Monday, April 09, 2007

Palestinian Media Watch

www.pmw.org.il, info@pmw.org.il

From nationalist battle to religious conflict:

New 12th Grade Palestinian schoolbooks present a world without Israel


February 2007


Written by

Itamar Marcus, Director, Palestinian Media Watch

Barbara Crook, Associate Director, Palestinian Media Watch


With PMW research staff


"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."

[Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism, grade 12, p. 104]


"The Ribat for Allah is one of the actions related to Jihad for Allah, it means: Being found in areas where there is a struggle between Muslims and their enemies... the endurance of Palestine’s people on their land … is one of the greatest of the Ribat and they are worthy of a great reward from Allah."[Islamic Education, grade 12, pp. 86-87]



Executive Summary


Background

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. Before the year 2000, the schoolbooks used in the Palestinian Authority were primarily Jordanian and Egyptian books, republished by the PA. Between 2000 and 2005, responding to widespread international criticism of the old textbooks, the PA Ministry of Education issued new textbooks for Grades 1 through 11. This report by Palestinian Media Watch reviews the following new schoolbooks for Grade 12, recently introduced into PA schools:



  • Physical Geography and Human Geography

  • History of the Arabs and the World in the 20th Century

  • Contemporary Problems

  • Islamic Education

  • Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism

  • Arabic Language and the Science of Language

  • Mathematics

  • Scientific Culture





Findings

PMW has found that the new 12th grade Palestinian schoolbooks make no attempt to educate for peace and coexistence with Israel. Indeed, the opposite is true: The teachings repeatedly reject Israel's right to exist, present the conflict as a religious battle for Islam, teach Israel’s founding as imperialism, and actively portray a picture of the Middle East, both verbally and visually, in which Israel does not exist at all.


The following description of Israel's founding represents the dominant dogma about Israel in Palestinian schoolbooks:


"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."

[Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism, grade 12, p. 104 ]


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. This negative imagery and religious packaging are compounded by hateful presentations of Israeli policy. The young students are imbued with a Palestinian identity as “victims” 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 … acts of most glorious heroism." [Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Commentary, grade 12 p 105]


Fighting Israel is a religious battle of Islam

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" – "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].


The world without Israel - Israel does not exist at all

Beyond looking to the future, the educators have built a picture – both verbally and visually – of the present world, a world in which Israel does not exist. "Palestine" today is said to be a special "state" (Arabic – "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]


Terminology of Disdain

The terminology that the educators have chosen to use throughout the schoolbooks reinforces the message that youth should not accept Israel as a neighbor with a right to exist. The following terms all replace Israel, its founders, and status: “The Zionist enemy;" “The Zionist entity;” “The enemy of this people;” “The Zionist gangs;” “Zionist Imperialist plan.” Israel’s creation is “the occupation;” “stole Palestine;” “stole its land;” “in 1948, when the Jews occupied Palestine.” Palestinians are said to suffer from: “imperialist persecution, a life of exile, and the theft of freedom of thought and culture;” “massacre” and much more. (All sources appear in report.) With these as the educational messages, the next generation of Palestinian youth is actively being prevented from having any reasonable possibility of accepting Israel as a neighbor in reconciliation and peace.



The US and the West - a "Clash of Civilizations"

The current relationship with the West is described as a "Clash of Civilizations" between the West, led by the United States, and the Islamic-Arab world. [Contemporary Problems, grade 12, p. 92.] Islam promotes Human Rights [ibid, pp. 95-96], the US and the West, "the colonialist states, are taking advantage of it", "for interfering in the matters of other states, as is happening in Afghanistan, Iraq, Darfur…" [ibid, p. 101] America and Russia are guilty of "violations of international humanitarian law in Iraq and Afghanistan and …in Chechnya." [ibid, p. 108] Fighting against American and British soldiers in Iraq is called "brave resistance to liberate Iraq" against "occupation." [History of the Arabs and the World in the 20th Century, grade 12, p. 147.]


Conclusion

One of the most meaningful gauges of the ideology and aspirations of a people is the education of its youth. For this reason, the new Palestinian Authority schoolbooks, introduced in the end of 2006 by the Palestinian Authority (PA) Ministry of Higher Education apparatus, are a continuation of the tragic disappointment of the earlier books. Instead of seizing the opportunity to educate future generations to live with Israel in peace, the PA schoolbooks glorify terror and teach their children to hate Israel, vilify Israel's existence and define the battle with Israel as an uncompromising religious war. Instead of working to minimize the current hate, the new PA curriculum is ingraining it into the next generation’s consciousness, and packaging the war against Israel as existential, mandatory and religious. The new PA schoolbooks are guaranteeing that the next generation will grow up seeing Israel as an illegitimate enemy to be hated, fought, and destroyed, rather than as a neighbor to negotiate with and to ultimately live beside in peace.




The Report


1. Fighting Israel until liberation - a religious battle of Islam


The PA schoolbooks teach that fighting Israel is not merely a territorial, nationalistic conflict, but a religious battle for Islam. The educators define the conflict with Israel as "Ribat"- a concept from Islamic tradition signifying Muslims defending the border areas of Islam. Moreover, the youth are taught that their specific fight against Israel - Ribat for "Palestine" - is "one of the greatest of the Ribat, and they [Palestinians] are worthy of a great reward from Allah". Palestinian use of violence against Israel is called "muqawama - resistance" [Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Commentary, grade 12, p. 105] – and is said to be legal according to international law. And after defining "Palestine" to encompass all of Israel, Israel's eventual destruction is assured: "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]. Hezbullah terror against Israel is likewise justified, as one schoolbooks rejects the UN ruling that Israel has withdrawn to the international border, and likewise define Hezbullah's terror as "resistance" against "occupation."


A. Conflict with Israel defined as Islamic Ribat


Ribat for Allah: Islam urged Jihad for Allah, in order to defend the [Islamic] Nation's honor, greatness, and land. The Ribat for Allah is 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... His staying on this land strengthens the Muslims facing their enemies… The reward of the Murabit [people in Ribat] is ongoing, as Allah, praise him, increases the [reward] for his action until the Resurrection Day.

[Islamic Education, grade 12, p. 86]


There is no doubt that the endurance of Palestine’s people on their land in these days, and their persistence against the damage and the aggression they endure – is one of the greatest of the Ribat [defending the border areas of Islam], and they are worthy of a great reward from Allah.

[Islamic Education, grade 12, p. 87]


The youth are taught to see themselves in the center of Islam's struggle, and their battle with Israel is said to follow a series of historic precedents in which Islam defeated its enemies in this land, in what turned out to be critical battles for all Islam.


The reason for this preference is that the momentous battles in Islamic history took place on its land [Al-Shaam – today Israel and Syria] therefore, its residents are in a constant fight with their enemies, and they are found in Ribat until Resurrection Day. The history testifies that: The battle of Al-Yarmuk decided the fight with the Byzantines, and the battle of Hettin decided the fight with the Crusaders, and the battle of Ein Jalut decided the fight with the Mongols.

[Islamic Education, grade 12, p. 87]


There will never be peace with Israel, as this battle is predetermined to continue:


The residents of Al-Shaam [part of modern-day Israel and Syria] in general, and Palestine in particular, are in Ribat until the Resurrection Day.

