The British government has announced that it has ended direct funding to Palestinian education because an EU report found anti-Israel and antisemitic content in the textbooks.
Over the past five years, the British government spent an estimated $137 million on the salaries of Palestinian civil servants responsible for drafting the PA textbooks. Nonetheless, the funding of Palestinian Authority education and health worker salaries has come to an end, British Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa James Cleverly stated, yet he did not directly link the decision to the EU report about the Palestinian curriculum that found multiple examples of antisemitism and encouragement of hate and martyrdom in the textbooks.
Nevertheless, the British government’s decision was made following a joint campaign by the country’s pro-Israel community, including the Jewish Leadership Council, the Board of Deputies, the Zionist Federation, and the Conservative and Labour Friends of Israel groups. The campaign was supported by research conducted by IMPACT-se, an organisation that analyses schoolbooks and curricula for compliance with UNESCO-defined standards on peace and tolerance.
The announcement came in a written response to Labour Party MP Andrew Gwynne, who asked the minister about government plans to review the allocation of funds following the European Union’s report about the Palestinian curriculum.
However, the government’s decision has not affected the funding of UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.