New York — Newly-published Palestinian textbooks for schools students in the Palestinian Authority (PA) teach that hating and working to destroy Israel is a religious duty, and it is against Islam to recognize Israel, according to a new report published by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW). The new PA schoolbooks were devised and written by Fatah-appointed officials at the Center for Developing the Palestinian Curricula, which is directed by former PA Minister of Higher Education, Dr. Naim Abu Al-Humos and formally released by that department.
In one of the new PA textbooks, ‘Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism,’ the authors write of the 1948 war, “Palestine’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.” The PMW report comments on this passage that “defining Israel’s founding as a ‘catastrophe unprecedented in history,’ a 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. The well-meaning student is left with no logical justification or religious option to accept Israel as a neighbor or to seek coexistence” (Jerusalem Post , March 19).
The new PA textbooks were presented yesterday by PMW to the Education Committee of the Knesset, after which Committee Chairman Michael Melchior (Labor-Meimad) said, “You can’t have agreements while this kind of hatred is inculcated in the children … I intend to demand from Prime Minister [Ehud Olmert] that he present the findings to Abu Mazen [PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas] at their next meeting.” The PMW Director, Itamar Marcus, said of these new textbooks teach essentially that “the war over this land is a war for Muslim land, and will end only with the resurrection of the dead. [The books teach that] recognition of Israel is forbidden by religion.”
According to the PMW Report, the schoolbooks, the products of the official education arm of the PA, written by Fatah-appointed officials at the Center for Developing the Palestinian Curricula and published by the PA Ministry of Higher Education, are also used by schools in eastern Jerusalem that are under the jurisdiction of — and receive funding from — Israel’s Education Ministry. Shlomo Alon, the deputy head of the Pedagogic Secretariat in Israel’s Education Ministry, told the lawmakers the ministry would cut funding for schools found using them. MK Zeev Elkin (Kadima) called on the government to put in place “sanctions against the PA for such violations [of the Oslo Accords],” which he called “more dangerous than security violations in the long run” (Jerusalem Post, March 20).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “As this latest PMW study shows, the PA, even those departments of it that remain under the control of Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah, promotes, lauds and encourages terrorism, extremism and hate, making the prospect of peace an impossibility. All the elections, negotiations and concessions in the world will not bring peace so long as the Palestinian Arabs’ educational system is based on promotion of hatred and violence against Jews and Israel. If in fact a Palestinian state would be established, it would only strengthen the ability of this terrorist PA regime to promote their frightening policies.
“As with last year’s report on PA textbooks from the Intelligence and Terrorism Center , these finding demonstrate that no change for the better has taken place in Palestinian education over the past few years. On the contrary, the Palestinian educational curriculum continues to inculcate rejection of Israel and the intention of one day destroying her. The PA educational curriculum is but one example among many why the PA, especially now that there is a Hamas/Fatah unity government built on a extremist platform (the Mecca Agreement) which said nothing about peace, reconciliation, renouncing terrorism or anything else essential to peace, should be ineligible for any foreign aid until it meets its obligations under the signed Oslo agreements and the 2003 Roadmap peace plan, including that of ending incitement to hatred and murder.
“The ZOA again strongly urges the Bush Administration to cut ties to the PA, including Mahmoud Abbas, and to cease all aid to this regime or any part of it.”