[Islamic Education, grade 12, p. 87]


The Islamic education cites a Hadith – Islamic tradition attributed to Muhammad - as proof that the battle in "Palestine" is more significant for all Islam:


The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: It will turn out that you will be recruited into fighting units: one in Al-Sham [today Israel-Syria] one in Yemen and one in Iraq. I said: Which is best for me, Messenger of Allah? He replied: Go to Al-Sham, for it is Allah's chosen land’ (From Abu Dawud, Book of Jihad...)

[Islamic Education, grade 12, p. 87]


The questions at the end of the section reinforce the never-ending nature of the conflict with Israel:

Questions for conclusion…

3. I will explain the meaning of the term ‘Ribat’

4. The people of Al-Sham and Palestine are in Ribat until the day of Resurrection. I will explain this

[Islamic Education, grade 12, p. 87]


Since "Palestine" is defined in all schoolbooks as a state that replaces all of Israel, the following teaching is anticipation of the destruction of Israel:


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]



B. Palestinian terror is protected by the UN under international law.

To fight Palestinian terror is said to violate international law


Beyond teaching that Islam glorifies their continuous Ribat, the books teach that international law determines that fighting "colonial rule, foreign rule and racist regimes… is a legitimate struggle.” These three categories to be fought - 'colonial, foreign, and racist' - are all terms used in the schoolbooks to define Israel: [See below, History of the Arabs and the World in the 20th Century, grade 12, p. 6]


Accordingly, any attempt to stop this fight -- that is, to stop Palestinians from fighting Israel -- is itself said to violate international law: "Any attempt to suppress the struggle against colonial and foreign rule and racist regimes is considered as contrary to the UN convention and the declaration of principles of international law." According to this, any country fighting Palestine terror would be violating international law.


The judicial status of those who fight against colonial rule, foreign rule and racist regimes:

- The General Assembly announced a number of basic principles related to the judicial status of fighters against the colonial rule, foreign rule and racist regimes:

* The struggle of the nations under colonial rule, foreign rule and racist regimes, for their right to self-determination and independence, is a legitimate struggle, fully complying with the principles of international law

* Any attempt to suppress the struggle against colonial and foreign rule and racist regimes is considered as contrary to the UN convention and the declaration of principles of international law … and the global declaration of human rights, and the declaration of independence for countries and nations under colonialism, and are a threat to international peace and security.

* The armed struggles that are an expression of the struggle of the nations under colonial rule, foreign rule and racist regimes are considered as international armed conflict.

The fighters of colonial and foreign rule and racist regimes, who fall into captivity, will be considered as prisoners of war.

[Contemporary Problems, grade 12, p. 105]


"Armed struggle" is one of the Palestinian euphemisms for terror, including suicide terror.



C. Hezbullah terror is likewise defended as fighting "occupation"


After Israel withdrew from Lebanon in May 2000 the UN recognized it as complete. The PA school books reject this, teaching that Israel has not completed its withdrawal and that the Hezbullah terror is "resistance," fighting "occupation".


The Israeli forces withdrew from it [Lebanon] under pressure from the Lebanese national resistance in 2000, except for the area of the Shab'a Farms, which is still under Israeli occupation, and the Lebanese resistance for its liberation continues.

[The History of the Arabs and the World in the 20th Century, grade 12, p. 83]


2. The "state" of "Palestine" exists in a world without Israel


Numerous verbal lessons in the new schoolbooks present Palestinian youth with a vision of a world without Israel. It is important to note that in this and many of the following examples, it is not a geographic area of "Palestine" that is being defined, which could conceivably include Israel, but a "state" (Arabic "Dawla" = state) called "Palestine"-- in place of the state of Israel.


A. The "state" of "Palestine" is said to have water access to the Red Sea -- a situation possible only if Israel does not exist.


Coastal states differ in terms of their access to water sources, such as…:

States located on sea coasts with accesses to two seas, for example: Palestine and Egypt to the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea.

[Physical Geography and Human Geography, grade 12, p. 105]


Note: Neither the Gaza Strip nor West Bank has access to the Red Sea. The Israeli city of Eilat has access, and on Palestinian maps Eilat appears as part of Palestine.


B. The size of the State of "Palestine" is said to be more than 10,000 square kilometers, which is not possible as long as Israel exists. This teaches youth to picture a world without Israel.


Classification of states according to [size of] territory…:

Small states: Range is between 10,000 to 100,000 square kilometers, for example: Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan and Holland.

[Physical Geography and Human Geography, grade 12, p. 107]


Note: If the full West Bank (5,860 sq. km.) and Gaza Strip (360 sq. km.) were combined they total 6,220 sq. km. All the areas of Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip together equal 26,990 sq. km.


C. The educators go to great lengths to insure that the youth picture the world without Israel. They teach that their state is rectangular, again instructing the youth to see Israel’s land as part of the State of "Palestine".


Classification of states in terms of their general shape…:

The longitudinal shape:

The shape of the state is close to a rectangle, which stretches longitudinally from the north to the south, for example: Chile, Palestine, Sweden and Norway.

[Physical Geography and Human Geography, grade 12, pp. 108-110]


Only Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip together form this "longitudinal shape". The West Bank and Gaza alone are nothing like the shape being described.


D. Israel's Jewish history and connection to the land are hidden. The following section defines the Israeli cities of Jerusalem and Nazareth as "Palestinian cities," with "holy sites to Islam and Christianity.” There is no mention of Jewish holy sites. Acknowledging Jewish holy sites in Jerusalem would draw attention to the Jewish people's history in the Land of Israel.


Religious sites:

The Arab Homeland includes important religious sites, visited by Muslim and Christian pilgrims from around the world, which encourages religious tourism there, as in Palestine, where there are holy sites to Islam and Christianity in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Hebron, Nazareth and in other Palestinian cities.

[Physical Geography and Human Geography, grade 12, p. 143]


E. Israeli Arabs writing in Israel are said to be writing in "Palestine."


Some of the resistance poets in Palestine succeeded in combining between the requirements of the revolutionary activity and the art of poetry…For example: Samih Al-Qasem… Tawfiq Ziad…

[Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism, grade 12, p.115]


Israeli Arab poets Samih Al-Qasem and Tawfiq Ziyad are said to have been "in Palestine".


F. PA educators have chosen to define all of Israel’s cities, regions and natural resources as part of “Palestine”. The following are examples:


There are holy sites to Islam and Christianity in Jerusalem … Nazareth and in other Palestinian cities.

[Physical Geography and Human Geography, grade 12, p. 143]

[Editor's note: Jerusalem and Nazareth are Israeli cities.]


G. An Israeli Arab poet and former member of the Knesset, Tawfiq Ziyad, wrote a poem about his pride in remaining in Israeli cities Lod, Ramle and the Galilee Region, yet the schoolbook cites him as having lived in "Palestine.”

Here we remain...

in Lod, Ramle and the Galilee;

Tawfiq Ziyad / Palestine .

[Arabic Language and the Science of Language, grade 12, p. 77]


H. Israeli cities are presented as Palestinian cities suffering under Israel and longing for "return" of Palestinians. Haifa is an Israeli city and Jaffa is an Israeli city that is part of Tel Aviv. The Palestinian demand that Israel accept millions of residents of refugee camps as part of a settlement is one of the chief obstacles to peace.

