The view from my veranda

Confusion and Edification

19th May 2020


Well here goes the Mid-week update!


Usually one says “Do you want the good news or the bad news”? Well, today I’m going to say “Do you want the ‘I have no idea what is going on’ news, or the incredible news!!


The I have no idea what is going on news concerns the fact that we have a government but have no idea how long it will last, whether the master manipulator will actually hand over the Premiership to his co-Premier in 18 months and whether he will even be finished with his trial and be in or out of jail at the time!!


As if that isn’t confusing enough we have some 35 Ministries including one Minister for Water! I’m just relieved that they didn’t split the offices into hot and cold water sharing a secretary for tepid! I am joking, but in fact I am furious! The country is in financial chaos, as virtually everywhere is, monies promised to small businesses has not arrived, people have lost their jobs left right and centre, they claim they have no money to save our National Airline, El Al, unless they fire some 2,000 employees and yet we have 35 offices, with 35 office staff and the very nice salaries paid to each Minister! The new government will cost a total of NIS 238.5million, or an annual increase of NIS 79million.


Today’s research claims that 70% of Israel’s Covid-19 cases emanated from the USA, people returning from either vacation or visiting for Pesach.


Now for the really good news. In fact now for the incredible news!


Impact-se tends to work behind the scenes. We don’t hit the headlines but rather we can be seen in the text of articles about tolerance in education. We prefer it that way because it allows for the slow and careful process of reaching and teaching the important issues in places of influence without creating diplomatic tsunamis.


Yesterday, in a meeting chaired by the Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Dr. Muhammad Shtayyeh, the Palestinian Cabinet approved a plan to make changes to the PA curriculum for the upcoming 2020-21 school year.

The announcement (available in Arabic here) follows last Thursday’s passage of three separate resolutions through the European Parliament that condemn the Palestinian failure to remove hate speech and violence in textbooks. The resolutions were driven by IMPACT-se.

The legislation has implications for EU budget allocation to Palestinian education aid. It also urges the European Commission to prevent abuse of EU aid to teach hate and incitement.


In March 2020, the UK government announced it is “deeply concerned about allegations of incitement in Palestinian Authority’s school textbooks” in a speech and written response to a parliamentary question on the issue by Middle East Minister James Cleverly MP.

In December 2019, the Norwegian Parliament instructed its government to withhold funding to the Palestinian Authority if incitement is not removed from textbooks. The Parliament described the new PA curriculum as devastating to the peace process.

In December 2019, the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee passed the bipartisan Peace and Tolerance in Palestinian Education Act (H.R. 2343) by unanimous consent and is moving through U.S. Congress.

In August 2019, the United Nations issued an unprecedented report (p. 5-6) calling on the Palestinian Authority to remove all Anti-Semitic material, hate speech, and incitement to violence from their school curriculum that perpetuate prejudices and hatred.

IMPACT-se has been integral to the initiation and adoption of these measures keeping the Palestinian curriculum a hot-button issue in Parliaments across Europe and in the United states.

Selected examples and main findings on the Palestinian Authority curriculum can be found here.


It is rare to find a small organisation with such a huge impact on the lives of young people around the world. Hatred, the teaching of hatred may start at home but the only way to stop the cycle is to introduce new ideas of equality and respect through school, through teachers and through what a child reads.


I’m so proud that the introduction of tolerance in education emanates from Israel.


I promise to tell you all about our week on Friday. Friday, Jerusalem Day….the Hebrew date for the moment we were able to reach our holy sites for the first time in 19 year, the years that Jordan had control.


Today, oh boy today is at least 40 degrees Celsius with winds blowing a gale in Jerusalem but the earth standing still in Raanana!!  I know we have a “sharav” every year for a day or so but this seems to be endless. The funny thing is they are predicting cool weather and rain for Shabbat!


Have a wonderful week and we will talk on Friday


Love from Jerusalem where the government is talk talk talk and Impact is walk walk walk!!