The think tank that I run, the Center for Near East Policy Research, has completed a four-year research activity in which all 364 schoolbooks for grades 1-12 that were published by the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the years 2013-2018 were examined. The chief researcher whom we hired to examine the texts used by the Palestinian Authority and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) schools was Dr. Arnon Groiss, a scholar of Middle Eastern studies. The goal of this research project was to check the Palestinian attitude toward the Israeli-Jewish “other” and to the possibility of solving the war with the “other” in a peaceful manner, in the spirit of the peace agreements known as “the Oslo Accords” that were signed by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel in 1993-1995. The project yielded three studies which demonstrate that Palestinian students are learning that a peaceful resolution of the war with Israel is not an option. Instead, the theme that runs through the PA curriculum is that “Palestine” must be liberated from “Zionist occupation” by way of an armed struggle titled “Revolution [Thawrah],” which involves terrorist actions styled as “self-sacrificing operations [‘amaliyyat Fidaiyyah].”
You can see this in the context in a PA schoolbook reference in one of the books to the “1972 Munich operation” in which 11 members of the Israeli team at the Olympic Games were massacred (History Studies, Grade 11). Those who carry out such actions are called “self-sacrificing ones [Fidais]” and those among the liberation struggle are called on to liberate the Muslim holy place of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and removing it from the Jews’ sway.
Palestinian pupils are taught that “struggle for liberation” is not limited to the areas of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, but rather the whole country from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea, as Zionist occupation is said to have started in 1948 in what is termed “the Catastrophe [Nakbah]”, and not in 1967. Israel’s pre-1967 territory is termed “the Palestinian territories that were occupied in 1948” (Management and Economics, Grade 11). Pre-1967 Israel is never presented as a legitimate sovereign state nor does it appear on the map where it is replaced in its entirety by “Palestine.”
Israel’s very name is replaced in PA texts as “the Zionist Occupation” or “the Zionist Entity,” which should be extirpated from the Middle East (History Studies, Grade 12). Cities inside pre-1967 Israel, such as Nazareth, Jaffa, Haifa, Acre, Tiberias, Beer Sheba and Ashkelon, are transformed by PA schoolbooks into Palestinian cities. Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war and their five-million-or-so descendants are mandated by PA education to return to liberated Palestine and thus the 70-year old “Catastrophe” would end.
PA schoolbooks present all of the six million Jewish citizens as colonizing settlers motivated by racist sentiments (History Studies, Grade 12), who occupied Palestine, massacred and expelled many of its original inhabitants, and have held the rest “under occupation” to this very day. The illegitimate status of the Jews in the country in the eyes of Palestinian educators is well expressed by the noted absence from the map of cities established by Jews in modern times, or showing them under Arabic names. Tel Aviv’s name is presented as “Tal al-Rabi.“ Eilat appears as “Umm al-Rashrash.”
Not only is the current Jewish presence in Palestine delegitimized, but PA education denies past Jewish history in the country, as well as their holy places that are presented as exclusively Islamic ones, including the Western Wall in Jerusalem and the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. The Jews’ notions of historical ties to Jerusalem in particular, are described in PA texts as “baseless claims,” “superstitions,” “legends,” “illusions,” and “distorted narratives” (Arabic Language 1: Reading, Grammar, Prosody and Expression – Academic Path, Grade 12) and the Jews themselves are presented as “usurpers” and “invaders.”
As if this heavy de-legitimization of both Israel’s existence and the Jews’ very presence in the country is not enough, the PA schoolbooks also contain numerous pieces demonizing all Jews within two Islamic contexts: as a people disobedient to, even blasphemous of, God, according to Koranic verses, and as a group hostile to Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, and the early Muslims in Arabia. The impact of these accusations on the minds of young Palestinians who are relatively religiously-oriented portrays all Jews in Israel in a negative light, even more than their demonization in the context of the ongoing Arab-Israeli war which was launched by the Arab League in 1948. Israel, referred to in the PA texts by the epithet “the Zionist Entity,” is demonized in the context of the “primary sin” of its very establishment.
Meanwhile, PA textbooks accuse the Zionist entity of perpetrating numerous massacres against Palestinians, assassinating Palestinian leaders, destroying Palestinian villages, causing Palestinian children’s suffering, being aggressive, violating international laws and conventions, maltreating Palestinian “prisoners of war,” confiscating Palestinian land, uprooting trees, causing Palestinian unemployment, limiting Palestinians’ free movement, detaining school students, damaging Palestinian economy, polluting the Palestinian environment, and even endangering Palestinian nutritive security and causing the desertification of Palestine. PA texts ignore any Palestinian terror actions that may have contributed to the creation of this situation.
The effort of the PA schoolbooks is augmented by the absence of any objective information about Israel and the Jews that would counterbalance it. Nor do the PA schoolbooks refer to the Jewish-Israeli individual as an ordinary human being. Jews are referred to as a hated ethnic group, with all the accompanying connotations of alienation and threat, which makes them a legitimate target for violence. Indeed, using violence against Israel and the Jews is considered by the PA schoolbooks as legitimate (in defense of Islam and its holy places in the country), moral (in light of their perceived inherent evil), and legal (because they are presented as foreign occupiers who act in contradiction to international law, and said to constitute an existential threat to the Palestinian people).
Peace and co-existence cannot be an option, given the indoctrination of PA schoolbooks. Thus, these new schoolbooks contribute to the perpetuation of war. Indeed, one of the findings of the present study is that such indoctrination has spread to all school subjects, especially mathematics, and it appears as well in purely professional textbooks such as “Small Businesses” and “Management and Economics” of the Entrepreneurship and Business stream and “Entrepreneurship in Business” of the Technological stream.
