Thursday, January 17, 2008

The DFID respond to the TPA study on Hate Education

Yesterday we released a report on how British taxpayers' money supports hate education in the Palestinian territories. The response from the Government is a little confused.

As I wrote on the TPA blog:

"Today our study on Hate Education in the Palestinian territories was reported in the Express. The report included a response from the Department for International Development:

"A spokesman for the Department for International Development said: “We don’t fund the Palestinian Authority directly and therefore don’t fund textbooks."

How strange, on the 11th of July last year they put out a press release titled:

"UK leads the way in resuming direct aid for Palestinian Authority"

The release continued:

"The UK has underlined its support for the Palestinian Authority with a contribution of £3 million to allow it to begin paying off its private sector debts, Douglas Alexander, Secretary of State for International Development, announced today.

A month after Hamas’ takeover of Gaza and the establishment of a new Government by President Mahmoud Abbas, today’s announcement makes the UK one of the first countries to resume direct financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority." [emphasis added]

Beyond that, the problem isn't just direct contributions, as the Express notes: "the TaxPayers’ Alliance said that, by funding worthwhile activities, Britain was freeing up funds which could be spent in more sinister areas."

Our report raises serious issues about how the UK contributes to the long-term prospects for an end to the Israel-Palestine conflict. It makes positive recommendations, modelled on longstanding practice in Northern Ireland, for how our aid money can encourage an end to radicalisation and hate education. The DFID should look at those recommendations instead of issuing nonsensical rebuttals."

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