PA Teaching Children to Hate
Palestinian Media Watch reports:
Washington, DC – The new Palestinian Authority (PA) textbooks for Grade 12 encourage students to see Israel, the US and the West as enemies, and portray the PA’s territorial disputes with Israel as an existential religious conflict for Islam, according to a report released today by Palestinian Media Watch and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The report, “From Nationalist Battle to Religious Conflict: New 12th Grade Palestinian Textbooks Present a World Without Israel,” was written by PMW director Itamar Marcus and associate director Barbara Crook, and analyzes eight textbooks released at the end of 2006.
According to the report, the new books create for students an image, both textual and visual, of a world without Israel. They reject Israel’s right to exist, while describing its founding as a “catastrophe that is unprecedented in history.” According to the report, the books encourage students to see themselves as victims of Israel’s existence, and actively prevent these young people from seeing Israel as a neighbor to live beside in peace. The history books barely acknowledge the peace process. This is compounded by the presentation of the conflict as a religious conflict to defend Islamic land, and leaves no latitude or religious option for students to have positive — or even neutral — attitudes towards Israel.
The textbooks likewise portray the US and the West in negative terms, describing the relationship as a “clash of civilizations.” The books teach that the US is a human rights abuser and a violator of international humanitarian law. The texts assert that the US is an economic supporter of Israel, while completely ignoring the US aid to the PA and to Palestinian humanitarian projects.
Senator Hillary Clinton commented:
“I believe that education is one of the keys to lasting peace in the Middle East and for this reason I am very concerned with these findings. Ever since we first raised this issue some years ago there still has not been an adequate repudiation of incitement by the Palestinian Authority. It is even more disturbing that the problem appears to have gotten worse. These textbooks don’t give Palestinian children an education, they give them an indoctrination.”
O, and who pays for these books? From the Executive Summary:
At the end of 2006, the Palestinian Authority (PA) Ministry of Higher Education introduced new 12th grade schoolbooks, written by the Center for Developing the Palestinian Curricula. The center is comprised of Palestinian educators appointed by the Fatah governments of Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas, and directed by Dr. Naim Abu Al-Humos, former PA Minister of Higher Education, appointed in 2002. The center is backed by foreign funding, with special thanks to Belgium noted in the new schoolbooks.
The following description of Israel’s founding represents the dominant dogma about Israel in Palestinian schoolbooks:
“Palestineâ€™s war ended with a catastrophe that is unprecedented in history, when the Zionist gangs stole Palestine and expelled its people from their cities, their villages, their lands and their houses, and established the State of Israel.”
[Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism, grade 12, p. 104 ]
Defining Israel’s founding as a “catastrophe unprecedented in history,” â€œa theft perpetrated by “Zionist gangs,” together with numerous other hateful descriptions of Israel as “colonial imperialist” and “racist,” compounded by the presentation of the conflict as a religious war, leaves no latitude for students to have positive or even neutral attitudes towards Israel. This negative imagery and religious packaging are compounded by hateful presentations of Israeli policy. The young students are imbued with a Palestinian identity as â€œvictimsâ€? just by virtue of Israel’s existence. The well-meaning student is left with no logical justification or religious option to accept Israel as a neighbor or to seek coexistence. Given the total rejection of Israel’s right to exist, on nationalistic and religious grounds, Palestinian terror against Israel since Israel’s founding in 1948 is defined as: “resistance â€¦ acts of most glorious heroism.” [Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Commentary, grade 12 p 105]
But, but, isn’t Abbas moderate?
But PA educators teach that fighting Israel is not merely a territorial conflict, but also a religious battle for Islam. The schoolbooks define the conflict with Israel as “Ribat for Allah” â€“ “one of the actions related to Jihad for Allah, and it means: Being found in areas where there is a struggle between Muslims and their enemies.” [Islamic Education, grade 12, p. 86]. Israel is thus stigmatized as existing on Islam’s land, and fighting Israel is transformed from an Arab nationalistic goal into an uncompromising battle for God. Moreover, the youth are taught that their specific conflict with Israel – Ribat for “Palestine” – is “one of the greatest of the Ribat, and they [Palestinians] are worthy of a great reward from Allah”. [Ibid, pp.86- 87].
Beyond looking to the future, the educators have built a picture â€“ both verbally and visually â€“ of the present world, a world in which Israel does not exist. “Palestine” today is said to be a special “state” (Arabic â€“ “Dawla” = state, not a geographical region) with water access to both the Mediterranean and the Red Seas, a situation possible only if Israel does not exist. [Physical Geography and Human Geography, grade 12, p. 105] Likewise the size of the “state” of “Palestine” is said to be more than 10,000 sq. km., which is the figure one gets only if Israel did not exist, as the full West Bank and Gaza Strip total only 6220 sq. km.
[Physical Geography and Human Geography, grade 12, p. 107]
Maps of the region likewise teach children to visualize a world without Israel, as Israel does not exist on any map and its area is marked as “Palestine.”
Since all of Israel and all its cities are taught to be an “occupation” of “Palestine,” and “Palestine” in all the school books replaces all of Israel, the following teaching can only mean that Israel’s destruction is inevitable:
“Palestine will be liberated by its men, its women, its young ones and its elderly.”
[Arabic Language and the Science of Language, grade 12, p. 44]
The future looks bright indeed! I am quite sure that the PA teaching its children / students to hate Israel, to persue the destruction of Israel, describing the situation with the West as a “clash of civilizations”, etc. etc. will result in two states that coexist peacefully.
That is logical, right?
Some special praise for Hillary Clinton for working with PMW on this project. It is incredibly important that the West is confronted with how the PA (despite keeping up appearances publicly) indoctrinates children to hate Israel with a passion that can only lead to more terrorism.