October 20, 2004.
Well, Palestinian Arab children are in the midst of their sixth week of the school
year. These school children are learning from new Palestinian Authority school
books, made possible through grants made possible by US AID, CIDA of
Canada and special grants from EU countries made available for educational
institutions that operate in the Palestinian Authority.
This week, the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace, an agency that
monitors expression of peace and reconciliation in all educational systems of
the Middle East, acting under the mandate of UNESCO that encourages
education for peace and reconciliation, provided translations of the new
Palestinian Authority school books at a press conference in Jerusalem, and
published their findings at www.edume.org
In the new schoolbooks of the Palestinian Authority, no Jewish connection to
the Holy Land is mentioned whatsoever. Indeed, Jews are only referred to in
the context of their wars with Prophet Muhammad, where they are depicted in
an unfavorable light, as violators of a treaty they had signed with him and as
“employers of trickery”.
And the 5.5 million Jewish citizens of Israel are not even counted in the
population figures of the new Palestinian geography schoolbook that covers all
of the Holy Land, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.
There is a single historic reference in the new Palestinian school books to the
role of Jews in ‘early Palestinian history’ – as the people who killed Christ.
At the same time, the new Palestinian Authority textbooks somehow transform
the Canaanites and Jebusites of Biblical times into Palestinian Arabs,
generations before Ishmael, the primordial ancestor of the Arabs was born, and
many more generations before the Muslim conquest ever occurred.
In terms of how the new Palestinian school books define the state of Israel, the
Jewish state appears nowhere on the maps in the new PA school books, while
series of three maps in the Palestinian Authority history atlas which show the
“Jewish Zone” in the 1937 Partition Plan, the 1947 Partition Resolution and the
1949 armistice lines.
However, Palestinian children learn from their new schoolbooks that the
Palestinian Arab entity is the sovereign state in the region, encompassing Israeli
regions, cities and sites which are presented as part of the Palestinian Arab
State. Israeli territory is referred to as “the lands of 1948” or “the Green Line”.
The new Palestinian school books describe the Middle East conflict as “a
confrontation between Zionism backed by Imperialism” – and its victims – the
Not one word is mentioned in these new textbooks about the UN
Partition Resolution of 1947 or about the invasion of the nascent state of Israel
by seven Arab nations on the day of Israel’s declaration of independence in
And how do the new textbooks of the Palestinian Authority explain the creation
of the Palestinian refugee problem in 1948 to a new generation of Palestinian
As nothing less than the “outcome of a premeditated plan by Zionism
and British Imperialism to expel the Palestinian Arabs from their land”.
The new Palestinian textbooks suggest only one solution to their plight:
“the return of the refugees (or, rather, their descendants) to their former homes
inside today’s Israel”.
Jerusalem is presented by the new Palestinian Authority as an Arab city from
time immemorial. Its Jebusite founders are Arabized and the Israelite or Jewish
historical ties to this city, both national and religious, are not mentioned.
Jerusalem is declared to be the capital of Palestine.
Jihad and martyrdom are still exalted as ideals, though to some lesser extent
than in the earlier books. Individual Palestinian terrorists who were killed in the
act of terror are defined as martyrs and prisoners-of-war, and praised in the
new Palestinian textbooks as role models for the Palestinian youngster to
Perhaps what is most worrisome about the new textbooks of the Palestinian
Authority is that the western democracies are funding them – the first school
system since the Third Reich to inculcate Children to make war on the Jews.
Not only are Western democracies funding the new Palestinian school system.
Jewish organizations in the US and Canada and throughout Western Europe
encourage their respective countries to aid Palestinian Authority education.
Despite wishful thinking that the Palestinian education would change for
the better, the brand new Palestinian school books convey another impression