The German government denies that tax money could possibly flow to Hamas, according to Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and Svenja Schulze, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation. This is initially credible, especially since the members of the government repeatedly and convincingly communicate this publicly in interviews and TV appearances.
Volker Beck, former leader of the Green Party in the German Parliament and now the President of the German-Israeli Society, has said several times in recent weeks that German money is used to finance Palestinian school books and children’s and youth publications, which lead to hatred and violence against Israelis and against called out Jews. Baerbock contradicted her party colleague’s thesis that there was no such call for hatred and violence.
But there can only be one truth and latest research shows that the German government’s statements are probably not entirely true. The only question that arises is whether this was done knowingly or out of naivety. As early as 2018, under Angela Merkel’s government, the Bundestag’s Budget Committee requested – and approved – 25 million euros for Palestinian education projects until 2022. 25 million euros were charged for a so-called “Education Program V”. Other countries were also involved in this funding program, in this case Norway, Finland, Ireland and Belgium. Germany’s contribution in this “fifth phase”, which was the fifth extension of the Palestinian education program until 2022, amounted to 25 million euros with the aim of enabling “pupils” to acquire “the skills relevant to the 21st century acquire”. What was hoped for was “a teaching design based on democracy and human rights”. October 7, 2023 proves: This goal was obviously missed. In addition, “a donor-funded project implementation unit supported the Palestinian Ministry of Education in implementing major infrastructure measures in Gaza.”
The funding project has “proven to be an important factor in ensuring appropriate school designs and in adhering to the non-contact policy towards Hamas,” according to a statement from the responsible ministry in Berlin. The partner of this educational policy basket financing “is and remains the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah for Gaza.” “This ensures compliance with the EU and UN sanctions regimes. Access by Hamas to the basket funding can be completely ruled out.” If this lack of knowledge concerned educational programs in a small country away from a conflict zone, those responsible could be allowed to continue dilating, but not , if you operate in the powder keg of the Middle East. Middle East in general, in the Palestinian territories in particular and especially in the Gaza Strip. It was precisely this that the 25 million were given “priority” as a “foundation for social participation and for the realization of future opportunities for Palestinian children and young people”.
Since 2007, the inefficient PA, based in Ramallah, in the West Bank, and led by Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah, has no longer had any say in the Gaza Strip, let alone control it. It was driven out by Hamas in an internal Palestinian civil war. Only Israel’s sabotage was feared, but a “minimization of these risks” was boldly recommended, “by, for example, urging the Israeli government to send the transfers from customs duties and taxes due to the Palestinian side on time.”
The German government, but also other EU ministries, always relied on effective controls to “avoid undesirable political developments in the education sector and reputational risks for the donors involved” and “close dialogue with the Palestinian Ministry of Education” in Ramallah – although exactly knows that since 2007 at the latest, the PA has had nothing to say in Gaza because it was driven out of there.
And funded textbooks? The EU bureaucracy tried to protect itself. The Federal Government, for example, said that it was aware that criticism of the content of Palestinian school books was occasionally and primarily from the Israeli side. Palestinian school books and curricula are particularly frequently examined in international comparison. The pedagogical approach is assessed as modern and of high quality, regardless of the learning content… However, inflammatory and dehumanizing learning content is rarely objectionable. The German federal government will ensure “that federal funds are not used for the development or financing of curricula or textbooks in the area of basic education.” Since when are textbooks not included in the education budget? Ignorance, misleading or hypocrisy? In any case, the green of the plants has now become the offices of the EU ministries turned into deep red blood streams of Israelis and Palestinians who are being used as cannon fodder by their own leadership.
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