The storms glistened in his eyes, as he asked with a sigh, when the night cries in the curvatures of the Carmel [mountain, Haifa region]: What do you feel?"

Samira Al-Khatib, Palestine

[Arabic Language and the Science of Language, grade 12, p. 12]



At the gates of Jaffa, oh my beloved,

And the disarray of the remains of the houses

Among the ruins and the thorns

I stood and told my eyes: Oh eyes

Let us cry

On the ruins of those who left and disappeared from them

The house calls for the one who built it.

[Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism, grade 12, p. 116]


I. The word settlement (Arabic– mustawtana) is used exclusively today by Palestinians to refer to illegitimate "settlement" on another's land. For example, in the schoolbooks the term mustawtana is used to define "colonial imperialism.” [History of the Arabs and the World in the 20th Century, grade 12, p. 6]


The schoolbooks likewise used the term mustawtana – settlement - to describe Israeli towns even within the recognized State of Israel. The Upper Galilee is in Northern Israel:


Israel built huge reservoirs … for the purpose of storing water from the Litani River and distributing it to the settlements in the Upper Galilee region."

[History of the Arabs and the World in the 20th Century, grade 12, p. 151.]



3. A visual world without Israel: on all maps "Palestine" exists,

Israel does not

A. A map describing the Nile flow from Victoria Lake to the Mediterranean Sea. The map indicates all the names of the states except for Israel, which is marked “Palestine”.

[History of the Arabs and the World in the 20th Century, grade 12, p. 153.]











B. A map of the Arab world includes Israel marked as “Palestine”; Title of the map: “Map Number 1: Some of the tourist sites in the Arab Homeland”.

[Physical Geography and Human Geography, grade 12, p. 143]






C. A color map of the Middle East from Iran to Egypt. The map indicates the names of all the states except for Israel, which is renamed “Palestine.” In this map, a line marks the West Bank, but the whole area including Israel is clearly marked “Palestine” and Israel is not mentioned. The text over the map reads:
”For study: The Middle East…”

[Contemporary Problems, grade 12, p. 27]







Based on previous reports, not a single map in the entire Palestinian Authority educational system labels any territory as “Israel,” even in the pre-1967 armistice lines.

4. Rejection of Israel's right to exist: Israel's Founding was "a catastrophe that is unprecedented in history"


While "Palestine" is described as existing in a world without Israel, Israel's founding is taught and vilified as "a catastrophe that is unprecedented in history. 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] Israel is described as foreign, colonialist, and imperialist. The youth are taught that Israel's creation was immoral and Israel unequivocally has no right to exist.


A. Youth are taught that Zionism is imperialism, and that its plan was to “expel” and “exterminate” the Arabs.


In July 1922, the League of Nations established the British mandate which stole from the Palestinian inhabitants their right to manage their country’s matters… From then the immigration of Jews to Palestine was made easier, in order to turn it into a Jewish state following the expulsion of its inhabitants or their extermination. Faced with this Zionist Imperialist plan, Palestine’s residents decided to initiate struggle and Jihad with their money, their lives and their pens…

The struggle against the Mandate’s government and against Zionism lasted until the Nakba [literally "The Catastrophe"] on May 15, 1948 [Israeli statehood]. 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.

[Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism, grade 12, pp 103- 104]


B. The Palestinian educators define Jews as foreigners and colonialists in their own country of Israel. While Israel is today a vibrant democracy with 11 Arab Knesset members and one Druze, an Arab Minister and Supreme Court justice, the schoolbooks liken Israel to the white minority regimes of South Africa and Zimbabwe, calling it "racist." [Note: The books cite South Africa and Zimbabwe as if the white rule situations still exist.]


Colonial Imperialism

The phenomenon of Colonial Imperialism is summarized by the existence of foreigners residing among the original inhabitants of a country, they [the foreigners] possess feelings of purity and superiority, and act towards the original inhabitants with various forms of racial discrimination, and deny their national existence.

Colonial Imperialism in modern times is centered in Palestine, South Africa and Rhodesia [Zimbabwe]. Their existence presents a fateful challenge to the peoples, upon whom they [the imperialists] impose themselves, in order to gain land through every means, since land represents the physical base for settlements, just as the settlers are their [the settlements’] human base.

[History of the Arabs and the World in the 20th Century, grade 12, p. 6]




C. Domestic Israeli policies are distorted to present Israel as racist – even against Jews.


Colonial Imperialism

It should be noted that the imperialist entity's policy of encouraging immigration of settlers, does not open the gates to all who wish to settle, but demands a specific kind of settler. This kind, in terms of South Africa and Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) is the white European. As for Israel, it is preferable that the Jew be European or American.

[History of the Arabs and the World in the 20th Century, grade 12, pp. 6-7]

[Note: More than 50% of Israel's population consists of Jews from Muslim countries. Israel has facilitated recent mass immigration of Jews from Ethiopia and many from Asia.]


5. Holocaust Denial: World War II without a Holocaust


The textbook History of the Arabs and the World in the 20th Century teaches the military and the political events of World War II in significant detail, including sections on Nazi racist ideology, yet neither persecution of Jews nor the Holocaust is mentioned.


It is apparent that the PA educators made an active decision to exclude the Holocaust from history. The new book writes selectively about the issues of the Holocaust, citing Nazi racist ideology and restrictions the Nazis placed on "inferior" non-Aryan nations, yet it makes no reference to the Holocaust or to Jews. The schoolbook even teaches about the post-war trials of "senior Nazi leaders as war criminals” [p. 46] but make no mention of the crimes for which the "war criminals" were on trial.


Lesson 3 – Racial Discrimination

(…)

Race Theory evolved during the thirties of the previous century, when the Nazi movement appeared in Germany in 1933 and divided the nations into superior and others who were inferior. It espoused the superiority of the Aryan race, from which the Germans originated, passed racist laws and limited the work positions to Germans alone, under the inference that [only] they are equal in their rights and obligations, while others are subject to special laws, which were imposed on them under the inference that they were foreigners in its’ [German] land.

[The History of the Arabs and the World in the 20th Century, grade 12, p. 123]


The Peace Accords (1945-1947): (...) – Potsdam Conference in 1945

(…) The Allied states established an international court to bring to trial the senior Nazi leaders as war criminals.

[The History of the Arabs and the World in the 20th Century, grade 12, p. 46]


Separate sections of the history book are devoted to the events leading to World War II, the battles of the war on the Baltic Front, the Western Front, the African Front, the Russian Front, the Far East Front, the El Alamein battle, the defeat of the Axis forces, and Japan’s defeat and the dropping of the atomic bomb. But in the PA educators’ version of world war history, there is no Holocaust.












6. Palestinians depicted as victims of the racist "Zionist Enemy"


In addition to not recognizing the legitimacy of Israel, the textbooks demonize Israel’s ongoing policies. Israel is termed "racist" and "the Zionist enemy."


A. The UN vote that 'Zionism is racism' is said to be a result of Israel's racism since 1948.

The UN vote that Zionism is racism is taught after the books list a series of Israeli policies that it calls racist: the law of return and the law of assets of absent people, the expropriation of lands, paving by-pass roads, occupying Jerusalem and its annexation to Israel, demolishing houses, imposing a blockade, controlling water sources and building the separation fence. Then it teaches:

These racist operations that Israel carried out since its establishment in 1948, motivated the UN to pass the resolution 3379 on November 10, 1975, which views Zionism as a form of racism, and condemning all the racist operations that it carries out against Palestinians. It is worth noting that the [UN] decision was cancelled based on a US proposal on December 16, 1991, following the repercussions of the second Gulf War [1991] and the beginning of the peace process [Madrid Conference Oct 1991].

