Palestinian Schoolbooks Don’t Show Israel


If young Palestinians don’t believe that the state of Israel has a right to exist, it is at least in part the fault of their textbooks and the people who write them, according to the latest investigation by Israeli researchers.

In fact, the textbooks examined recently by the Center for Near East Policy Research do not even recognize that the state of Israel exists in any form. The area on maps where Israel should be is instead labeled as “Palestine.”

These textbooks — written by the Palestinian Ministry of Education — are used in schools run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in both Gaza and Yehuda and Shomron, Ynet reported on Tuesday.

Jews and Zionism are denigrated throughout. The text persists in the canard that Zionism was a colonial movement that sought to drive the Arabs off their land.

In keeping with UNESCO’s perception of history, the ancient Jewish connection to the land of Israel, Yerushalayim in particular, is completely ignored. Palestinian children will learn nothing whatsoever of the Kosel, Maaras Hamachpelah or Kever Rochel from these books.

Rather, they are taught that these are all Muslim holy sites, which the Jews are making false claims to.

Instead, the textbooks teach that these are all Muslim holy sites which the Jews are trying illegitimately to take control of.

The rewriting of history extends to events which could be embarrassing to Arabs, such as the Arab massacres of Jews in 1929 in Tzefas, Chevron and Yerushalayim. This was called the “al Buraq revolt” and was supposedly carried out to keep the Jews from conquering and occupying these holy cities. Over 130 Jews were murdered by their Arab neighbors during these massacres, but from these textbooks the Palestinian students will not know the truth.

Hebrew and Jewish place names are expunged, as well. In one instance, a picture of a stamp used during the British Mandatory Period upon which is written Hebrew, English, and Arabic shows only the English and Arabic, with the Hebrew letters erased.

Even Tel Aviv is not called Tel Aviv, but “Tel al-Rabia.” The word al-rabia means the season of spring in Arabic.

This is only the latest of numerous revelations about the pernicious propaganda which passes for education in the Palestinian Authority. Although the PA has agreed to participate in a joint Israeli-U.S.–Palestinian committee to design new textbooks, committee has yet to meet.

The research was presented by Dr. Arnon Gross, who translated the books, and Dr. Ronni Shaked from the Harry Truman Research Institute at the Hebrew University in Yerushalayim.