Earlier this year, the European Union’s ministry of foreign affairs received a report it had commissioned about the textbooks employed in Palestinian Authority (PA) schools, which receive a great deal of funding both directly and indirectly from the EU. The report confirmed what has long been known: that Palestinian schools teach anti-Semitism, glorify terrorism, and vilify Israel. But the EU refrained from publicizing the report until it was leaked to the press. Donna Edmunds suggests that Europe may at last have to do something about a problem it has only reluctantly begun to acknowledge:
Last year, following a vote by [European] parliamentarians to withhold some funding if the curriculum weren’t changed to become more inclusive, the PA made noises that it would instigate some changes. But when the education minister addressed his colleagues, he made it clear that the narrative of Palestinian armed resistance to Israel would be amplified, not reduced. This means that education could well become the issue that breaks the Mephistophelian pact between the EU and the PA.
It is clear to any sensible person that teaching Palestinian children to fear and hate Israelis, and to engage in the violent destruction of Israel, is no basis on which to build a two-state solution, [which is what the EU claims to support]. Not only is it detrimental to Israel, but it is deeply wounding to the children themselves, who are given no hope of a bright future within their own state.
Meanwhile, the PA—whose senior members have grown fabulously wealthy from all the funding poured into their coffers—is trapped between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, if they give in to demands to deliver [an acceptable] curriculum, the drive behind their Palestinian nationalist narrative will quickly falter, leading eventually to normalization with Israel and to their rule being toppled in favor of true moderate rule. On the other, if they brazen it out and have funding pulled, they risk an impoverished Palestinian population turning on them.