JERUSALEM, Israel – Norway said it will suspend half of the year’s funding to Palestinian schools for using textbooks that incite children to violence, JTA reports.
Foreign Affairs Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide made the announcement Thursday and said previous Norwegian funds did not go towards textbooks or the Palestinian school curriculum. Instead, it was part of a larger effort by multiple donor countries to build hundreds of new classrooms and new public schools.
Søreide said she raised the issue with the PA’s education minister in May and in February with Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh.
The Palestinian Authority has long been criticized by the international community for textbooks that celebrate Palestinian terrorists and teach children to support violence and intolerance. The European Parliament passed three separate resolutions in May condemning the Palestinian education system. The move bans the European Union funds from financing Palestinian textbooks. It also requires that teachers funded by Europe must teach content consistent with UNESCO’s standards.
Last month, the Palestinian Cabinet approved plans to revise the curriculum.
The NGO IMPACT-se is partially responsible for bringing the issue of Palestinian educational materials to the attention of global leaders.
“This is an unprecedented decision by Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide,” IMPACT-se CEO Marcus Sheff said in a statement.
“In carrying out the declaration of the Norwegian parliament in December 2019 to cut Norwegian aid to Palestinian education until the hate is removed from textbooks, the minister has taken a principled stand, championing the teaching of respect for the Other, tolerance and peacemaking as the way to resolve conflict.”
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