by: Brian Schrauger
Thursday, 3 March 2016 | For years, watchdog groups in Israel have sounded the alarm about a pandemic of propaganda in Palestinian textbooks. The warning was that children under the tutelage of these texts would become dangerous and implacable enemies of the Jewish state. Today, after six months of murderous terror attacks against Israelis, many by children, it appears those warnings have become a sobering reality.
Ten years ago one watchdog group, Palestinian Media Watch, published a report about Palestinian schoolbooks that presented “a world without Israel.” That report delineated assertions made in classroom materials that depicted conflict with Israel as an Islamic holy war, portrayed maps of “Palestine” on which Israel does not exist, denied the Holocaust, and depicted all Palestinians as victims of the “Zionist entity.”
In 2007, PMW founder, Itamar Marcus, presented the report to then US Senator Hillary Clinton. After reviewing the report and textbooks to which it referred, Clinton’s renunciation was unequivocal. “These textbooks do not give Palestinian children an education; they give them an indoctrination,” she said, adding that they “profoundly poison” the minds of Palestinian children.
Still, not much changed. In 2010, PMW reported that, if anything, the situation was worse. Its translation of an 8th grade Arabic text revealed a kind of classroom indoctrination that most in the West could hardly imagine. “Your enemies seek life while you seek death,” it stated to barely pubescent teens.
In its fuller context, the passage portrayed death in the fight against Israel as a glorious, majestic thing.
“O heroes, Allah has promised you victory… Don’t talk yourselves into flight… Your enemies seek life while you seek death. They seek spoils to fill their empty stomachs while you seek a paradise as wide as are the heavens and the earth… Death is not bitter in the mouth of the believers. These drops of blood that gush from your bodies will be transformed tomorrow into blazing red meteors that will fall down upon the heads of your enemies.”
Still, nothing meaningful changed. Foreign funding continued to flow for Palestinian education, largely from Europe and the United States. Most of it was funneled through UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, specifically established “for Palestine refugees in the Near East.” Unlike any other refugee class in UN history, UNRWA granted refugee status as a perpetual inheritance for Palestinians who claimed to be displaced in 1948.
Even more perplexing, Israel’s government and media said almost nothing about the problem.
Perhaps, finally, that virtual silence is being broken. Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs maintains a tally of the terror wave that began on 13 September 2015. As of today, it reports, there have been 195 stabbings and attempted stabbing attacks, 77 shootings, and 39 vehicular (ramming) attacks. These attacks against Israelis have resulted in 33 deaths and 375 injuries. Notably, four apparently unintended victims have been Palestinians.
Yesterday, the Jerusalem Post addressed the problem of educational incitement to murder Israelis in Palestinian classrooms.
“A number of insurmountable obstacles are preventing Israelis and Palestinians from ending decades of conflict,” it began. “One of them is the unrelenting incitement planned and executed by the purportedly “moderate” Palestinian Authority [PA] and funded by the European Union, among other international bodies.”
Asserting that, to date, Israel has been “too soft” on official Palestinian incitement to murder, the essay zeroed in on yet another report about the problem of Palestinian schoolbooks. According to a recent radio report by an Arab affairs correspondent, Gal Berger, he “provided concrete evidence” on how the PA is inciting children in the classroom.
“He reviewed more than 60 textbooks approved by the PA’s Education Ministry for grades 1-12 for 2015-2016 and found that, despite attempts since the Oslo Accords to stop incitement in official PA schools, little has changed.
“History books that deal with World War II, for instance, make absolutely no mention of the Holocaust. Young Palestinians who graduate from official PA schools are never taught what the Nazi regime did to the Jewish people.
“Textbooks that teach about Islam glorify ‘shahids’ or those who give their lives in service to Islam, including in holy war. School children are taught that all of the sins of the shahid are forgiven, and that he or she reaches the top level of heaven. Non-Muslims have rights only as the subjects of Muslim rule.
“Additionally, official PA textbooks regularly ignore the existence of the State of Israel. Cities such as Haifa, Tiberias, Jaffa, Ashdod and Petah Tikva are described as parts of ‘Palestine.’ The total area of ‘Palestine’ is identical to that of Israel including the West Bank [Judea-Samaria]. Even land that became part of Israel after the War of Independence is referred to as ‘occupied.’
“Unfortunately, the EU and other international bodies that provide funding to the PA and its education system have not done enough to persuade its leadership to revamp school textbooks and stop incitement.
“Palestinian leaders could have spent the decades since Oslo preparing their people for coexistence with Israelis.
“Instead, they have chosen to reinforce intransigence and hatred.
“There will be no resolution to the conflict until this changes.”
Indeed. And now Israeli mainstream media is saying so …in such a time as this.
Posted on March 3, 2016
Source: (Bridges for Peace, 3 March 2016)
Photo Credit: Palestinian Media Watch/facebook.com
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