Worthy Christian News » Israel-Palestinian Conflict » German Official Urges Freeze on EU Funding of PA Schools
ICEJ NEWS - 08/29/2001
A German member of the European Parliament said on Sunday that European Union funding for the Palestinian Authority's education system should be frozen after he was confronted with proof of "anti-Semitic" schoolbooks in Palestinian classrooms.
"I am going to call for a freezing of EU funding to Palestinian education authorities until all anti-Israeli passages from Palestinian schoolbooks are removed," Armin Laschet, a member of Germany's opposition Christian Democrats, told REUTERS.
Laschet was given English translations of anti-Semitic passages from Palestinian schoolbooks while visiting Israel four weeks ago as part of a European Parliament delegation. One passage from a textbook called "Islamic Education," used by 15-year-old Palestinians, read "Watch out for Jews because they are deceitful and disloyal", a phrase that is similar to some passages in the Islamic Holy Book, the Koran.
In another book used by 16-year-olds, the persecution of the Jews in Nazi Germany was put down to their "greed and religious fanaticism."
Laschet said he confronted PLO chief Yasser Arafat about the passages and Arafat confirmed they were in use in Palestinian classrooms. "Arafat confirmed the passages but said they were from old Jordanian books and that the Palestinian authorities had no money to replace them," Laschet said, adding that lack of money was no excuse. "The Palestinians get so much money from the EU they can certainly afford new books," he said.
Laschet also said he had seen newly-printed schoolbooks in which the word Israel does not appear on maps of the Middle East. He said the EU gave the Palestinians more than 300 million euros ($270 million) per year out of which education was one of the beneficiaries.
A report in Germany's DIE WELT newspaper on Sunday said some Palestinian schoolbooks with "anti-Semitic" passages were financed by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which receives donations from the European Union and individual nations.
Used with Permission from International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.