August 15, 2007.
Imagine, if you would, that a nascent nation state, somewhere in the world,
was in formation that had taken on these features:
- Its new constitution would not allow for any juridical status for Judaism.
- Jews would not even be allowed to live in the country.
- Selling land to a Jew would be a capital crime.
- The new school system would inculcate children to make war on the
- Those who murdered Jews would become the national heroes of the new
- Their designated head of state earned his Ph.D. on the thesis that 6
million Jews were not really murdered during World War II, and that the Zionists
were actually allies of the Nazis.
The reaction to such a news item would be an outcry from Jewish groups who
monitor and react to anti-Semitism as a matter of policy. Yet, we have seen no
outcry from these groups in the case of the proposed Palestinian state, even
though it possesses all six qualities listed above.
Others have expressed their deep concern about the anti-Semitism of the
nascent Palestinian entity. Four years ago, this reporter covered a briefing
provided for a visiting U.S. congressional delegation provided by the Vatican
representative to Israel. Archbishop Pietro Sambi warned U.S. lawmakers that
the new Palestinian Authority’s approved state constitution, funded by USAID,
provided no juridical status for any religion other than Islam in the emerging
Palestinian Arab entity.
The Papal Nuncio also warned that the Palestinian Authority (PA) had adopted
Shariah law. Islamic nations that have adopted Shariah have mandated the
absolute supremacy of Muslims over non-Muslims as matter of law.
Archbishop Sambi provided our news agency with the PA constitution with the
hope that Jewish groups that monitor anti-Semitism would object to the
U.S.-funded Palestinian state constitution. It never happened.
Archbishop Sambi initiated a study of the new PA textbooks, which the
Vatican determined to be anti-Semitic in nature. And so, at the recommendation
of Archbishop Sambi, the Italian government pulled its money out of the
Palestinian Ministry of Education’s textbook project.
This past May, Dr. Arnon Groiss, a researcher at the Center for Monitoring the
Impact of Peace, made a presentation for European diplomats in Brussels
showing how PA textbooks, instead of educating for peace with Israel, promote
the violent struggle for liberation against Israel.
From these textbooks, Groiss showed that the PA curriculum teaches the
- Jews are foreigners and have no rights in Palestine.
- The Jews
have a dubious and even murderous character.
- Israel is an illegitimate usurper that occupied Palestine in 1948 and 1967.
- Israel is the source of all kinds of evil done to the Palestinians.
- Peace with Israel based on reconciliation is not to be sought.
- A violent struggle for liberation is encouraged instead.
- The exact area to be liberated is never restricted to the West Bank and
- Jihad and martyrdom are glorified, and terrorist activities against Israel
are implicitly encouraged.
- The West is imperialist, aspires to world hegemony, directs a cultural
attack against Islam and supports Israel.
The list of accusations against Israel appearing in the new Palestinian Authority
schoolbooks includes more than 25 items, including the following:
- Israel contributes to Palestinian social ills and family violence.
- Israel causes the increase of drug abuse cases in Palestinian society.
- Israel pollutes the Palestinian environment.
- Israel usurps Muslim and Christian holy places.
- Israel strives to obliterate the Palestinian national identity and heritage.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center responded. Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate
Director of the Wiesenthal Center, wrote: “You have raised an issue that was
supposedly addressed during through the Oslo process and unfortunately no
Israeli government or US administration held the Palestinian leadership
accountable. The current questions you raised are important enough that we
will urge that the Global Forum on Antisemitism take it up…”