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Middle East: Antisemitism

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 32290, tabled on 19 March 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his (a) Jordanian, (b) Egyptian, (c) Saudia Arabian counterparts and (d) the Palestinian Authority on the removal of reported antisemitic ideology from national curriculums.

Answered on

27 March 2020

The Government is committed to combatting the rise of anti-Semitism in all its forms and we have a regular, frank and open dialogue with international partners on this issue. The International Development Secretary reiterated our concerns about allegations of incitement in Palestinian textbooks in a call to the Palestinian Education Minister just last month, during which they discussed the Palestinian Authority's review of the content of Palestinian textbooks. The Foreign Secretary discussed freedom of religion or belief with the Saudi authorities during his visit to Riyadh on 4 and 5 March. Saudi Arabia has committed to several education reform programmes including the revision of textbooks. Although we do not believe that Jordan's curriculum contains materials which promote hatred in any form, we have a major programme in support of education in Jordan. My predecessor met the Jordanian Minister of Education in January. We have a regular, positive engagement with the Egyptian authorities on freedom of religion or belief. Our Honourary Consul in Alexandria attended a service at the Synagogue of Alexandria in February to mark its reopening after refurbishment.