Shadow Middle East minister to raise Jewish News textbook probe in Commons

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Shadow Middle East minister to raise Jewish News textbook probe in Commons

Wayne David MP responds to Jewish News investigation into UK-funded hate-filled material in Palestinian classrooms.

Palestinian Grade 5 class exercise… Colour in a Palestinian flag, dripping with blood, against the backdrop of the Dome of the Rock
Palestinian Grade 5 class exercise… Colour in a Palestinian flag, dripping with blood, against the backdrop of the Dome of the Rock

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.



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