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Reintroduced congressional bill aims to counter hatred in Palestinian textbooks

The bipartisan legislation would require a yearly check by the State Department on bigotry in education materials.

Palestinian Authority textbooks. Credit:
Palestinian Authority textbooks. Credit:

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) has again put forward the Peace and Tolerance in Palestinian Education Act to address the problem of racist incitement in textbooks that the Palestinian Authority and the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) provide to children.

Sherman said that “for decades, the United States and the American people have been the top donor to the Palestinian people, including to the Palestinian Authority and UNRWA – but this is not a blank check. American dollars must be spent in a way that reflects American values of tolerance and peacebuilding … the current Palestinian curriculum erases Israel from maps, refers to Israel only as ‘the enemy,’ and asks children to sacrifice their lives to ‘liberate’ all of the land between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea.”

Much of the research inspiring the bill was done by the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se,) an organization that monitors textbooks and educational materials around the world.

Marcus Sheff, CEO of IMPACT-se, said: “The commitment of Congressman Sherman and his colleagues, on both sides of the aisle, to put an end to the incitement of Palestinian schoolchildren is laudable. While the Arab world improves their textbooks, the U.S. gives $350 million a year to UNRWA, the majority of which goes to an education sector that teaches hate. Clearly, that must end.”

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