PA Removes Mention of Agreements with Israel from Textbooks

October 10, 2019
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Textbooks in the West Bank and Gaza strip no longer include references to agreements signed with Israel. (Illustrative)

Thursday, 10 October 2019 | The Palestinian Authority (PA) has removed all traces of agreements signed with Israel from its textbooks, according to an organization tracking educational material in the Middle East.

According to the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se), the only signed agreement still mentioned in schoolbooks for West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza students from first grade to high school is the 1993 Oslo Accords, but even those are mentioned less favorably and in less detail than in earlier versions of the textbooks.

Some of the examples of agreements signed by the PA with Israel were removed, with the new curriculum representing a quantum leap backward toward radicalizing the textbooks, IMPACT-se claims.

The 2019 textbooks no longer include the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) statement calling for coexistence, peace and non-violence with Israel, which appeared in the old version of the curriculum

The sentence that previously appeared—”The PLO considers that the signing of the Declaration of Principles constitutes a historic event, inaugurating a new epoch of peaceful coexistence free from violence and all other acts which endanger peace and stability”—has been changed to:

“Forcing the Zionist Occupation [Israel] to recognize the PLO after the first Intifada [uprising] in 1987 contributed to the return of PLO cadres and institutions in 1994 to the West Bank and Gaza Strip.”

Deleted from the new curriculum was the relatively substantial amount of information taught to Palestinian students about ancient Jewish history in “Palestine” and the Jewish presence and connection to Jerusalem. There is no longer mention of the Jews’ capital in the ancient period.

Another example of material now missing from textbooks is the use of the term Jewish state, which appeared in an atlas showing boundaries in the 1937 Partition Plan, the 1947 Partition Resolution and the 1949 armistice lines.

According to IMPACT-se, there are far fewer references to Israel by name in the curriculum, instead there are references to “Zionist Occupation,” “The Occupation,” “Israeli Occupation,” “The Zionists,” and “The Zionist Entity.”

The elimination of any reference to Israel, the Jewish people and peace has dashed any reasonable hope for a reformation of the Palestinian curriculum, the authors of the IMPACT-se study conclude.

Blue and White leader Benny Gantz told Ynet the new curriculum harms hopes for a better future for new generations.

Posted on October 10, 2019

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on October 7, 2019. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Bobby Neptune/USAID/flickr.com