We have presented our findings before the U.S. Congress, the Canadian Parliament, the Swedish Parliament, the British Parliament and, most recently, at the United Nations. People who support peace in the Middle East should raise their voices and demand that the Palestinian Authority change its war-oriented curriculum as a precondition to any move towards peace, in accordance with its commitments by virtue of the Oslo Peace Accords which form the basis of the very establishment and operation of the nascent PA. A peace accord without peace education seems futile.
BDS movement founder Omar Barghouti (YouTube)
Omar Barghouti, founder and leader of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, was denied entry to the United States on Wednesday.
He was informed by airline staff at Ben-Gurion International Airport in Israel that U.S. immigration officials told the American consul in Tel Aviv to block him from boarding the flight.
A State Department official told NPR, “Visa records are confidential under U.S. law; therefore, we cannot discuss the details of individual visa cases.”
The US Capitol Building. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
Four of Israel’s most dedicated supporters in the US Congress on Friday expressed concern that the Jewish state may annex the West Bank, as results from Israel’s election earlier this week confirmed the likelihood of a right-wing government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“As strong, life-long supporters of Israel, a U.S.-Israel relationship rooted in our shared values, and the two-state solution, we are greatly concerned by the possibility of Israel taking unilateral steps to annex the West Bank,” said a joint statement from Democratic representatives Eliot Engel (NY), Chair of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs,
The final image sent by Israeli spacecraft Beresheet before it crash-landed on the moon. Photo: courtesy of Space IL.
Astronauts and scientists at the US space agency NASA commended the Israeli non-profit organization SpaceIL for its efforts afyer its spacecraft “Beresheet” failed to land safely on the moon on Thursday.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said, “While NASA regrets the end of the SpaceIL mission without a successful lunar landing of the Beresheet lander, we congratulate SpaceIL, the Israel Aerospace Industries and the state of Israel on the incredible accomplishment of sending the first privately funded mission into lunar orbit.”
“Der ewige Jude” – “Theeternal Jew” movie poster . (photo credit: WIKIPEDIA)
The lead article Thursday on the opinion page of the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper compared Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with the 1940 Nazi antisemitic movie The Eternal Jew.
The article was titled in the paper “The Eternal Netanyahu” in a word play in connection with director Fritz Hippler’s antisemitic pseudo-documentary, based on the medieval legend of the wandering Jew, that served as a cinematographic justification for the Holocaust.
As an orthopedic surgeon for 30 years in Washington, D.C. I see patients from all over the world and from every walk of life and what has become clear to me is that everyone is fundamentally the same. As a rule, I shy away from political or religious discussions with my patients as they have no bearing on their care. But occasionally, the discussions are thrust on me.
Several years ago I treated a professor of political science from a local university and had established a good rapport with him. On his last visit before saying goodbye he popped a question.
It is well-known by some and wholly ignored by others that Islam has a long, sad history of antisemitism, a bigotry that originated in the seventh century CE (the first Islamic century) and has grown more vicious in the 21st. Combined with an almost universal anti-Zionism and bolstered by many on the political “left”, it is today the most ubiquitous and deadliest form of Jew-hatred. It takes the form, not just of insults, boycotts, and lawfare, but of wars, terrorist attacks, and calls for the destruction of the Jewish state and the genocide of the Jews.
Amman – The streets in Amman’s Jebel al-Weibdeh are crowded in the early evening with sounds of young people looking for a place to relax. Coffee shops intermix with art studios selling crafts for tourists. At the Maestro bar and restaurant, a band is getting ready for a live performance. The lights are dimmed and someone has put “no smoking” signs on the tables – they are out of place with the ash trays. Apparently, Monday has jam sessions and anyone can bring their instrument to join in. But it’s Wednesday.
A few of my readers recently asked me to explain the difference between “Palestinians” living inside and outside of Israel’s borders. Who are the “Palestinians” anyway? First, see below:
“Palestine” does not exist today as a nation-state, but at multiple times in history, including the present, it has been one of the names of a place. The Romans, recalling the defunct Philistines – non-Arab Sea People – coined it after defeating [Jewish general] Bar Kochba in 135 CE to disassociate what had been Judaea from Jews.
President Trump’s peace plan for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict surfaced two years ago and to this day – remarkably – only he and a handful of aides know its precise details. A stream of leaks, however, contains enough internal consistency that their collation, supplemented by conversations with administration officials, provides a plausible outline of the plan’s contents.
On March 31, a South Bend grandma brought her grandson to the hospital. The 11-month-old baby boy had been shot. His grandmother’s car had also taken fire. It was another early morning in South Bend.
Around the same time, Mayor Buttigieg, was toting up the $7 million in donations from his charm offensive as his bid for the 2020 Democrat nomination got underway. The national media never bothered reporting the shooting of an 11-month-old boy in the city he was supposed to be running, but instead confined its coverage of South Bend matters to a publicity stunt wedding officiated by Buttigieg.
The Palestinian students are being targeted because of their political affiliations and not because of any crime they committed.
While the Palestinian Authority and Hamas are busy beating up each other’s supporters, “pro-Palestinian” activists on US and Canadian university campuses are busy blaming Israel for Palestinian woes.
As an American Christian who has had the privilege of working in senior-level positions for four US presidents and who has enjoyed a close association with three of Israel’s prime ministers, I believe it is my obligation to provide the Israeli people with my views. I think my viewpoint is important because a vast number of American Evangelical Christians believe as I believe. In addition, Evangelical Christians are, without question, Israel’s strongest supporters in the United States.
Does Case 3000 – known as the submarine affair – prove that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is guilty of doing something illegal? Well, all Likud supporters believe with absolute confidence that it’s a political plot. Netanyahu’s opponents, however, believe – also with absolute confidence – that it’s the largest corruption case to ever occur in the State of Israel.