The Palestinian Authority school curriculum is teaching children the ‘virtues of martyrdom’ and repeatedly refers to Israel as the ‘Zionist Occupation’, an alarming new report has revealed.
The newly updated syllabus, the first since the PA published its 2000 curriculum as part of the Oslo Accords, also includes greater emphasis on defending the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem while maths books include calculations based around attacks on Israeli soldiers.
Analysis by the influential Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education group (IMPACT-se) into the school texts concludes that they encourage “young Palestinians to acts of violence in a more extensive and sophisticated manner” and that “the curriculum’s focus appears to have expanded from demonisation of Israel to providing a rationale for war”.
In response to the publication of the IMPACT-se report, John Woodcock MP, vice-chair of Labour Friends of Israel (LFI), has written to Secretary of State for International Development Penny Mordaunt expressing “deep concern” that the curriculum breaches an agreement between her department and the Palestinian Authority relating to PA funding.
In his letter Mr Woodcock writes that “the government should surely make clear that the continuance of the portion of its development funding which contributes to the salaries of Ministry of Education civil servants will be conditioned on the PA committing to revisions of the curriculum in line with UNESCO’s standards for peace and tolerance in school education.”
In their damning assessment of the PA curriculum, IMPACT-se reveals that one Year 5 textbook informed children that martyrdom and jihad were “the most important meanings of life”.
Another poem read to nine-year-olds calls for “sacrificing blood”, “eliminating the usurper” and “annihilate[ing] the remnants of the foreigners”.
A Year 4 maths textbook asks students to calculate the number of martyrs in Palestinian uprisings as part of an arithmetic exercise, and a Year 7 science text book sees Newton’s Second Law taught through the image of a boy with a slingshot targeting soldiers
The UK confirmed in December 2016 that it would continue to provide funding to the Palestinian Authority in order to maintain stability, provide vital services and build and strengthen the institutions needed for a viable two-state solution.
But LFI has repeatedly raised concerns over British foreign aid used to teach hate in Palestinian schools. Earlier this year it emerged there were 24 schools named after Palestinian terrorists and evidence of widespread encouragement of violence against Israel.
Joan Ryan, LFI chair MP for Enfield North, said at the time that she supported sending aid to Palestine but urged ministers to make the Palestinians stick to funding agreements.
She said: “We cannot stand idly by while the Palestinian Authority sanctions antisemitic incitement which poisons young minds and makes a two-state solution ever more difficult to achieve.”
This year alone Britain is giving £25 million to the Palestinian Authority (PA). It will help fund salaries for 30,000 officials in West Bank health and education.