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European Parliament demands Palestinian Authority removes antisemitism from curriculum

Illustrative: Palestinian school children attend mathematics lesson in a class in UNRWA Gaza Elementary School in Gaza city (Photo: Suhair Karam/IRIN)

The European Parliament voted for a resolution last week that demands the Palestinian Authority (PA) reform its current education system by removing the promotion of antisemitic hatred and violence against Israel and the Jewish people.

The European Parliament (EP) resolution was adopted by a solid majority of 412 in favor, 172 against and 22 abstentions.

The European Union funds the PA significantly, so its demands carry some weight.

Ilana Cicurel, a French lawyer who serves as a Member of Parliament, as well as the Renew Europe Group, emphasized that the massacre of over 1,200 Israelis last October has made the need for educational reform even more critical.

“October 7 reminded us to what extent the content of these textbooks has played a role in the indoctrination of young people and their participation in Hamas terrorist attacks," Cicurel said.

“This shows that no political perspective towards a two-state solution can be credible and viable as long as education in the Palestinian territories continues to propagate hatred of Israel and Jews, glorifying terrorism and calling for young Palestinians to die as martyrs."

“This is an essential issue so that Israelis can live in peace and security but also that young Palestinians can have access to real prospects for the future,” Cicurel concluded.

The PA is formally considered “moderate” in comparison to the jihadist terrorist organization, Hamas. However, the PA systematically and frequently incites its population against Israel and the Jewish people, incorporating blatantly antisemitic tropes.

Common themes in the Palestinian anti-Jewish propaganda include: Jews having no historic right to Israel; a denial of the Holocaust; and the dehumanization of Jews as “liars and corrupt” people who murder Arab women and children.

While the EU has previously urged the PA to implement educational reforms by removing racist hatred against Jews in their classrooms, in practice, very little has changed.

Hatred for Jews is disseminated from the very top leadership of the PA. In August 2022, PA President Mahmoud Abbas, a vocal Holocaust denier, caused international headlines when he falsely accused the Jewish state of being responsible for “50 Holocausts.”

“I have 50 slaughters that Israel committed...50 massacres, 50 slaughters..,” Abbas said in Arabic during a visit to Berlin.

Switching to English, Abbas explicitly used the words “50 Holocausts.” His German host, Chancellor Olaf Scholtz, became visibly uncomfortable by the PA leader's remark.

At the time, former Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, the son of a Holocaust survivor, blasted Abbas for his statement.

“Mahmoud Abbas accusing Israel of having committed ‘50 Holocausts’ while standing on German soil is not only a moral disgrace, but a monstrous lie,” Lapid wrote on social media.

“Six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, including one and a half million Jewish children. History will never forgive him.”

Despite European and U.S. calls for an end to antisemitic incitement, the PA, which depends on financial assistance from the West, continues to spread some of the worst antisemitic propaganda since the Holocaust.

An Anti-Defamation League global antisemitism survey in 2014 revealed that the West Bank (biblical Judea and Samaria) and Gaza ranked as the world’s most antisemitic region, with a whopping 93% of the Palestinian Arab population holding antisemitic views. The 10 most antisemitic nations were Muslim-majority communities in the Middle East and North Africa, including Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Kuwait.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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