PA celebrates “political victory” over EU
- PA claims it forced EU to accept the PA’s terror reward payments and hate curriculum
The European Union’s recent announcement that it will be renewing its aid to the PA means that the EU is accepting that the PA continues to reward terror and continues its antisemitic, hate-filled school curriculum, according to the Palestinian Authority Minister of Public Works and Building Muhammad Ziyara. According to the PA, this “political victory” over the EU is more important that the financial aid:
Official PA TV host: “Lately it was announced that [the EU money] will be released and that the EU will resume its funding to the Palestinian government. What is your response?”
PA Minister of Public Works and Building Muhammad Ziyara: “This [EU funding] is more of a political victory than a financial achievement. The challenge was that we would relinquish our rights, our positions, and our principles, both on the issue of our duty (i.e., reward payments) towards the families of the Martyrs and the prisoners, and also towards the Palestinian curricula and the Palestinian narrative.”
[Official PA TV, Talk of the Hour, June 16, 2022]
Upon the signing of the EU funding agreement, PA PM Muhammad Shtayyeh confirmed this message stressing that the EU funding comes “without conditions”:
“We thank the EU and its states. This agreement is important, because it was completed without conditions.”
[Facebook page of PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh, June 22, 2022]
The official PA news agency also stressed there are “no conditions” to the funding:
“Prime Minister Shtayyeh touched on the importance of signing the financing agreement without conditions, expressing hope that the financing agreement for the year 2022 will be expedited.
He stressed that the agreement covers funding for social affairs, hospitals and institutions in Jerusalem, energy and water for Gaza, health aid to combat Corona, and only €55 million for salaries.”
[WAFA, official PA news agency, English edition, June 22, 2022]
In response to Palestinian Media Watch’s ongoing documentation to European governments that the PA pays salaries to imprisoned terrorists, many European countries as well as the EU have repeatedly condemned the PA. Many European countries have attempted to avoid having European money finance PA terror rewards. The Netherlands cut off all funding to the PA after MPs saw a PMW presentation, while Britain, Norway, and the EU received assurances from the PA that the PA wouldn’t use their money to reward the terrorists. But the European demands that the PA stop rewarding terror had never stopped.
The current statement by the PA minister that the renewed EU funding is a “political victory” because they didn’t have to change their principles “towards the families of the Martyrs and the prisoners” – i.e., rewarding them with salaries for terror - is very grave. The PA is concluding that the EU is accepting the legitimacy of the Palestinian “position” which is that rewarding terrorist prisoners is justified. The PA claims it has the right to kill Israelis, even children, because killing Israelis is the legitimate Palestinian “struggle.”
Strikingly, the amount the PA spends to reward terror is greater than the entire amount the EU just promised the PA. PMW reported that in 2021 the PA spent at least 231 million euros on its terror rewards, while the EU’s aid to the PA is only 224.8 million euros. If the PA were to stop rewarding terror, they would not even need the EU aid money.
The PA understands this, which is why they see the EU’s resumed funding as a “political victory” for their “positions and principles… on the issue of our duty towards the families of the Martyrs and the prisoners.”
The EU’s enabling the PA to conclude this is adding fuel to Palestinian terror.
In addition, the PA sees this EU funding as acceptance of their hate-filled school curriculum. PMW has reported on the PA’s schoolbooks for over two decades. At a press conference with PMW to release PMW’s report on Palestinian schoolbooks then US Senator Hillary Clinton condemned the PA education because it “profoundly poisons the minds” of the Palestinian children.
More recently, the trigger to the EU freeze was a report from the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research which found the PA schoolbooks have antisemitic content; present Palestinian violence and terror against Israelis as part of a “heroic struggle”; and deny the legitimacy of Israel's existence through maps that erase Israel and label the entire area “Palestine.”
That the renewed EU funding is a seal of approval of the unchanged PA curriculum is also seen as a “political victory” was made clear in a column in the official PA daily:
“Regarding the fact that the European Union (EU) gave up on removing [educational] material and changing the [PA] curricula as a condition for renewing the funding to the PA – this constitutes an additional political victory, which causes us to strengthen our resistance through education and knowledge, and to emphasize the Palestinian narrative regarding the Palestinian people’s right to its homeland Palestine from a long time ago.”
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 23, 2022]
The PA teaches its children that its “right to its homeland Palestine” includes all of Israel. The text on these maps on the PA Ministry of Education Facebook Page is explicit: (left) “Palestine – the entire land is ours, from the [Mediterranean] Sea to the [Jordan] River”] and (right) “My homeland”.
[PA Ministry of Education, Facebook, Nov. 16, 2021]
Speaking just weeks before the EU decided to renew its aid, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas made clear, once again, that the PA’s top priority is rewarding terrorists, and that any funds they have will be set aside first and foremost for this goal:
Mahmoud Abbas: “We emphasize that the issue of the families of the Martyrs and the prisoners is at the top of our list of priorities, and any amount [of money] we have will be earmarked for them.”
[Official PA TV, Stories from Palestine, March 5, 2022]
While the EU may attempt to justify its renewed aid to the PA citing humanitarian concerns, the PA itself admits it prioritizes its terror reward payments over the welfare of its law-abiding citizens. The EU announced that the money to the PA is going for “payments of the salaries and pensions of civil servants, the social allowances to vulnerable families, [and] the referrals to the East Jerusalem Hospitals.” The EU certainly understands that their funding of salaries and allowances to needy Palestinians is what enables the PA to use other money to reward terror and terrorists.
It is unclear why the EU has now decided to ignore the PA’s prioritizing of terror payments, since the EU policy of ignoring the PA’s hate and terror promotion does not promote peace. Rather the opposite is true. By unconditionally renewing its aid to the PA, the Palestinian leadership says they are receiving a clear message: The EU condones and is willing to financially support Palestinian hate and terror.
The following is a longer excerpt of the column cited above:
Excerpt of a column by Muwaffaq Matar, Fatah Revolutionary Council member and regular columnist for the official PA daily
“There is much research on the topic of the state of education in Jerusalem and the plans of the racist occupation system [Israel] to Israelize the [Palestinian] education [system]…
There is nothing new in saying the occupation system’s goal is to empty Jerusalem of its original residents, the Palestinian-Arab man, but we must be alert to its means, which are 1,000 times more dangerous than murder, uprooting, and demolishing homes. This is because demolishing knowledge and loading the Palestinian man’s memory with information that contradicts logic, history, human culture, and even the physical laws of nature are more terrible and severe than murder.
However, we certainly know that the occupation system has not succeeded in uprooting the roots of affiliation to the homeland (Palestine) [parentheses in source] and has not achieved its goals in the field of education – the matter we are dealing with. The proof of this is the waving of the flag of Palestine at Tel Aviv University and Ben Gurion University in Be’er Sheva, which caused the [occupation] system’s legislative branch to legislate a law determining that waving the flag of Palestine at institutions that receive funding from its government is a crime!
Regarding the fact that the European Union (EU) gave up on removing [educational] material and changing the [PA] curricula as a condition for renewing the funding to the PA – this constitutes an additional political victory, which causes us to strengthen our resistance through education and knowledge, and to emphasize the Palestinian narrative regarding the Palestinian people’s right to its homeland Palestine from a long time ago (sic., the Palestinians have no history prior to the modern period).”
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 23, 2022]