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European Lawmakers Demand Reduction of Palestinian Authority Aid Over Antisemitism in Textbooks

The European Commission headquarters, in Brussels, Belgium.

March 6, 2022

Nearly three dozen members of the European Parliament co-signed a letter this week demanding a reduction of funding to the Palestinian Authority (PA) if it continued to include antisemitic incitement and demonization of Israel in educational materials used in its schools, the Jewish News Syndicate reported.

The letter — addressed to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and signed by 32 MEPs from 18 counties — noted, “Years of negotiations with the PA and repeated Commission pledges of ‘zero tolerance’ for antisemitism have unfortunately failed to bring about the desired change. Palestinian children continue to be abused as they are being taught to hate. Asking the PA to revise these books is not an imposition but a self-evident and non-negotiable duty.”

“EU taxpayer money must never be misused for incitement,” it continued. “We therefore call on you to finally take action to uphold EU values for peace, tolerance, and democracy. As you are deliberating the annual support package for the Palestinian Authority, we urge you to include the possibility of a reduction of funding in case the PA continues to refuse to make the necessary changes.”

The letter was based on a January report published by IMPACT-se that detailed how the Palestinian Authority had not revised its curriculum, “despite promises to international partners that it would do so,” and was “still investing resources to produce and teach violent and hateful content in the current school year through parallel teaching materials (study cards).”

Greek MEP Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou, tweeted on Wednesday that antisemitic Palestinian textbooks “cannot go unanswered.”

“I’ve called for a tougher response from the @EU_Commission,” she added. “Zero tolerance to #Antisemitism is not just a slogan.”

Last month, The Times of Israel reported that millions of euros in EU aid was being held up as European Commission officials considered whether to condition parts of the funding on reforms to Palestinian textbooks.