[History of the Arabs and the World in the 20th Century, grade 12, pp. 125-126]



B. Israel is presented as a having goals of conquering Arab states including Egypt, Iraq, as far as Mecca.

Due to their trespassing they believe that the Euphrates (river) is theirs, that the Nile (river) and the Nobel Kaaba [in Mecca] are their borders.

[Arabic Language and the Science of Language, grade 12, p. 80]


C. Israel is termed the "Zionist Enemy:"

The poet starts off his phrase with an irrational sentence: “Since the flower does not get wounded, I killed the flower,” in order to express through it the irrational reality the Palestinian nation lives in after its expulsion from its homeland, the occupation of its land by the Zionist Enemy.

[Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism, grade 12, pp. 122]


D. [Poem] “The Banished” /Abd Al-Karim Al-Karmi (…)

The poet expresses in his poem the Nakba [Catastrophe] that took place in 1948, when the Jews occupied Palestine and established their state on its land, and banished the Palestinian nation into exile and to neighboring states, after they tortured it, massacred, and stole its land, its homes and its holy sites.

[Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism, grade 12, pp. 108-109]


E. Whoever observes many of the historical monuments in our country these days, including the ancient houses, turns away filled with sorrow, and how can he not, as they [the monuments and houses] are exposed to many dangers and violations. Among demolition attempts carried out by the enemies of this people... Palestinian society is about to lose the characteristics of its historical architecture...

[Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism, grade 12, p. 17]


F. This hatred is taught even in grammar lessons:

Examples of final vowels…:

Do not think the occupier has humanity.

[Arabic Language and the Science of Language, grade 12, p. 51]


G. It is taught through grammar lessons that Israel expelled the Palestinians:

I differentiate between a verb, that requires one object…

The Palestinians did not leave their homeland [willingly] to ask for protection in other countries, but were forced.

[Arabic Language and the Science of Language, grade 12, p. 53]


H. It [the Palestinian people] has been suffering for decades from poverty, imperialist persecution, a life of exile, and theft of freedom of thought and culture.

[Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism, grade 12, p. 104]



7. Terminology of Disdain and Demonization in schoolbooks


The terminology the educators have chosen for the schoolbooks demonizes Israel and reinforces the rejection of Israel as a neighbor with a right to exist.


The following terms are used to refer to Israel, its founders and its ideology:


"The Zionist gangs stole Palestine and expelled the inhabitants..."

[Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism, grade 12, p. 104]


"The occupation of its country by the Zionist Enemy…"

[Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism, grade 12, p. 122]


"...the Zionist entity occupied the rest of Palestine, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip..."

[Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism, grade 12, p. 104]


...attempts carried out by the enemies of this people."

[Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism, grade 12, pg 17]


The following terms are used to refer to Israel’s creation:


"Faced with this Zionist Imperialist plan, Palestine’s residents decided…"

[Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism, grade 12, p. 103]

"…the occupation of its country by the Zionist Enemy…"

[Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism, grade 12 p. 122]


The Zionist gangs stole Palestine and expelled…"

[Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism, grade 12, p. 104]

"… and stole its land, its homes and its holy sites.

[Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism, grade 12, p. 109]


The following terms are used to refer to the Palestinian condition:


Banished the Palestinian nation into exile”

[Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism,, grade 12, p. 109]

Massacred, and stole its land, its homes and its holy sites."

[Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism,, grade 12, p. 109]


[suffering from] Imperialist persecution, a life of exile, and the theft of freedom of thought and culture...”

[Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism, grade 12, p. 104]

8. Jihad, and Shahada – Martyrdom for Allah


The new PA schoolbooks teach and idealize Jihad - war for Islam -- and Shahada - death for Allah -- as basic Islamic principles to which to aspire. Jihad and Shahada are at times taught as general Islamic ideals, and at times focused against Israel. This promotion is not limited to the formal Islamic education books, but is found in many different schoolbooks. Often the original Islamic sources from the Quran or Hadith are used as the tool of promotion.


A. Glorification of Jihad


1. Grammar is taught by analyzing a Quran verse whose message is that believers who fight are said to be superior to those believers who do not fight.


Grammar Exercises:…

"Believers who sit at home, other than those who are disabled, are not equal with those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their wealth and their lives."

[Note:Passage from Quran, Sura of Al-Nissa, verse 95]

[Arabic Language and the Science of Language, grade 12, p. 97]


2. A grammar book instructs the children to read carefully about the importance of Jihad.


I read attentively the underlined in the following:…

[Muhammad] God bless him and grant him salvation, said: "First and foremost, Islam [lit. resignation to the will of Allah] its pillar, prayer and its peak is Jihad."

[Arabic Language and the Science of Language, grade 12, p. 60]


3. Islamic tradition presents many of Muhammad’s comrades as role models. The schoolbooks present stories of the comrades as part of Jihad promotion:


Lesson 1: Situations in the life of the Sahaba, the Prophet’s companions

(…)

2. The realm of sacrifice and redemption

The honored companions of Muhammad would compete among themselves in the realm of self sacrifice. None of them stayed behind in a time of Jihad for Allah, unless there was a critical reason. They suffered injury for Allah, and were unwavering. None of them minded the injuries to his body or [damage] to his property. Their positions in this matter were numerous and famous. For example:

- Suhaib Al-Rumi said about himself: “…He did not go on a journey without me', and he never went on a [military] raid without having me on his right or left side.

[Islamic Education, grade 12, p. 92]


4. While it has been noted by detractors of Palestinian violence that their terror tactics have been used as a model for terror worldwide, in one schoolbook Palestinian children are taught to see other terrorists’ imitation of Palestinian violence as a mark of distinction. The PA textbooks define acts of "resistance" as "acts of most glorious heroism and sacrifice."


One of the most important subjects that the modern Palestinian poetry deals within its latest stages is the tragedy of Palestine of 1948… and afterward the resistance in which the inhabitants carried out acts of most glorious heroism and sacrifice, which have become a lesson imitated by resistance to colonialism, occupation and persecution around the world…

[Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Commentary, grade 12 p 105]



B. Encouraging all members of society to take an active part in Jihad and “Resistance”


The PA textbooks teach that everyone participates in Jihad, especially when it becomes necessary, as with the war to fight Israel and liberate "Palestine." The textbooks also provide examples of disabled people, women and elderly who participated in Jihad, presenting it as their right.


1. Every Palestinian will participate in the struggle for liberation.

"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]


2. People with physical and mental disabilities.


The rights of people with special needs in Islam:

The right of participating in society: The care of Islam for the people with special needs is not restricted to ensuring their needs, but takes interest in making them feel their importance and their role in building the society. It does not prevent them from participating in all domains, including:

- Permitting them to participate in Jihad: Allah’s Messenger permitted Amr ibn Al-Jamuh to participate in the raid of Uhud, despite the fact that he was lame. Allah, may he be praised and glorified, exempted him from Jihad, but when the Messenger saw that he insisted on going and strove to participate with the Muslims in Jihad, and heard him say: “I want to march with my limp in Paradise” – he permitted him to do so.

