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PLO demands European Parliament cancel their decision to condition its UNRWA funding on ending incitement in the Palestinian school curricula

Headline: “The [Palestinian] National Council demands that the European Parliament recant its decision on UNRWA funding”





The [Palestinian] National Council (i.e., the legislative body of the PLO) demanded that the European Parliament recant its decision to condition the monetary aid given to UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) on a change of the materials in its schoolbooks, as it is claimed that they promote ‘hatred and incitement to violence.’


In a letter that National Council Chairman Salim Al-Za’anoun sent to European Parliament Chairman David Maria Sassoli, the council praised the constant political and monetary support that the European Union (EU) is providing to UNRWA.

Al-Za’anoun added in his letter: ‘We view this decision and the accusations that it included with sadness and severity, especially in the current circumstances that necessitate providing larger monetary resources to UNRWA in order to respond to its increasing needs in the shadow of the spread of the Coronavirus epidemic. Therefore, we again urge you to revoke the decision.’


He emphasized in his letter that the study materials that are studied at the UNRWA schools strengthen the principles and values of the UN, and that there is no truth in the aforementioned accusations whose goal is to harm the weakest [social] layer – namely the students among the Palestinian refugees.


Al-Za’anoun explained that the Palestinian curricula that are being studied at the UNRWA schools include the Palestinian narrative regarding the national history and topics of national identity, honor, and narrative


He also noted in the letter that the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has confirmed that the Palestinian curricula that UNRWA is teaching are innocent of these accusations, and what is more – UN reports have confirmed that they are consistent with the standards of UNESCO (UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization), of peace and tolerance in education. [The letter added that] the World Bank said that UNRWA has a global and effective education system, and in contrast, other reports have proven that the Israeli occupation’s curricula incite to violence, hatred, and racism…


[Al-Za’anoun] expressed hope that the European Parliament will continue to support UNRWA, which is the basis for regional stability because millions of Palestinian refugees are still waiting to realize their dream to return to the lands from which they were uprooted by force in 1948.”