The Shadow Minister for the Middle East, Wayne David MP, has pledged to raise the matter of the content of Palestinian textbook with the government in the Commons “the first opportunity I get”.
Mr David was responding to an approach from Jewish News which this week ran a major in-depth investigation into Palestinian textbooks, which are the subject of an ongoing review by the European Union. The most recent books used by school students for the 2020-21 year show numerous examples of hatred against Israel, incitement and glorification of terrorism. These textbooks are used in Palestinian and UNRWA schools in the West Bank and Gaza, and aid is funnelled to the Palestinian Authority by Britain — some of which pays the salaries of the teachers who have written the textbooks.
Mr David has previously raised the issue in parliamentary questions to his government opposite number, Middle East Minister James Cleverly. But, told that Mr Cleverly had not made himself available to answer questions from the Jewish News on the matter, Mr David said “that is quite disgraceful”, and said he would challenge Mr Cleverly as soon as he could.
The Labour MP, himself a former teacher, said that the content of the textbooks “professionally puts the Palestinian teachers in a very difficult position.” He has been briefed on the content of the textbooks by Labour Friends of Israel.
He said: “The Foreign Office is very slow to respond on a number of issues. I will certainly challenge Mr Cleverly on this at the first opportunity”. The lack of response, Mr David said, “flags up the concern we have as the Opposition” on the matter.
- JN INVESTIGATION: How Britain funds radicalisation in Palestinian schools
- Steve McCabe MP: We must suspend aid that finances curriculum
- Marcus Sheff: UK has kept doggedly to same wrong path
- Stephen Crabb MP: Our approach is harmful to peace
- Voice of the Jewish News: Maths lesson… what is hate times hate?
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.