Middle East Peace, Security and Development and UNRWA

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:00 pm on 15th June 2022.

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Photo of Sarah Champion Sarah Champion Chair, International Development Committee, Chair, International Development Committee 4:00 pm, 15th June 2022

I agree with the hon. Gentleman on some of that, and I will go into a little detail. Of course we should have zero tolerance of antisemitism. We should have zero tolerance of any form of hate crime. I have no reason to doubt the criticism contained in the Georg Eckert Institute review of the Palestinian Authority textbooks, and I believe action has been taken as a result of the report.

To quote the then Minister, James Cleverly said in response to a written question last January:

UNRWA has a robust review system of each host country’s textbooks to ensure education in its schools reflects the values and principles of the UN.”

I am sure that Robert Largan reads the House of Commons Library’s updates on international news. Today it published that the EU has resumed funding UNRWA in full, based on its research on the textbooks he mentioned. I understand the hon. Gentleman’s concerns, but the evidence points to that issue having now been resolved. Of course, no agency is perfect, and I will come on to that.