An unpublished report by the European Union on Palestinian textbooks confirmed that the Palestinian curriculum includes anti-Semitic content, incitement of violence and the delegitimization of Israel.

The German newspaper BILD published findings from the report on Tuesday 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 report, written by the German Georg-Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research, was also seen by the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se), an Israeli NGO that has previously drawn attention to similar offensive content in Palestinian textbooks.

According to IMPACT-se, the institute found in textbooks the “frequent use of negative attributions in relation to the Jewish people in, for example, textbook exercises [that] suggest a conscious perpetuation of anti-Jewish prejudice.” It even discovered a textbook chapter that “sends the message that the Jews as a collective are dangerous and deceptive, and demonizes them. It generates feelings of hatred towards Jews.”

Palestinian children’s books. Credit: IMPACT-se.

The examined material also contained depictions of Israeli violence that “tend to dehumanize the Israeli adversary; occasionally with accusations of malice or deception.” When discussing violent actions by Palestinians against Israel, the textbooks label them as part of “a heroic struggle” against the Jewish state; in general, portrayals of violence perpetrated by the Israeli protagonists present them as “a homogenous entity mostly referred to as the ‘(Zionist) occupation’ or by similar epithets.”

“This as yet unpublished E.U. report into Palestinian textbooks is a damning indictment of the Palestinian Authority’s systematic and purposeful insertion of antisemitism, hate and incitement to violence in its textbooks,” said IMPACT-se CEO Marcus Sheff.

He added: “The question is, will E.U. policymakers finally take action to condition E.U. funding to the P.A. on positive reforms to the curriculum as the European parliament has demanded on several occasions?”

A spokesperson for Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the findings “prove Israel’s consistent claim that incitement is constantly present in Palestinian Authority textbooks … a claim that Israel has raised with the Europen Union and its member states for many years.”

“Instead of educating for tolerance, coexistence, peace and non-violence—as is required under UNESCO’s mandatory standards—Palestinian textbooks include anti-Semitic components, deny the existence of the State of Israel and glorify violence as a method of resolving the conflict,” said the spokesperson.

The spokesperson also noted that the E.U. continues to invest millions in funding the P.A.’s educational system without monitoring content that appears in textbooks or demanding that it stop “indoctrinating its children to hate and kill.”

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