‘Jihadi’ textbook probe descends into farce: Investigation into literature used in British-funded Palestinian schools is slammed – after researchers analysed Israeli publications promoting peace
- A joint UK-EU study to provide a ‘thorough review’ of the books was promised
- Report to be completed in October by Germany’s Georg Eckert Institute
- Concerns were raised after presentation of report included glaring omissions
An official investigation into ‘jihadi textbooks’ used in British-funded Palestinian schools was branded a farce yesterday – after researchers mistakenly analysed Israeli textbooks that promote peace.
Ministers promised urgent action in February after the Mail revealed how £120 million of UK foreign aid helps pay for schools in Gaza and the West Bank, where reading exercises for six-year-olds include the words ‘martyr’ and ‘attack’ and ten-year-olds learn the most important thing is giving their life for ‘jihad’.
The Government promised that a joint UK-EU study would provide a ‘thorough independent review’ of the books and pledged to make the Palestinian Authority take action.
An official investigation into ‘jihadi textbooks’, pictured, used in British-funded Palestinian schools was branded a farce yesterday after researchers analysed the wrong book
The report, which is being carried out by Germany’s Georg Eckert Institute, will be completed in October.
But major concerns were raised after a 177-page presentation of the interim report included glaring omissions, with some of the worst examples of violence and anti-Semitism in the books ‘inexplicably’ overlooked.
Most extraordinarily, in several cases researchers presented textbooks edited and published in Israel to teach children in Arabic-language east Jerusalem schools as those being taught to pupils in the Palestinian Authority.
Researchers cited these books as showing how the Palestinian books were being ‘transformed’ for the better.
They praised a science book for ‘explicitly promoting peace’ by explaining potential energy with the example of a bow and arrow.
In fact, in the textbook used in the Palestinian Authority, physics is taught to 11-year-olds with the image of a boy with a slingshot targeting Israeli soldiers.
The interim report also makes no mention of horrific language and images used in many of the Palestinian textbooks, including a reading comprehension about the burning of Jewish bus passengers with Molotov cocktails using the expression ‘barbecue party’.
Also omitted is how Arabic language is taught through a story promoting suicide bombings and illustrated with Israeli soldiers in a tank being shot by a Palestinian gunman.
A letter from Conservative Friends of Israel to the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary signed by former ministers Stephen Crabb and Eric Pickles said the revelations raised ‘fundamental questions’ about the inquiry into a curriculum that ‘glorifies violence and encourages discord’.
A letter from Conservative Friends of Israel to the Prime Minister signed by former minister Stephen Crabb (pictured) said the revelations raised questions about the inquiry into a curriculum that ‘glorifies violence’
It adds: ‘There are worrying problems including basic translation errors, glaring omissions…
‘Palestinian children deserve better. It is unacceptable that these children will continue using textbooks that promote violence and hatred of Israel and Jews, taught by teachers paid for by the UK.’
Marcus Sheff, of Israeli research institute Impact-se, who analysed the presentation, said: ‘The review has been a comedy of errors from start to finish.’
The Department for International Development and the Georg-Eckert Institute declined to comment.