The UK government’s new plan to ‘help’ Palestinian school kids is creepy as all hell

Palestinian children play together; Penny Mordaunt
Support us and go ad-free

The UK government announced its involvement in a new plan to ‘help’ Palestinian school children on 19 March. The Department for International Development (DFID) revealed that it has “successfully pushed for a review into Palestinian textbooks”.

In short, the UK is going to take a “central role” in making sure Palestinian children only look at materials that “promote peace and tolerance” in school. Now, encouraging kids to value peace and tolerance is obviously a good thing. But it’s creepy as all hell when the children in question live under a violent military occupation which arrests hundreds of them every year. Because you’re in danger of indoctrinating oppressed people to be tolerant of their own oppression, while leaving the oppressor free to do as they choose.

“A decent education”

In its announcement, the DFID explained:

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

After calls by the UK government for international action on education materials, a group of international partners, including the UK will lead a review into the books included in the Palestinian Authority’s current curriculum for primary and secondary school children.

It says the UK and its “international partners” will use the review to “identify the steps necessary to ensure such books promote peace and tolerance”. It also claims the Palestinian Authority has agreed to “engage constructively” with the review’s findings. These will apparently be available by September. International development secretary Penny Mordaunt said:

We are working closely with the Palestinian Authority to ensure that all Palestinian children receive a decent education and are able to fulfil their potential.

Freedom is slavery

The now famous motto displayed on the Ministry of Truth (Minitrue) building in George Orwell’s 1984 was:

War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

In Orwell’s world, the Inner Party (aka Big Brother) indoctrinates the oppressed masses to embrace those concepts wholeheartedly – and rat out anyone who doesn’t. The UK government shouldn’t be surprised if people level accusations of Minitrue-esque indoctrination at it over these plans. Because it’s planning to teach kids who are effectively imprisoned under Israel’s military occupation to be ‘peaceful’; to educate children who face regular violence at the hands of their oppressors to value “tolerance”.

If this review were taking place in both countries – Palestine and Israel – it would be a different matter. Educating children on both sides of the conflict in matters of peace could perhaps yield positive results. But targeting Palestinian kids solely as the ones who need such an education is creepy as all hell. As historian Mark Curtis says, it looks like the UK wants to teach Palestinian children “to be nice to their occupiers”.

Israel, a close ally of the UK, must be delighted.

Featured image via AJ+/YouTube and Daily Mail/YouTube

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us