The hatred taught in Palestinian schools is only increasing, according to an Algemeiner article by correspondent Shiri Moshe (“Report: New Palestinian Curriculum Praises ‘Martyrdom,’ Significantly ‘More Radical’ Than Before,” Dec. 3, 2017). Moshe highlighted a recent study by the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se), which found that Palestinian textbooks “groom young Palestinians to sacrifice themselves to martyrdom,” promote the idea of a mass “return” to Israel and “feature a radical Islamist, and occasionally, a Salafi worldview.”
The report noted that—as with previous Palestinian textbooks—the newer ones include maps that erase Israel, depicting all of the land as “Palestinian.”
Anti-Jewish violence is also encouraged in the curriculum. A fifth grade language textbook defined “martyrdom” and “jihad” as “the most important meanings of life.” The book even extolled the benefits of becoming a “martyr,” claiming that those who commit terror attacks teach “people that drinking the cup of bitterness with glory is much sweeter than a pleasant long life accompanied by humiliation.” It also proudly admitted that in Palestinian society, such attackers are honored:
“We give their names to our children; we put their names on our streets and squares and the cultural places.”
This hateful indoctrination starts early. Moshe noted that a third grade textbook included a poem calling to “sacrifice my blood” in order to “eliminate the usurper from my country.” In keeping with this theme—that Jewish people, indeed that non-Muslim people have no right to the land—some textbooks even categorize Palestinian figures like Dalal Mughrabi and Yasser Arafat, as “heroes,” along with figures like Tariq ibn Ziyad, an 8th century Berber general who helped conquer Spain.
History is not the only field to be contaminated with Palestinian Authority (PA)-sanctioned perversion.
Moshe detailed that IMPACT-se found a seventh grade science textbook that “teaches Newton’s Second Law through a cartoon depicting a Palestinian youth with a slingshot facing off against armed Israeli soldiers.” Similarly, fourth graders learning math are instructed to perform calculations using “martyrs.”
IMPACT-se presented their report in meetings with representatives from the European Union (EU) and major European donors to the PA, such as Belgium, Finland, Germany and the United Kingdom. The Joint Financial Agreement, a pooled funding system that supplies half of the budget for the PA’s Ministry of Education, funds the curriculum. That agreement is currently co-chaired by Belgium which, the Algemeiner noted, halted future construction on two Palestinian schools in November 2017 after it was revealed that a PA school would be named after Mughrabi, a terrorist who murdered 38 Israelis—13 of them children—during the 1978 Coastal Road massacre.
In other words, Palestinian schoolchildren would be taught in a school named after a child-murdering terrorist. As CAMERA has highlighted, numerous sports teams, streets, and even stores—or what the textbook refers to as Palestinian “cultural places”—are named after Mughrabi and/or are adorned with her likeness (see, for example “Missing the Palestinian after-terror after party,” The Washington Examiner, July 6, 2016).
The PA Ministry of Education has, for many years, provided a curriculum that encourages anti-Jewish violence and is frequently antisemitic. Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), a non-profit organization that monitors Arab media in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), has also documented, both on its website and in reports, the PA’s use of education to promote terrorism.
A 2015 PMW report noted “the PA teaches its children to reject Israel’s right to exist, encourages them to view Jews as evil and directs them to embrace terrorist murderers as role.”
Indeed, as CAMERA’s Executive Director Andrea Levin noted in a June 1, 1999 article, this hateful education violates the 1993 Oslo agreements that created the authority. Levin cited the following passage:
“Israel and [the Palestinians] will ensure that their respective educational systems contribute to the peace between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples and to peace in the entire region, and will refrain from the introduction of any motifs that could adversely affect the process of reconciliation.” -Interim Agreement, Chapter 4, Article XXII, Par. 2 (1995)
For years, the PA has been doing precisely the opposite—often without consequence. A brief and belated attempt in the fall of 2017 by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) to change the PA’s curriculum was met with an outcry from official PA media, who claimed that it would “harm the Palestinian identity and history.”
By its own admission, the PA considers “Palestinian identity” and “history” to be inseparable from anti-Jewish violence. The decision to double down on hateful indoctrination suggests that the future will be equally grim.
The famed French novelist Victor Hugo once observed: “He who opens a school door, closes a prison.” Mr. Hugo, however, never set foot in a Palestinian school.
Originally published at camera.org.
Contributed by CAMERA’s Sean Durns.