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Parliamentary questions
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12 October 2020
Question for written answer E-005567/2020
to the Commission
Rule 138
Carmen Avram (S&D)
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: EU-funded report on Palestinian textbooks: concerns over incitement, anti-Semitic content and imagery – the EU’s position and response

In May 2019, the European External Action Service commissioned a report following concerns raised the previous year over incitement in Palestinian textbooks. Similar misgivings have also been raised this year by MEPs​(1)​ and by Parliament in the context of the Commission discharge procedure​(2)​. What is more, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) recently published a report calling on the Palestinian authority to remove all incitement from their school curriculum​(3)​.

The organisation IMPACT-se(4) has been analysing textbooks in the Middle East and their compliance with UNESCO standards of peace and tolerance for over 20 years. When some interim results of the EU-funded report emerged, concerns were raised(5) that the report’s authors – the George Eckert Institute – made serious mistakes that undermined the credibility of the review. These included:

1. analysing the wrong textbooks and attributing Arabic-language Israeli textbooks to the Palestinian authority;

2. ignoring anti-Semitism;

3. ignoring incitement to violence.

The Commission recently declared that it would not make the interim findings public (‘Publication is therefore not foreseen’(6)).

The detailed IMPACT-se evaluation(7) shows that Palestinian authority textbooks(8) are replete with troubling references throughout all grades and subjects to anti-Semitic content and imagery(9), hate speech, and incitement to violence, martyrdom and jihad.

1. Is the Commission aware of this? What is its position?

2. What action does it intend to take?

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