MP and ex-teacher describes how Palestinian children are being taught to count 'martyrs'

Tory Jonathan Gullis says they are being raised 'in an environment of institutionalised radicalisation'


A new MP and former teacher has spoken of how Palestinian children are growing “in an environment of institutionalised radicalisation” as textbooks teach them to count "martyrs" and that "Jews control the world".

Opening a parliamentary debate on the Palestinian Authority's school curriculum, Stoke-on-Trent North MP Jonathan Gullis said a trip to Israel and the West Bank last year showed him that “Palestinian children are not taught what peace will even look like".

“Peace agreements and proposals with Israel that previously appeared in Palestinian Authority schoolbooks have been removed," said Mr Gullis, who taught in Birmingham before he unseated Labour's Ruth Smeeth for the Tories in December.

“Nine-year-olds are asked to count the number of martyrs in Palestinian uprisings... Imagery in a textbook for 16-year-olds implies that Jews control the world.

“Ten-year-olds are taught that Jews are enemies of Islam and eight-year-olds learn in their textbooks that Jerusalem is a holy city only for Muslims and Christians.

"Make no mistake: this is antisemitism, and we must condemn it as strongly as we fight antisemitism at home."

Mr Gulles added that, in schools named after suicide bombers, schoolchildren were taught from the age of six that Israel will “disappear as the fog over the sea”.

He told MPs: “As a former secondary school teacher myself, I know just how impressionable young minds are and the impact that such messaging can have on pupils’ development, values and world view.”

In the Westminster Hall debate on Tuesday, Nicola Richards, the new West Bromwich East MP said: "The fact that Holocaust denial is most prevalent in Gaza and the West Bank compared with elsewhere in the world—standing at around 82 per cent of the population—proves that something is going seriously wrong."

She said the Palestinian education system "should seek to promote peace and unity, with a curriculum driven by facts and history, rather than continuing to push prejudice and division”.

Speaking for Labour Friends of Israel, its new parliamentary chair Steve McCabe said the UK government had  “some of the responsibility” for the situation over the curriculum of the Palestinians.

He told the debate: "UK taxpayers fund the salaries of some 30,000 teachers and officials in the Palestinian education authority.

“Those are the people involved in the implementation and delivery of this curriculum. Let us be clear: we are paying the salaries of those who designed and administer the curriculum and those who teach it.

"As we have heard, the memorandum of understanding that governs British aid states clearly that the Palestinian Authority should abide by principles of non-violence.”

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