinian Authority textbooks across all grades and subjects, taught by teachers whose salaries are directly paid by Brussels. The EU should have immediately followed the Norwegian example and withheld some funding to Ramallah to help end the abuse of Palestinian children and the assault on the very idea of peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Instead, it has been waiting for the results of the study it commissioned from Germany’s Georg-Eckert Institute. Once the long overdue report confirms that PA textbooks violate the UNESCO standards on peace, tolerance and non-violence in education, the Commission must finally act to preserve not only the hopes for a negotiated two-state solution but its own credibility as a mediator.”