‘Deep concern’ over EU textbook review

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‘Deep concern’ over EU textbook review

Labour Friends of Israel criticised the report, saying 'three-quarters of the textbooks in this unpublished interim report are not taught in Palestinian schools'

(Photo by Valentin Salja on Unsplash)
Textbook (Photo by Valentin Salja on Unsplash)

Lawyers this week poured scorn on an EU-commissioned review of incitement in Palestinian textbooks amid accusations that researchers looked at the wrong books.

Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) and UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI ) said the review, conducted by the Georg Eckert Institute, appeared to have considered textbooks used by Arab children in Israel, not those under the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.

LFI expressed “deep concern”, saying: “Three-quarters of the textbooks in this unpublished interim report are not taught in Palestinian schools.”

The British government promised a review in spring 2018, and the institute had been due to report its findings in September last year, but it is already a year late, with £200,000 having been spent. 

An interim report was obtained by an Israel-based pressure group, the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se), which said it “has detailed serious flaws” with the review.

Among the textbooks considered are those used by the Jerusalem Municipality Arabic, which IMPACT-se said had been “mistakenly presented by the researchers as Palestinian Authority (PA) textbooks”.

Marcus Sheff of IMPACT-se said the review had been “a comedy of errors from start to finish,” with “the researchers having reviewed the wrong textbooks”.

LFI chair Steve McCabe MP said: “The British government was first alerted to the problem of incitement to violence in the PA’s new curriculum by LFI nearly three years ago. It first denied the existence of this problem, then pursued a series of delaying tactics. We now find it has spent UK taxpayers’ money on a review which appears deeply flawed and which we may never have the chance to see.”

UKLFI chief executive Jonathan Turner said: “This would be laughable, but it is no laughing matter for the victims
of terrorism.”

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