PA rejects “any conditional funding by any source that targets our Palestinian curricula”
PLO: No one should criticize PA education for “incitement,” it must be “free from all foreign aid that imposes conditions”
The recent disclosure by the German newspaper Bild of the unpublished EU report on Palestinian textbooks, confirms what Palestinian Media Watch has been reporting for years: The Palestinian curriculum and entire education system is full of incitement to hate and violence, glorification of terror, and denial of Israel's right to exist in any borders (See schoolbook examples below). Accordingly, the EU is being urged to demand a change in the PA’s educational messages to Palestinian children and youth and to reconsider its funding of PA text books and PA teachers’ salaries.
In this context, the following recent statement by PA Minister of Education Marwan Awratani is particularly significant because it proves in all clarity the PA’s uncompromising stand and unwillingness to change any of the contents in its schoolbooks. In fact, the PA doesn’t want any funding for education if it comes with conditions or demands from the donors regarding the content:
Headline: “The [PA] minister of education: We are rejecting all conditional funding that targets our Palestinian curricula”
“[PA] Minister of Education Marwan Awratani emphasized that the [PA] government and Ministry of Education oppose any conditional funding by any source that targets our Palestinian curricula, which constitute a sovereign matter of the highest order (refers to international demands to remove incitement from PA schoolbooks as a condition of funding -Ed.).
He said that his ministry is working to find ways of national self-funding in order to build the schools.”
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 15, 2021]
In order to avoid pressure from donor countries to take out the hate and terror promotion, PLO Executive Committee member and Secretary-General of the Palestinian People's Party Bassam Al-Salehi repeated the PA’s rejection of “all foreign aid that imposes conditions on the education.” Instead, Al-Salehi said, PA education should be paid “only from the [PA] budget, from the PA’s income.”
This is of course a meaningless distinction since not only is money fungible but western donors also fund parts of the PA’s general budget, so either way, donors would still be paying for promotion of terror.
PLO Executive Committee member and Secretary-General of the Palestinian People's Party Bassam Al-Salehi: “[Palestinian] education must be free from all foreign aid that imposes conditions on the education. Education needs to be [paid] only from the [PA] budget, from the PA’s income. It is forbidden for any state in the world to come and interfere in our curricula in education, and tell us: ‘Change this. Don’t change this. This is incitement. This is not incitement.’ That is forbidden for Norway, Denmark, France, or anyone.”
[Official PA TV, Topic of the Day, Feb. 21, 2021]
In a similar topic, PMW has been pressuring Facebook to remove terror promoting posts in addition to terror promoting Fatah Facebook pages. Whereas Facebook has not taken appropriate action against Fatah’s page, apparently Facebook is putting some pressure on the PA. In response, PA prime minister Muhammad Shtayyeh has demanded of Facebook not restrict Palestinian pro-terror content. In a meeting with Facebook Vice-President for Global Affairs and Communications Nick Clegg, Shtayyeh reiterated that Palestinians have a “right to express the Palestinian narrative without the content being limited or removed.” He mentioned terms that PMW has documented are euphemisms for violence and terror against Israel and serve to glorify terrorists:
“We oppose the tagging of important words in our discourse such as “Martyr” and “resistance” as violating the [Facebook] community standards.”
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 20, 2021]
PMW has documented that Fatah uses the term “Martyr” to present murderers of Israelis as role models for Palestinian youth, and calls for “resistance” often when it wants terror.
The following are some examples of problematic content in the PA schoolbooks exposed by PMW:
PA schoolbooks in all its maps present all of Israel as “Palestine.” One example: This map is presented as the “Geographical area of the state of Palestine,” in PA 7th Grade Social Studies Textbook, Part A.
This section from the Palestinian schoolbook presents mass murderer of children Dalal Mughrabi, who led murder of 12 children and 25 adults, as a “hero” who “every one of us wishes to be like”:
"Heroes have an important position in every nation… We are proud of them, sing their praise, learn the history of their lives, name our children after them, and name streets, squares, and prominent cultural sites after them… every one of us wishes to be like them… They created a glorious history for the nation – they are the heroes. Who among us has forgotten… Dalal Mughrabi (i.e., terrorist who led murder of 37, 12 of them children), Yasser Arafat, and others among those moons that never set [but] illuminate the darkness of our dark nights? Our great homeland embraces all of them… These heroes are the crown of their nation, they are a symbol of its glory, they are the best of the best, the best of the noble people. They took their lives in their hands and threw them at the dangers… Bravo to the heroes, and scorn to the cowards!”
[PA 5th Grade Arabic Language Textbook, Part A]
The following is a longer excerpt of the report on PA PM Shtayyeh’s meeting with a Facebook representative:
“[PA] Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh discussed with Facebook Vice-President for Global Affairs and Communications Nick Clegg about how the giant company is dealing with the Palestinian content and the material supporting the Palestinian cause, and also about stopping the incitement through the company’s platforms.
The prime minister said: ‘The Palestinian people and its supporters have the right to express the Palestinian narrative without the content being limited or removed, and this includes using concepts that express our context. We oppose the tagging of important words in our discourse such as “Martyr” and “resistance” as violating the community standards.’
The prime minister demanded that steps be taken against the unacceptable inciteful content in Hebrew and English against the Palestinian people and its cause, and especially against the discourse of hatred and violence that the extremist settlers are adopting.
He also called on the company to take into consideration international law and the UN resolutions recognizing the Palestinian people’s rights as part of its standards of evaluating content.”
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 20, 2021]