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U.S. Congress supports bipartisan bill against anti-Semitic incitement in Palestinian Authority school textbooks

Palestinian children hold posters of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat as they mark the 18th anniversary of his death, in the West Bank city of Hebron on November 10, 2022. Photo by Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90

A bill to address the problem of endemic anti-Jewish incitement in Palestinian Authority textbooks was unanimously passed in the United States House Foreign Affairs Committee. The textbooks allegedly promote anti-Semitism and violence against Israelis and include content that promotes erasing Israel's existence and legitimacy.

“For decades, the United States and the American people have been the top donor to the Palestinian people, including to the Palestinian Authority and UNWRA – but this is not a blank check," said U.S. Congressman Brad Sherman, following the vote

Sherman, who reintroduced the bill, stressed that Washington has been the PA’s main financial donor and lamented the fact that the PA’s incitement contradicts American values of tolerance and peace.
Palestinian schools use textbooks that promote antisemitism and violence against Israelis as well as erasing Israel's existence and legitimacy.

"American dollars must be spent in a way that reflects American values of tolerance and peacebuilding,” Sherman stated. “Unfortunately, instead of envisioning a Palestinian state alongside Israel, the current Palestinian curriculum erases Israel from maps, refers to Israel only as ‘the enemy,’ and asks children to sacrifice their lives to ‘liberate’ all of the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.”

Sherman said putting an end to the incitement was necessary in order to realize peace with Israel and for the PA and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to ensure that Arab children in PA schools are provided with a quality education that does not promote anti-Semitism.

"Ending incitement and violence in the curriculum taught to Palestinian schoolchildren isn’t only a matter of Israel’s security – it’s an obligation that the Palestinian Authority and UNRWA owe their beneficiaries, children who deserve quality education that nurtures their future instead of manipulating them to cut that future short by engaging in senseless violence.”

In April 2021, the U.S. Biden administration restored its financial aid to the UNRWA for Palestine Refugees in the Near East after declaring it was committed to a “zero tolerance” policy regarding anti-Semitism, however, despite its official statement, there has reportedly been little change in the organization.

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

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