June 20, 2021

EU releases report confirming incitement, antisemitism in Palestinian textbooks

The EU released its report on Palestinian Authority textbooks four months after its completion, showing instances of antisemitism and incitement to violence.

Friday’s release of the report – excerpts from which were first published in The Jerusalem Post earlier this month – sparked condemnations across the European Parliament.

The report, undertaken by the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research, was completed in February 2021 but has just been published following growing pressure for its public release.
Twenty-two members of the European Parliament from a range of major parties demanded last week that EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen withhold aid to the PA over the books that “preach antisemitism, incitement and the glorification of violence and terrorism...violating fundamental EU values and our declared goal to help advance peace and the two-state solution.”

EU Parliament Budgetary Affairs Committee Vice-Chairman Niclas Herbst called for 5% of EU funding to the PA and UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, to be withheld and redirected to NGOs that adhere to UNESCO education standards.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry said that "the fact that EU assistance to the PA education system is used to produce antisemitic propaganda material that encourages hatred, violence and terrorism, instead of promoting a peaceful solution to the conflict, harms the prospect of coexistence, and establishes good and encouraging neighborly relations."

The European Commission must take the report seriously and take practical steps to stop European aid until the problems with the report are rectified and the UE can closely monitor where its funding is going, the Foreign Ministry added.