UK to review Palestinian textbooks as children getting ‘lessons of hate’

UK to review Palestinian textbooks as children getting ‘lessons of hate’

British government says assessment of Palestinian curriculum will be brought forward, and to include a 'rigorous and independent' review of PA textbooks

Alistair Burt
Alistair Burt

The British Government has said it is bringing forward a review of Palestinian textbooks after MPs said Palestinian children were having “lessons of hate”.

In a letter, Middle East Minister Alistair Burt said the UK had “brought forward a planned assessment of the Palestinian curriculum, which will involve a rigorous and independent review of the pilot PA textbooks”.

He expressed “concern” about a recent report by IMPACT-se, an advocacy organisation run by UK-born Marcus Sheff, a former editor of The Jerusalem Post and director of The Israel Project.

In his letter to MPs Joan Ryan and Ian Austin, both members of Labour Friends of Israel (LFI), Burt urged the parliamentarians not to “pre-judge” the findings of the review, adding that the Palestinian Authority was “forthcoming in its engagement”.

LFI director Jennifer Gerber said Ryan “first raised LFI’s deep concerns about the PA’s new lessons in hate directly with the government in September” and had called a Westminster Hall debate for Wednesday.

She added: “After months of pressure and prevarication, the Department for International Development has now announced a review of the curriculum. We have little faith that this is anything other than a further delaying tactic, which is why we have scheduled Wednesday’s debate.”

Ryan said: “It is grotesque that UK taxpayers’ money is helping to support the teaching of a curriculum which incites violence and terrorism and spreads anti-Semitism.

“The debate is the next stage in LFI’s campaign to stop the UK funding hate and force the Palestinian Authority to commit to wholesale and urgent revisions of their curriculum. The government must listen to reason and end this travesty.”

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