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S. 3209 (117th): Peace and Tolerance in Palestinian Education Act


The text of the bill below is as of Nov 15, 2021 (Introduced). The bill was not enacted into law.


II

117th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 3209

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

November 15, 2021

introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations

A BILL

To require the Secretary of State to submit annual reports reviewing the educational material used by the Palestinian Authority in schools, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Peace and Tolerance in Palestinian Education Act.

2.

Findings

Congress finds the following:

(1)

In 2016 and 2017, the Palestinian Authority published modified curricula for school-aged children in grades 1 through 11.

(2)

Textbooks used by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Gaza include graphics portraying violence against Israeli soldiers, positive portrayals of individuals who have committed attacks against citizens of Israel, and references to Palestinian efforts to target the Zionists.

(3)

Palestinian Authority textbooks are used at schools sponsored by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East because the schools use the textbooks of the host government.

(4)

On April 26, 2018, the Government Accountability Office published a report that found the following:

(A)

Textbooks in schools in areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority feature inaccurate and misleading maps of the region and include militaristic, adversarial imagery and content that incite hatred.

(B)

The Department of State raised with Palestinian officials the objectionable content in the textbooks, including a specific math problem using the number of Palestinian casualties in the First and Second Intifadas.

(C)

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, in its review of the textbooks, identified content not aligned with United Nations values, the majority of which content related to neutrality or bias issues, including issues related to maps and references to Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.

3.

Sense of Congress

It is the sense of Congress that the Palestinian Authority has not sufficiently eliminated content encouraging violence or intolerance toward other countries or ethnic groups from the curriculum used in schools in areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority.

4.

Reports required

(a)

In general

Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter for 2 years in accordance with subsection (c), the Secretary of State shall submit to the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives a report reviewing curriculum used in schools in areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority or located in Gaza and controlled by any other entity.

(b)

Elements

Each report required by subsection (a) shall include the following:

(1)

A determination of whether the curriculum reviewed contains content encouraging violence or intolerance toward other countries or ethnic groups, and a detailed explanation of the reasons for reaching such determination.

(2)

An assessment of the steps the Palestinian Authority is taking to reform curriculum containing such content at schools to conform with standards of peace and tolerance in the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance adopted by Member States of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization on November 16, 1995.

(3)

A determination of whether United States foreign assistance is used, directly or indirectly, to fund the dissemination of such curriculum by the Palestinian Authority.

(4)

A detailed report on how United States assistance is being used to address curriculum that encourages violence or intolerance toward other nations or ethnic groups.

(5)

A detailed report on United States diplomatic efforts, during the 5-year period preceding the date on which the report is submitted, to encourage peace and tolerance in Palestinian education.

(6)

If any diplomatic efforts referred to in paragraph (5) were stopped by the Secretary of State, the reasons for such stoppages.

(c)

Public availability

The Secretary of State shall post on a publicly available website of the Department of State each report required by subsection (a).

(d)

Subsequent deadlines

Each report required by subsection (a), other than the first such report, shall be submitted not later than 90 days after the date on which a new school year begins for schools in areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority.