Palestine Israel
Palestine is consumed by a 'culture of hate' according to MP Gordon Henderson.

MP Gordon Henderson has said Palestinian society is wracked by a "culture of hate" towards Israel and claimed British funding to the Palestinian Authority (PA) is being used to reward terrorism.

The MP for Sittingbourne and Sheppey, who is part of Conservative Friends of Israel, said Palestine has encouraged its children to hate Jews, Israel and the West, and urged the British Government to take a stand against this attitude.

During the debate at Westminster Hall, Henderson asked his opponent, Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt, to "give me an assurance that the Government will make, and will continue to make, representations to the PA that incitement against Israel is unacceptable and in contravention of the Oslo agreement."

The speaker claimed that, while Israeli jingoism is "rightly" condemned by the Government, "widespread PA-endorsed incitement has gone unchallenged for too long."

Glorification of violence

After asserting that "a culture of hate has wormed its way into the fibre of Palestinian society", Henderson claimed the PA has authorised educational maps which define the entire Israeli territory as Palestine, and a similar attitude pervades Palestine's sporting events and TV programmes.

According to Henderson, the Palestinian veneration of martyrs and prisoners only prolongs the cycle of hate incitement.

"This so called glorification of violence and the demonization of Israel is a prime factor behind the reasons why there is a continued stalemate on the peace process."

Addressing the issue of funding to the PA, Henderson criticised the lack of transparency surrounding the award and receipt of these monies, and said they are actually being utilised by the PA in the form of "rewards for terrorists."

However Burt said that he does not "fully share the bleakness" of Henderson's remarks, "particularly his comment that Palestinians have been consistently and unremittingly taught to hate Jews, Israel and the West. I genuinely find that far too wide an expression to cover all Palestinians everywhere in the region.

"I also feel that, to neglect any sense of any activity that may have been perpetrated by Israelis during the occupation as any part of popular anger against Israel, misses an important part of the context. That is not to minimise the damage done by incitement, but not to mention that and not to feel that it is part of the context is, in my view, simply wrong," he adds.

Discussing funding, Burt highlighted the fact that the UK engages closely with the PA in order to make sure the funds are allocated to their intended destination, and that the aid goes directly to families who have children in prisons.