[Islamic Education, grade 12, pp. 153-154]


3. Women and Jihad.


The participation of the woman in Jihad

The woman participated in the field of Jihad, and would take care of the injured Mujahidun [Jihad fighters], and would quench the thirsty… Some of the women participated in battle against the infidels. There is Nusaybah bint Ka'b … she fought for the Prophet in the Uhud raid with unparalleled bravery…

I left at the beginning of the day to see what people were doing, a water-carrier at my side. And when the Muslims withdrew, I went to Allah’s Prophet and began fighting, and I protected him with the sword, and I shot with the bow [and arrow], until I was injured.”

[Islamic Education, grade 12, p. 98]

Discuss: The Palestinian woman had a prominent role in the popular resistance against the British mandate and the Israeli occupation. Hundreds of female warriors endured arrests and torture, and death as Shahidas [female Martyrs] for the protection of the Homeland.

[Contemporary Problems, grade 12, p. 53]


C. Focus on Shahada – Death for Allah


Shahada, or death for Allah, is an Islamic concept. The PA educators present Shahada as an ideal to which all Muslims should aspire. A Shahid - often translated as "Martyr" - is someone who has achieved Shahada. The textbooks cite the Quran and the Hadith, traditions and sayings attributed to Muhammad, to glorify the aspiration to seek a violent Shahada death. The textbooks also mention that Shahids are not considered dead, but live on in Paradise, and their death is seen as a joyous wedding.


1. The glorification of the aspiration to seek Shahada.


1-2. The Prophet’s Hadiths

5 - …He [Allah] addressed your father face to face [after his death in battle],

[Allah] said: “Oh my servant, ask of me, and I will grant you.”

[Abdullah]: “Return me to life, so I can be killed for you again."

[Allah]: “I’ve already decided that they [the dead] do not return [to this world].”

[Abdullah]: “Oh God, inform those after me [the living]."

Allah, may he be praised and glorified, sent down this verse [in the Quran]: ‘Do not think that those who are killed in the name of God are dead. No, because they are alive, and their livelihood is with God.’”

[Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Commentary, grade 12, p. 8]


The [future] Shahids in the Negev prison [in Israel] are competing among themselves to create with their blood the dialect of death and life and to dip their bodies in sand; Abd Al-Naser Saleh, Palestine”

[Arabic Language and the Science of Language, grade 12, p. 13]


2. Shahids are not dead but live on with Allah


Expressions of the Hardships [of Muslims]

Allah said: [Quran] “Do not say that those killed in the name of God are dead. No, as they are alive, but you cannot conceive that: We will test you with dangers and hunger and losses of property and of souls and of crops.”… The verse clarifies that these Shahids are alive with their god, they are lively and are delighted with happiness and the benevolence that Allah gave them, even if we do not sense these lives, and we do not know their truthfulness, and therefore [the Quran] forbade us to refer to them as ‘dead’.

[Islamic Education, grade 12, p. 9]


3. The Shahid’s death as a wedding: The Islamic tradition that the Shahid is rewarded with 72 Dark-Eyed Maidens in Paradise leads to the Palestinian textbooks’ describing Shahada -- death for Allah -- as a "wedding".


Oh my Homeland, I won’t cry during this wedding, as our Arabness does not want us to cry over the Shahids; Al-Mutawakkil Tah, Palestine

[Arabic Language and the Science of Language, grade 12, p. 13]


9. USA – Enemy of the Palestinians and Arabs, leader of "Clash of Civilizations"


A. USA – Enemy of the Palestinians and Arabs

Both from what the PA has included about the United States as well as what was omitted, it is clear that the educational goal is to present the US as an enemy of the Arabs and Palestinians. The schoolbooks teach that the US is a human rights abuser, a violator of international humanitarian law, an "occupier" of Iraq, and other negative characteristics. Those fighting American soldiers in Iraq are described as: "a brave resistance to liberate Iraq." [History of the Arabs and the World in the 20th Century, grade 12, p. 147.] The total message is that America is an enemy of Palestinians, Muslims, and Arabs and a danger to world peace.


Important omissions add to the image of America as enemy. According to the World Bank, by 2004 the US had given more than $1.3 billion to the PA and its NGOs (by now more than $1.5 billion), making the US the single largest supporter of Palestinians in the world. There is hardly a Palestinian infrastructure that has not benefited from US aid, including schools, hospitals, universities, water systems, road development, sports and more. Yet this US economic aid for the Palestinians was completely left out of the schoolbooks. By contrast, American financial aid to Israel is taught and is presented as an important indicator of alliance. The schoolbooks cite American economic aid to Israel as one example indicating that Israel is America's "strategic ally." [Contemporary Problems, grade 12, pp. 21 -22] But as stated, there is not one reference to the monumental aid or the infrastructures that were built by the US.


Iraq, Libya, Sudan and the Palestinians are all said to be victims of US policy:


Its [US] policy with the Arab world is based on:

  • Controlling the oil, and preventing any Arab or outside hegemony on its sources, and guaranteeing its export to the Western and industrial world at reasonable prices.

  • Favoring Israel as a strategic ally in the area, and supporting it politically and economically.

  • Prohibition of possessing nuclear weapons.


Its blockade of Libya and Sudan, and the occupation of Iraq, and the problems caused by it on all aspects of life, are simply the expression of this policy.

[Contemporary Problems, grade 12, p. 21]


One cannot learn the way the US treats the Palestinian issue without studying the nature of her relations with Israel; as these are relations of mutual interest and strategic alliance of internal and foreign American politics: Israel finds in America the major supporter and the most important ally in all aspects, whereas the US considerably relies on Israel for her Middle Eastern and global strategy. It could be said that the stern American strategic stance in favor of Israel is what characterizes the American policy in the Arab region until today.

[Contemporary Problems, grade 12, p. 22]



B. "Clash of Civilizations": USA and the West vs. the Arab–Islamic countries

The depiction of the US as enemy is cemented as the new PA schoolbooks divide the modern world into two camps: the West, led by the United States, and the Islamic-Arab world. The current relationship is described as a "Clash of Civilizations" [Contemporary Problems, grade 12, p. 92.] The West is taught to be primarily responsible for this tension, for numerous reasons, including colonialism, and the wars it has initiated which it has justified in the name of "human rights.”


US wars against dictatorial regimes

America and its wars against dictators, including the Taliban in Afghanistan after 9-11 and Iraq, its actions challenging Iran and Cuba, are all depicted negatively as self-interest:


The criterion that defines America’s foreign policy is its own strategic interests. Therefore, its policy towards the world didn’t change during the time of one American president or another, as is clearly apparent in Afghanistan, Cuba, Iran and more.
[Contemporary Problems, grade 12, p. 21]


Terror attacks against US and British soldiers are "brave resistance"

The war in Iraq is taught to be an "occupation," and terror attacks against US and British soldiers are "brave resistance."

The President of the United States, George Bush Jr., gave the Iraqi president in 2003 an ultimatum of 48 hours to leave Iraq, or face a war to disarm him. The Arab League rejected this ultimatum. The U.S. and Britain [forces]… stormed Iraqi cities with the participation of military forces from different countries and Baghdad fell. The Iraqis did not surrender to this occupation but succeeded in organizing themselves and a brave resistance to liberate Iraq began.

