New York In the past week, a clip broadcast by Mahmoud Abbas Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority (PA) television shows a map in which Israel is painted in the colors of the Palestinian flag, erasing Israel from the region. The description of all the state of Israel as constituting Palestine is not coincidental and is part of a formal educational approach throughout the PA. This uniform message of a world without Israel is repeated in school books, childrens programs, crossword puzzles, video clips, formal symbols, school and street names (Palestinian Media Watch, October 17).
Schools textbooks introduced in the PA last year promote classic anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, terrorism and martyrdom as rightful methods to achieve Palestinian goals, falsify history by claiming Jews never lived in Israel, and do not present Israel in any maps.
Twenty-nine other textbooks examined last year by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center of Tel Avivs Center for Special Studies (CSS), showed that the PA is educating Palestinian youth for conflict with an Israel it does not accept. Among other things, the textbooks rarely mentioned Israel by name and then only in some negative context; a fifth grade geography textbook included a Political Map of the Arab homeland on which Israel did not appear; the signed agreements between Israel and the PA under the Oslo peace process were not mentioned, let alone explained; Israeli cities and towns, wherever they may be, are described as settlements; World War Two was covered but no mention was made of the Holocaust; and the history of biblical times was falsified, the Jewish historical experience not discussed and Israels ancient inhabitants described as Arab peoples. Lastly, the anti-Semitic forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, was cited, reiterating anti-Semitic myths on the Jews intention to take over the entire world.
In addition to the Fatah-controlled PA promoting anti-Jewish hatred and extremism, the Fatah Constitution to this day calls for the demolition of Israel (Article 12); the use of terrorism as an indispensable part in the strategy to obtain that goal (Article 19); condemns Zionism as racist (Article 7); calls on countries to prevent Jews from moving to Israel (Article 25); and opposes any political solution whatsoever (Article 22). Since September 2000, Fatah has been responsible for as many murders of Israelis as Hamas: the terror groups having murdered nearly 500 Israelis each since that date in scores of suicide bombings, hundreds of roadside bombs, and thousands of shootings.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, The latest PA TV broadcast is no less disturbing than previous cases of erasing Jewish national, political and religious history from PA publications because they indicate that no change for the better has taken place in Palestinian education over the past few years. Palestinians have not reviewed their attitudes and decided to embark on the road to a genuine peace and reconciliation with Israel — something that ought to have led the Bush Administration and the Olmert government to postpone any current plans to reward the PA with concessions in the upcoming Annapolis Conference.
Far from having ended incitement to hatred and murder and non-acceptance of Israel, the Abbas-controlled PA educational curriculum continues to inculcate rejection of Israel and the promise of one day destroying her. In fact, some of these findings are even worse than findings for the previous academic year, 2003-2004, when at least some textbooks mentioned the signed agreements between Israel and the PA and also the pre-1967 armistice lines.
The content of these PA textbooks amounts to a denial of Israels legitimacy and an unwillingness to peacefully coexist with it.
The Zionist Organization of America, founded in 1897, is the oldest pro-Israel organization in the United States. The ZOA works to strengthen U.S.-Israel relations, educates the American public and Congress about the dangers that Israel faces, and combats anti-Israel bias in the media and on college campuses. Its past presidents have included Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis and Rabbi Dr. Abba Hillel Silver.