The EU May Finally Be Forced to Face the Truth about Palestinian Education

June 24 2021

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.

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Read more at JNS

More about: Anti-Semitism, European Union, Palestinian Authority

Reforms to Israel’s Judiciary Must Be Carefully Calibrated

The central topic of debate in Israel now is the new coalition government’s proposed reforms of the nation’s judiciary and unwritten constitution. Peter Berkowitz agrees that reform is necessary, but that “the proper scope and pace of reform, however, are open to debate and must be carefully calibrated.”

In particular, Berkowitz argues,

to preserve political cohesiveness, substantial changes to the structure of the Israeli regime must earn support that extends beyond these partisan divisions.

In a deft analysis of the conservative spirit in Israel, bestselling author Micah Goodman warns in the Hebrew language newspaper Makor Rishon that unintended consequences flowing from the constitutional counterrevolution are likely to intensify political instability. When a center-left coalition returns to power, Goodman points out, it may well repeal through a simple majority vote the major changes Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition seeks to enact. Or it may use the legislature’s expanded powers, say, to ram through laws that impair the religious liberty of the ultra-Orthodox. Either way, in a torn nation, constitutional counterrevolution amplifies division.

Conservatives make a compelling case that balance must be restored to the separation of powers in Israel. A prudent concern for the need to harmonize Israel’s free, democratic, and Jewish character counsels deliberation in the pursuit of necessary constitutional reform.

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Read more at RealClearPolitics

More about: Israel & Zionism, Israeli Judicial Reform