[History of the Arabs and the World in the 20th Century, grade 12, p. 147]


The mutually beneficial Influence between ancient cultures


The textbooks teach that relations between Islam and the West weren't always negative. In earlier periods the West and Islamic world had positive interactions, with mutually beneficial exchanges of ideas:


Most of the earlier cultures influenced one another… every side benefited from the achievements of the other…

[Contemporary Problems, grade 12, p .91]


Indeed, the high development of the West today is attributed to the positive influences of Islam:


When the Muslims entered Europe, Al-Andalus [Spain] was one of the centers for transfer of Islamic Arab culture into Europe. The Europeans took from the Muslims whatever they needed in all aspects of life and began to develop it until they got to where they are now.

[Contemporary Problems, grade 12, p. 92]


However, starting with Western colonialism, this mutually beneficial world has been replaced by the "clash of civilizations" between the "modern West" and the Islamic World:


[However] at certain times, the relations were characterized by a clash. The clash of civilizations is not restricted to a certain period of time or to a specific area, but it is found throughout generations and in all parts of the world. We will present the clash of the modern West with the Islamic world as an example of a clash of civilizations.

[Contemporary Problems, grade 12, p. 92]


The causes of the current clash between the West and Islam are said to be:


  1. European colonialism

  2. Human rights abuses by the US and the West

  3. International humanitarian law violations by the US and West

  4. The "tensions … following the events of September 11… ;" the European prohibitions of Islamic Hijab headdresses in schools, the Danish cartoons of Mohammed.

  5. The West is "not serious about having a dialogue" with the Muslim Arab world.


1. European colonialism


The Islamic world is said to have needed to protect itself from the West for centuries, and the early successes gave way to current Western military domination. This "colonialism left behind problems that the Arabs and Muslims are still suffering from since then and until this day:”


First: The Islamic Arab civilization that ruled over North Africa until the fifteenth century… this [rule] spread the Muslim religion and limited infiltration of the West.

Second: The Ottoman Empire [created a geographical barrier]… this barrier created a challenge for the Europeans, and they made a number of attempts to infiltrate it. The successful attempts started after the development of naval capability… These were the beginnings of the European infiltration into the African continent and the Islamic world and Southeast Asia...

The cultural clash between the West and the Islamic world reached its peak when the Europeans led military expeditions into Arab Islamic areas in the Nineteenth century... The colonialism left behind problems that the Arabs and Muslims are still suffering from since then and until today.

[Contemporary Problems, grade 12, pp. 92-93]


2. Human rights abuses by the US and the West create a dilemma for the Arab- Muslim world


The Arab-Islamic world is said to be in a dilemma in terms of its attitude towards human rights. On the one hand, human rights are critical for progress, and Islam is said to see this as an ideal:


Human rights recognized in Islam stand out as the most fitting, because the Creator of man set them… There is a deep connection between the preservation of human rights and the level of cultural development; a society cannot evolve and achieve growth and stability, especially in this period of time, without respecting its human rights.

[Contemporary Problems, grade 12, pp. 95-96]


On the other hand, the "colonialist" states -- the United States, Russia, Israel and others -- are said to be using human rights as an excuse to violate human rights. The proof of these violations: US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, Russia in Chechnya and Israel in "Palestine."


An argument [among Arabs and Muslims] for the acceptance or the rejection of the principles of this declaration [of Human Rights] is taking place … The opponents of the principles rely on the following points:

  • Absolute mistrust of anything coming from the West and the countries of international domination.

  • Prior conclusions that the West uses the human rights principles as a means for cultural invasion…

  • Belief that human rights is nothing but an excuse used by the West and the ruling states for interfering in the matters of other states, as is happening in Afghanistan, Iraq, Darfur [Sudan], and more.

At the same time, the ruling states are ignoring the human rights violations in other places, such as: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chechnya, Palestine and others.

[Contemporary Problems, grade 12, p. 101]


The educators, however, recommend promoting human rights in spite of "colonial" abuses:

...The human rights movement – even though the colonialist states are taking advantage of it – is not an official [state] movement, but popular and global … Similarly, the incorrect execution of the human rights principles by the ruling states is not proof that the very idea is bad – but that the implementation is bad... There is a need to confront whoever misuses the slogan of the ‘Human Rights’ movement instead of rejecting it.

[Contemporary Problems, grade 12, p. 101]


Thus the Islamic-Arab countries are presented as the ones who should defend human rights and confront the abuses by the US, Russia, Israel and others.


3. International Humanitarian Law violations by Israel, the USA, Russia and West


The USA, Russia, Israel, and Serbia are singled out, and said to be responsible for the international conflicts with Islamic countries and violations of international humanitarian law.


The main problem in the implementation of the international humanitarian law is that most of the global bloody conflicts in recent times are led by the superpowers …

On one hand they sign accords that limit the effects of armed conflict and the use of weapons of mass destruction, while at the same time these states are leading wars and international conflicts, as happened with the Israeli violations of the international humanitarian law in Palestine, and the American violations of international humanitarian law in Iraq and Afghanistan, and as it happened with the Russia violations of this law in Chechnya, and what happened with the Serbs’ violation of the law in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and more.

[Contemporary Problems, grade 12, p. 108]


A separate section in the PA books describes Russia's conflict with Chechnya. It is described as having originated when Chechnya fought against Russia Colonialism in the 18th Century and Russia "repressed their movement mercilessly." [Contemporary Problems, grade 12, p. 27.] Russia is said to be violating human rights in Chechnya. [Contemporary Problems, grade 12, p. 108]


4. The "tensions … following the events of September 11; European prohibitions of Islamic Hijab headdresses in schools; The Danish cartoons of Muhammad


In one paragraph, a schoolbook lists the September 11 attacks by Al Qaeda, various European prohibitions of Islamic Hijab headdresses in schools and the Danish cartoons of Muhammad as causes of "the struggle between the West and the Islamic world."


Today, the world witnesses tensions between the Islamic world and the West following the events of September 11, 2001 and the collapse of the World Trade Center Towers. The features of struggle between the European West and the Islamic Arab East intensified, because a number of European states forbade Muslim girls to wear the Islamic Hijab [headscarf], and the provocation of Muslim feelings with the cartoons in Denmark which offend our Master Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him Peace), which were the cause for the outbreak of protests in the Islamic and the Arab world condemning the [cartoons], and steps were taken towards a financial boycott, something which is likely to worsen the struggle between the West and the Islamic world.

[Contemporary Problems, grade 12, p. 93]



5. The West is "not serious about having a dialogue" with the Muslim Arab world.


Finally the conflicts continue because the West is not serious about dialogue.


A future look at cultural dialogue

Recently, a number of International conferences were held on the subject of cultural dialogue. These attempts are based on the belief that dialogue – even if there is a clash – is not impossible, even if the West – which is the strong side in the current equation in the conflict – is not serious about conducting a dialogue… However, it is possible to spark a dialogue which will be productive and fruitful in a several ways, such as mutual financial business relations, through which we could drive a political and cultural dialogue.

[Contemporary Problems, grade 12, pp. 93-94]


Poverty in the Arab World


The schoolbooks include criticism of the wealthy Arab states, which along with the West are responsible for poverty, and the lack of advancement in the Arab world.

