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EU will defund UNRWA for using PA textbooks inciting Jew-hatred

By David Singer - posted Wednesday, 6 October 2021

The European Parliament has threatened to block €20 million in aid to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) – unless "substantive positive" changes are made by the next academic school year to Palestinian Authority (PA) textbooks used in UNWRA schools.

EU funding will instead go to organisations that "have a proven track record of promoting educational initiatives in school settings for children designed to foster tolerance, coexistence and respect towards the Jewish-Israeli 'other'."

Many PA textbooks currently:

  • incite Jew-hatred,
  • prefer Jihad to peaceful resolution of the Jewish-Arab conflict and
  • do not recognize Israel on any of their maps

The May 2021 Report of the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se) has highlighted hundreds of examples of intolerance and hatred in current PA textbooks – pointing out:

Schools are one of the most powerful tools to mitigate extremist influences. They are key to achieving the tolerant and open-minded societies of the future. But they can also be where negative influences-skewed historical narratives, hatred of others, gender inequalities and even political violence–can take root."

The Report looked at 222 textbooks used in the 2021 Palestinian School Curriculum Grades 1-12. Of those - 105 textbooks had not changed at all and remained as they were in 2019 – finding:

  •  there were no substantive positive changes made to the current Palestinian curriculum
  • the curriculum had moved further from meeting UNESCO standards and
  • newly published textbooks were more radical than those previously published

The Report concluded:


There is a systematic insertion of violence, martyrdom and jihad across all grades and subjects. Extreme nationalism and Islamist ideologies are widespread throughout the curriculum, including science and math textbooks. The possibility of peace with Israel is rejected. Any historical Jewish presence in the modern-day territories of Israel and the Palestinian Authority is entirely omitted from the textbooks.

Specific examples provided in the IMPACT-se Report substantiate:


  1. Pages:
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  4. All

Author’s note: The cartoon — commissioned exclusively for this article — is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators — whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades.

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About the Author

David Singer is an Australian Lawyer, a Foundation Member of the International Analyst Network and Convenor of Jordan is Palestine International - an organisation calling for sovereignty of the West Bank and Gaza to be allocated between Israel and Jordan as the two successor States to the Mandate for Palestine. Previous articles written by him can be found at

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Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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