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EU report: Palestinian textbooks are 'antisemitic' and 'deny the existence of Israel'

The EU has criticised Palestinian textbooks that "fuels antisemitism and hatred" as the UK government urge "corrections". A report that delved into the issue surrounding content within Palestinian textbooks was commissioned in 2021 and found serious errors.

The content has long been debated, with critics claiming textbooks contain biased portrayal of historical events, as well as a negative depiction of Israel and Jews. According to the report, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination found "hate speech" within the textbooks in 2019, claiming it "fuels hatred and may incite violence, particularly hate speech against Israelis, which at times also fuels antisemitism".

But new materials were said to be distributed to students during the coronavirus pandemic that corrected some of the language used. In March 2020, there was a Westminster Hall debate on radicalisation in the Palestinian school curriculum.

That debate arose after the Palestinian Authority started revising its primary and secondary school curricula in 2017. In 2018, the UK Government said it was very concerned about the reports and met with IMPACT-SE to investigate the issue further.

Speaking in the Westminster Hall debate in 2020, James Cleverley said the Government was funding an EU-sponsored review of PA textbooks by the Georg Eckert Institute. He said: "The UK has led international efforts to get to the bottom of the situation with regard to the content in the Palestinian Authority textbooks.

"We funded the development work for the methodology of an independent review, which is sponsored by the European Union. That review by the specialist and respected Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research is under way."

Cally Brooks