Poverty in the Arab world

(…)


Reasons for the spread of poverty in the Arab world:

  • The colonialism and the regional division of the Arab homeland

  • The dependency of the countries of the Arab world on the West, the flooding of Arab markets with western products…

  • Corruption plays an influential role in the rise of the percentage of [people] below the poverty line

  • Wealth is concentrated in certain Arab countries… and as such, it is concentrated in a specific [social] stratum

  • The spreading unemployment

  • The lack of Arab economic integration

[Contemporary Problems, grade 12, p.43]


USA Origins

As the US is said to be the main superpower in this clash of civilizations, playing the dominant role in current events, US history is taught in greater detail, some negative and some positive.


Much of the historical details of the early years of the US are accurate; however, other teachings are intended to connect the establishment of the US with injustice. For example, it is claimed that a majority of "local American-Indian inhabitants were exterminated:"


The U.S. Experience:

(…)

Among those who moved to America [in the Seventeenth Century] many didn’t have a choice, such as Irish prisoners in Britain’s crowded prisons, and Africans enslaved, and those religiously persecuted. Most of the local American-Indian inhabitants were exterminated.

[Contemporary Problems, grade 12, pp. 16-17]


For in depth study: Between the years 1661-1774 about a million living Negroes [Arabic- "Zanj"] were transferred [to America] while over nine million died on the way from Africa.

[Contemporary Problems, grade 12, p. 17]



Assorted Positive and negative teachings about the US

Before the portrayal of American foreign policy as anti-Arab and anti-Muslim, a brief history of the US teaches about positive and negative aspects of American life.


Education [in America]

The education had an important role in the economic growth and the improvement of the quality of life in the US… the US attracts talented scientists from all areas of the world, which assists its scientific development.


Religion

Approximately sixty percent of the Americans identify with organized religious communities. Fifty-two percent are Protestant, 37% are Catholics; the number of Jews reaches about 4%, and the Eastern Orthodox are about 3%. The number of the Muslims is small and reaches about 3%. The US constitution strictly preserves the religious freedom of all American citizens.


Problems of American Society

Although the US is currently considered the most powerful country in the world, the way of life there created a number of problems that the society suffers from despite the efforts to solve and fight them such as: Alcohol addiction, drug addiction, violence, crime and more.

[Contemporary Problems, grade 12, p. 18-19]



10. Minimizing the Peace Processes between Israel and its neighbors


There seems to be an attempt to minimize education about the peace processes between Israel and its neighbors. In the book History of the Arabs and the World in the 20th Centur,y there is great detail about the wars, the British Mandate period and Israel's establishment– but only minor reference to a peace process, while the Oslo Accords are not even mentioned. In the book Contemporary Problems, there is nothing in the extensive sections on Israel and the Palestinians about the peace process. It is, however, mentioned in a section expressing criticism of US foreign policy, US motivation in international affairs.


Israel - Jordan:

Jordan signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1994. Both sides recognized the borders between them according to the borders that the British Mandate set up

[History of the Arabs and the world in the 20th century, grade 12, p. 84]


Israel - Egypt:

The treaty with Egypt is mentioned in two different books. One book presents a single line, accusing the US as having "pushed" Egypt to sign:

Extended negotiations, from the American viewpoint, will lead to a shift in the military balance of power in the favor of one of the sides, or to a shift in the political options during the negotiations. And so it pushed Egypt to make peace with Israel in 1978.

[Contemporary Problems, grade 12, pp. 22-23]


Another book focuses on the Arab world's opposition to the peace treaty:

The president of Egypt, Muhammad Anwar Al-Sadat, visited Israel. The Camp David accord was signed in 1979. According to it, Israel withdrew from Sinai. As a result, The Arab countries terminated their relations with Egypt and the center of the Arab League was moved from Cairo to Tunis.

[History of the Arabs and the world in the 20th century, grade 12, p. 88]


Israel – Palestinians

The Israel – Palestinian Olso Accords are given very little mention. In a section discussing US foreign policy, the books describe the signing of the Oslo Accords: "Due to the political circumstances in the Arab region following the Second Gulf War, a declaration of principles (the Oslo Accords) was reached in 1993…" Although it is not certain what the educators are hinting at, Yasser Arafat and the PLO were at their weakest following the Gulf War, after Arafat's support of Saddam Hussein's attack on Kuwait, which had lost the PLO its financial base of support.

Due to the political circumstances in the Arab region following the Second Gulf War, a declaration of principles (the Oslo Accords) was reached in 1993 for solving the problem of Palestine between the PLO and Israel, and it [America] plays the lead role in the attempt to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Its latest political suggestion is the Roadmap plan.

[Contemporary Problems, grade 12, pp. 22-23]


Beyond this, the Oslo Accords are not mentioned, nor is the peace process.



Conclusions

One of the most meaningful gauges of the ideology and aspirations of a people is the education of its youth. For this reason, the new Palestinian Authority schoolbooks introduced in the end of 2006 by the Palestinian Authority (PA) Ministry of Higher Education apparatus are a continuation of the tragic disappointment of the earlier books. Instead of seizing the opportunity to educate future generations to live in peace with Israel, the new PA schoolbooks teach their children to hate Israel and vilify Israel's existence while they glorify terror. Instead of working to minimize the current hate, the new PA curriculum is ingraining it into the next generation’s consciousness, and packaging the conflict with as existential, mandatory and religious. The hate indoctrination, combined with the definition of terror against Israel as "most glorious heroism," could be interpreted by some youths as recruitment manuals for terrorism.

The new PA schoolbooks are guaranteeing that the next generation will grow up seeing Israel as an illegitimate state, an enemy to be hated, fought, and destroyed, rather than as a neighbor to negotiate with, and to ultimately live beside in peace.




Appendix 1: About the Palestinian Curriculum Development Center (PCDC)


The Palestinian Curriculum Development Center was established in 1988 according to the decisions of the Palestinian Authority government and the Palestinian Legislative Council. The center is made up of teams of Palestinian teachers and professors, who compose the textbooks.


Dr. Naim Abu Al-Humos was appointed director of the Curriculum Committee in 2000 and has continued in this position through the publishing of the new books for grade 12, in 2006. Abu Al-Humos, a long-time member of Fatah and observer to its Revolutionary Council, was appointed PA Minister of Education in 2002 and continued after PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's election.


In addition, the authors and supervisors who wrote the new books in 2006 are the same teams of authors who have been writing during the years 2000 through 2005, with slight additions.


It is significant that the current 12th grade books contain hateful ideology that has been associated with Hamas -- including denial of Israel's right to exist, portraying the conflict as religious Islamic, hatred of the US, picturing the world without the existence of Israel and anticipating its destruction. But this ideology has been embraced and is being taught to Palestinian youth by veteran Fatah educators, not by Hamas.It would seem that these world views are not unique to Hamas, but reflect mainstream ideology today in Palestinian society.


For more information about the Palestinian Curriculum Development Center see the web site: http://www.pcdc.edu.ps/Arabic/


Appendix 2: Names of Palestinian Schools


The Palestinian Authority transmits the ideological messages that are in the schoolbooks through the names it gives to its schools. Schools are named after terrorist murderers, and others are named for the cities of Israel that are presented as Palestinian cities in the books. This listing is not complete as it is based on the school names that appear in newspaper articles.


