‘No evidence’ of antisemitism in UNRWA-run Palestinian school curriculum, says minister

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‘No evidence’ of antisemitism in UNRWA-run Palestinian school curriculum, says minister

Foreign Office minister Andrew Mitchell he had repeatedly looked allegations of antisemitism in Gaza schools but had not seen 'any evidence'

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Palestinian school. Photo by Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90
Palestinian school. Photo by Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90

Foreign Office minister Andrew Mitchell has said he has not seen “any evidence” that the curriculum in UNRWA-operated Palestinian schools includes antisemitic and violent teaching.

Hendon Conservative MP Matthew Offord told the Commons he had read a report from the pro-Israel Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education orgainsation published last November.

Offord said the report “found that half of Gaza’s 500,000 school pupils attended UNRWA-operated education institutions and that the Palestinian Authority curriculum taught in those schools is replete with antisemitism and encourages violence.”

A textbook explaining the physics behind attacking Jews with a slingshot.

But responding in the Commons on Monday, Mitchell, the Tory MP for Sutton Coldfield, said: “When I was previously in government, I heard these allegations back in 2010, 2011, 2012.

“I asked to see and have translated these school books, and I have in the past year raised the same point again.

“I have not seen any evidence of what he is describing.

“If he would like to give the Government evidence, we will of course follow it up, but I must make it clear to him that both 10 years ago and in the past year no such evidence has been forthcoming.”

Responding to Mitchell’s confirmation that the government were pausing funding to UNRWA in response to the evidence of staff involvement in the October 7th Hamas terror attacks, Offord said: “The Minister says that he is going to suspend future payments, but the damage has already been done by decades of UK funding.”

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