The Norwegian Parliament has endorsed a cut in aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) due to ongoing concerns over antisemitism and incitement to violence against Jews in its educational material.
According to IMPACT-se, an organisation that monitors hate speech in regional education, the materials continue to contain racism, antisemitism and incitement to violence, despite promises of improvements by the PA. As a result, the Norwegian Government is cutting 30 million Krone (£2.6 million) in aid.
The Progress Party led the push to reduce aid, with one MP saying “not a single Krone should go to Palestinian education” until the PA materials stopped containing “hate speech.” He also regretted that it had taken “so many years to take a strict line.”
“The Palestinian school curriculum abounds with calls for violence and hatred against Israel and for martyrdom to be glorified,” noted Sylvia Listhaug, deputy leader of the Progress Party. “It is quite clear that Norway cannot support this.”
A Christian Democrat MP and Foreign Affairs Committee member Geir Toskedal said that he and his colleagues had long “been uneasy about both [the] textbooks and teaching programmes.”
Last June, Norway’s foreign minister, Ine Eriksen Søreide, announced that funds earmarked for the PA’s education sector would be withheld until changes were made to schoolbooks. In December the Norwegian Parliament urged the PA to remove violent, racist and antisemitic materials from its school curriculum, or face funding cuts.