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Palestinian Authority textbooks – An issue in the 2019 Israeli elections?

Over the past three years, the Center for Near East Policy Research headed by journalist David Bedein conducted three comprehensive studies of all Palestinian Authority school textbooks used by UNRWA, the PA and Hamas schools.

These studies, personally delivered to the Office of the UN Secretary General, were carried out by Dr. Arnon Groiss, published by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terror Information Center, and were funded in part by the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

These  studies document that the Palestinian educational system systematically “delegitimizes Israel’s right to exist, demonizes Jews and indoctrinates for war” rather than engage in meaningful peace education.  Indeed, cities such as Tel Aviv, Nahariyya, Petah Tikva, Rishon Letzion, Netanya, Dimona, etc., are not shown on the maps in Palestinian textbooks for they were built by Jews and not Palestinian Arabs.  In the Palestinian textbooks, all of Israel including areas within the pre-1967 borders is referred to as Palestine.   Thus, Israeli cities such as Acre, Jaffa, Haifa, Safed and Tiberius are described as being Palestinian.

Mathematics, Grade 9, Part 2 (2017) even goes as far as eliminating a Hebrew inscription from a British Mandatory Palestinian coin.    Furthermore, the new Palestinian schoolbooks deny that the Jews have any history in the Land of Israel.  In their eyes, the Western Wall is Al Buraq Wall and belongs exclusively to Muslims.  They behave as if the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem never existed, even though Muslim sources in the past recognized its existence.

However, the Palestinian textbooks do more than deny Israel’s right to exist.  They also incite violence and hatred.  Islamic Education, Grade 5, Part 2 (2017) claims the Jews attempted to murder the Prophet Muhammed.  Islamic Education, Grade 5, Part 2 (2017) alleges that the Jews desecrate Muslim graves.  Islamic Education, Grade 7, Part 1 (2017) declares, “the Jews did not respect the treaty [they had signed with Muhammad] and went in for all kinds of treachery, betrayal and hostility, which made it necessary for the Muslims to fight them.”  Arabic Language, Grade 7, Part 1 (2017) refers to the Jews as the “devils aides” and Arabic Language, Grade 9, Part 2 (2017) claims that the Jews attack children “out of the fear of their dreams.”  Arabic Language, Grade 8, Part 1 (2017) concurs, accusing the Jews of murdering children’s dolls and destroying their childhood.

Social Studies, Grade 7, Part 1 (2017) spreads the libel Al Aqsa is in danger, which has been utilized since the days of Haj Amin Al Husseini to incite the Palestinian masses to wage violence against the Jewish people.   Furthermore, Arabic Language, Grade 5, Part 1 (2017) declares, “I shall shake the world tomorrow and march as a consolidated army; I have an appointment with my homeland and it is impossible that I forget that appointment.”  Our Beautiful Language, Grade 3, Part 2 (2017) added: “And I shall remove the usurper [ghaseb] from my country; And shall exterminate [ubid] the foreigners’ scattered remnants [fulul al-ghuraba’].” Terrorist Dalal al-Mughrabi, who murdered more than 30 civilians in the Coastal Highway Massacre, is described in the Palestinian textbooks as a “heroine and martyr of Palestine.”

The question remains, what do the political parties running in the upcoming Israeli elections plan to do about this?  Rachel Avraham, an Israel-based journalist and a political analyst working at the “Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research, Public Relations and Human Rights“,  approached  political parties in Israel and asked them to answer this question.

The results will be featured an article published by Israel Hayom on Israel election day

 In the article, only Yamina, Yisrael Beiteunu and the Likud argue that something should be done about it.  Shas did not consider the issue that important.  Blue and White refused to comment on the matter before the election.  Otzma Yehudit and Labor-Gesher did not bother replying.  Nitzan Horowitz, the head of the Democratic, responded, “What about the occupation?”


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