The most common school name PMW has found is the name Al Khansah – with at least 8 schools given her name. Al Khansah is the honored mother of Islamic tradition because she expressed joy over the Shahada deaths of her children, as is explained in the PA schoolbook for Grade 8 published in 2002:


Al-Khansah witnessed the Battle of Al-Qadisiyah with her four sons. She urged them to fight… They fought until all of them fell as Shahids. When the news reached her she said, ‘Praise be to Allah who has honored me by their Shahada…’”

[Reading and Texts Part II, Grade 8, p. 13]




Schools named after Al Khansah - “The Mother of Martyrs”

  1. The Al Khansah Girls Elementary School - Bethlehem

  2. The Al Khansah Girls Elementary School - Jenin

  3. The Al Khansah Girls Elementary School - Nablus

  4. The Al Khansah Girls Elementary School Han - Yunis

  5. The Al Khansah Girls Elementary School - Rafah.

  6. The Al Khansah Girls High School - Absan Al-Kabira

  7. The “Mother of the Martyrs” Boys School – Nahalyn

  8. Al Khansah Girls Elementary School Yatta Municipality


The most recently announced naming of a school is the “Martyr Saddam Hussein” school – just named in Yaa’bad (where the main street, – whose repaving was paid for with US foreign aid, – is also named after Saddam Hussein).


Schools named after Palestinian terrorists

  1. The “Dalal Al-Mughrabi” Girls High School – Gaza

  2. The “Dalal Al-Mughrabi” Girls High School – Al-Shyoh [Hebron]

Dalal Al-Mughrabi - A Palestinian female terrorist whose terror band hijacked a bus of vacationers in 1978 and killed 37 civilians.


  1. The “Hasan Salame” Girls Junior High School – Gaza

Ali Hasan Salame, commander of Fatah’s terror “Force 17” unit, was among the planners of the murder of the Israeli athletes in the Munich Olympic Games.


  1. The “Salah Khalaf” Junior High School – Gaza

  2. The “Shahid Abu-Iyad” School, Rafah

  3. The “Shaihd Salah Halaf [Abu-Iyad] Boys Elementary School – Gaza

Salah Khalaf – a founders of Fatah, led the “Black September” terror branch and planned the murder of the Israeli athletes in the Olympic Games and the murder of 2 American diplomats.


  1. The “Abu Ali Mustafa” Boys Elementary School – Arabe, Jenin

  2. The “Abu Ali Mustafa” Girls Elementary School – Arabe, Jenin

Abu Ali Mustafa – General Secretary of the terrorist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine [PLFP]. Planned numerous terror attacks against Israeli civilians during the recent terror war.


  1. The “Abu Jihad” boys high school – Arabe, Jenin

Halil Al-Wazir, Abu-Jihad, one of the Fatah founding fathers, architect of Fatah terror operations throughout the sixties and seventies. Masterminded dozens of terror attacks which killed numerous Israelis.


  1. The “Martyr Osama Al-Najar” school – Han Yunes

Osama Al-Najar – Spokesperson of the “Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades”, the military wing of the Fatah during the terror war – "second Intifada".


  1. The “Kamal Adwan” Boys High School – Tel Al-Sultan, Rafah

Kamal Adwan – A senior Fatah leader in the Sixties. Was in charge for the Fatah terror attacks in Israel.



  1. The “Martyr Saa’d Sayl” Boys Elementary School – Nablus

Saa’d Sayl was a senior Fatah commander, who led the Palestinian terrorist forces which fought in Lebanon during early 1980s.


  1. the The “[Martyr] Izz Al-Din Al-Kassam” Boys High School – Yaa’bad

  2. The “[Martyr] Izz Al-Din [Al-Kassam]” Elementary School – Jenin

Sheikh Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam, an influential Islamic preacher in British Mandate Palestine during the 1930’s. He led a Muslim terror group.

The Hamas terror wing is named after him – the Izz Al-Din Al-Qasam Brigades.


Schools named after Shahids - Martyrs in General

  1. The “Martyrs of Al-Zaytoon” - Boys Elementary School – Gaza

  2. The “Martyrs of Al-Montar” - Girls Elementary School – Gaza

  3. The “Martyrs of Gaza” - Boys Elementary School – Gaza

  4. The “Martyrs of Shiek Radwan” - Boys Elementary School – Gaza

  5. The “Martyrs of Al-Shati” – Boys High School – Shati refugee camp, Gaza

  6. The “Martyrs of Rafah” - Boys High School – Rafah refugee camp

  7. The “Martyrs of Han Yunes” - Co-ed Elementary School – Han Yunes

  8. The “Martyrs of Dir Al-Balah” - Girls High School – Dir Al-Balah

  9. The “Martyrs of H’zaa” School – H’zaa

  10. The “Martyrs of Bany-Sohila” - Girls High School – Bany-Sohila

  11. The “Martyrs of Al-Marazi” School – Al-Marazi, central camps

  12. The “Martyrs of Jibalya” - High School – Jibalya

  13. The “Martyrs of Al-Aqsa Intifada” - Girls School – Yata, Hebron

  14. The “Martyrs of Dora” - Girls School – Dora

  15. The “Martyrs of Sorif ” - Elementary School – Sorif

  16. The “Martyrs” - Boys Elementary School – Anabta, Tol Karam

  17. The “Martyrs of Kitna” - Boys High School – Kitna

  18. The “Martyrs of Hizma” - Elementary School – Hizma, Jerusalem

  19. The “Martyrs of Silwad” - Boys High School – Silwad, Jerusalem

  20. The “Martyrs of Al-Aqsa Intifada” - Girls School – Qalqilya

  21. The “Martyrs of Al-Aqsa” School - Qalqilya

  22. The “Martyrs” Elementary School - Qalqilya


Schools named after cities and locations in Israel

  1. The “Ramla” Elementary School – Gaza

  2. The “Jaffa” Elementary School – Gaza

  3. The “Ashdod” High School – Gaza

  4. The “Biet Shaa’n” co-ed. Elementary School – Gaza

  5. The “Jerusalem” Girls High School – Gaza

  6. The “Um Al-Faham” Girls High School – Beit Laheya, Northern Gaza

  7. The “Ein Harod” Girls Elementary School – Gaza

  8. The “Cisarya” co-ed. Elementary School – Hager Al-Dyk, Gaza

  9. The “Galily” Girls High School – Gaza

  10. The “Safad” Boys Elementary School – Gaza

  11. The “Al-Majdal” [Ashkelon] Girls Junior High School – Gaza

  12. The “Kastel” Boys Elementary School – Gaza

  13. The “Lod” Girls Junior High School – Gaza

  14. The “Nazarath” Girls Elementary School – Gaza

  15. The “Carmel” Boys High School - Gaza

  16. The “Jerusalem” Girls High School – Rafah

  17. The “Beer-Sheba” Boys High School – Rafah

  18. The “Shafaram” Girls High School – Rafah

  19. The “Haifa” Girls High School – Han Yunes

  20. The “Tiberius” Girls High School – Han Yunes

  21. The “Acre” Girls High School – Han Yunes refugee camp

  22. The “Kishon” High School – Jenin

  23. The “Rosh Ha-Nikra” co-ed. High School – Nablus district



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