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.
The US Treasury added three top Hezbollah figures to its list of sanctioned individuals on Tuesday, including two members of the Lebanese Parliament and a security official responsible for coordinating between Hezbollah and Lebanon’s security agencies.
It was the first time the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control had designated a member of Lebanon’s Parliament under a sanctions list that targets those accused by Washington of providing support to terrorist organizations. Washington has designated Hezbollah as a terrorist group.
South African fans in Cairo celebrating their team’s win over Egypt at the African Cup of Nations. Photo: Reuters / Sumaya Hisham.
Three days after South Africa stunned the world of international soccer by knocking hosts Egypt out of the 2019 African Cup of Nations, the sound of elation remains clearly detectable in the voice of the team’s Jewish midfielder, Dean Furman.
“It was a fantastic victory, just fantastic,” Furman told The Algemeiner during a break in training on Tuesday, as South Africa prepared for its crucial quarterfinal game against Nigeria, another of the continent’s toughest sides, tomorrow.
Pieter van Oordt, left, with his brother, Roger, at the Israel
For the second time in recent history, a Dutch Christian organization dedicated to supporting Israel has gone head-to-head with the government. With their family tradition of belief in Israel that preceded the state of Israel by almost one hundred years, it seems unlikely that the van Oordts are about to back down, no matter what the odds.
Last month, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy made a request from the management of the Israel Products Center (IPC) to ensure they were in compliance with regulations adopted in 2015 by the European Commission requiring products made by Jewish owned companies in Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights, and sections of Jerusalem to be labeled in a manner indicating their origins.
Studies have shown that dairy cows contribute large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, caused by the organisms living in their microbiomes.
Genetically modifying cows may help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and feed world populations, a new study led by Prof. Itzhak Mizrahi of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev suggests.
“Our findings are both a major breakthrough for basic science and will have a positive impact on two major challenges facing the international community for the foreseeable future: climate change and food security,” Mizrahi said.
The decision by IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi to promote Brig. Gen. Ofer Winter reflects his future political aspirations.
Incoming Israeli Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi walks out at the end of a handover ceremony where he replaces Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, Israel, Jan. 15, 2019.
Israel has its own version of Napoleon’s famous saying, “Every soldier carries a marshal’s baton in his pack.” In these parts, every general carries a prime minister’s baton — or at least that of a defense minister — in his pack
As Islamist Watch has pointed out many times before, Islam is enormously diverse – containing many competing schools of theology, schools of jurisprudence, sects, ethnicities, cultures and mysticisms. Islamism is also not a single force; it comprises dozens of (both) competing and collaborating radical ideologies.
One of the most intriguing divisions, then, within both American Islam and Islamism of late has been growing dissent over the question of liberalism.
Right after Trump’s inauguration, I ran an article about how incredibly fake the news coverage was about his inauguration. (Those reading my site know I’m not a big Trump fan, but credit where credit is due and calling fake where calling fake is due.) The media was nothing short of spectacularly fake in the news it contrived that week on CNN, the New York Times and the other major fake media, and they mostly got away with it.
It wasn’t condescension or contempt. Recent remarks by former Mossad head Shabtai Shavit reek of racism. That is the proper way to frame them, calling them anything else is letting him off easy. In its classic, formal sense, racism is when a certain social sector perceives itself as superior because of clear racial criteria. Shavit represents an updated version of racism that doesn’t require ethnicity or religion as proof of a defect – you can call it “essential racism.”
Little Napoleon Barak is going to save Israeli Democracy? What a bunch of claptrap Orwellian doublespeak.
Well let’s check out history. How well did the original Napoleon save France’s democratic revolution against the monarchy?
Hmm, if I recall he crowned himself emperor!
For years, the pundits have been telling us that Israeli democracy is in danger because of the Arab birthrate, or because of the Jewish nation-state law, or because of the debates over the powers of Israel’s High Court.
I wonder if they will recognize the danger posed by the 10 left-wing American Jewish organizations that have formed a new umbrella organization, the essential purpose of which is to undermine Israeli democracy.