Wednesday, December 02, 2020

United Kingdom starts a review concerning incitement in Palestinian textbooks

By Alicia Ramos Perez - July 10, 2018
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [school] [aid]

Currently, the British Government is undertaking a review on whether the Palestinian books that are being used in schools incites violence against Israel and the Jewish people. 

During the debate in the House of Commons on July 4, British MP and Minister of State for Foreign Office, Alistair Burt, stated the “UK strongly condemns all forms of violence and incitement on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
“[…] too many attitudes are born out of the conflict’s history and context, making them difficult to escape.”
“There is no place in education for materials or practices that incite young minds towards violence.”
Though MP Burt emphasised that it is important to understand the nature of the situation in Palestine.
The minister said he met with the Palestinian Education Minister, who “welcomed the prospect of an independent international review of Palestinian textbooks and assured that the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education would take seriously the findings of such review.”
MP Burt did mention that UK financial support would come with a continued challenge to the Palestinian Authority on the educational sector. UK’s plan is for the review to be completed by September 2019.
“It will be evidence-based and rigorous,” he added.
The UK is seeking a joint review, to provide an accurate analysis and a unified voice from the international community.
However, this is not the first-time textbooks are under review.
In 2013, the Economist addressed a report funded by the American government which compared Israeli and Palestinian textbooks. In this research, both Israeli and Palestinian textbooks spread negative stereotypes of each other.
After failing to suppress the report, Israeli officials tried to delay its publication.
A former head of armed forces and deputy prime minister by then, expressed his irritation that Israelis were being judged. “We teach peace, they teach war,” said the spokesman.
Even if the Israelis claim to teach peace, their actions do not reflect their preaching.
To date, Israel is one of the most oppressive nations in the world, committing mass violations of human rights on Palestinian and their land.
The 2013 study found 49% of the texts talking about Palestine and the Palestinians in Israeli state-issued schoolbooks were negative. In the case of the Orthodox Jewish academies, the figures rise to 73%.
In one of the researched textbooks, Palestinians were depicted as “bloodthirsty” and “a nest of murderers”.
UK is a long-term supporter of the Palestinian education. In 2017, UK donations helped up to 24,000 Palestinian children in the West Bank.
“They are [the Palestinian kids] the peace-builders of tomorrow, and that is why it is vital that the UK and other international partners support them,” Burt stated after his last trip to Ramallah in the West Bank.

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