Contrary to the “education for peace” that has been a fundamental demand and principle of the Oslo peace process, new 12th grade schoolbooks in the Palestinian Authority repeatedly reject Israel’s right to exist, present the Israel-PA conflict as a religious battle on behalf of Islam, and actively portray a picture of the Middle East in which Israel does not exist at all. So finds the Palestinian Media Watch organization.
The PMW report leads with this quote from a language-arts book:
“Palestine’s war ended with a catastrophe that is unprecedented in history,when the Zionist gangs stole Palestine and expelled its people from their cities, their villages, their lands and their houses, and established the State ofIsrael.” [Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism, grade 12, p. 104 ]
In the same book, on the next page, Palestinian terror against Israel since Israel’s founding in 1948 is defined as: “resistance…acts of most glorious heroism.”
Similar findings have been made for years. In 2002, for example, the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace, after a comprehensive survey of 58 new Palestinian Authority textbooks and teachers’ guides, found that they “do not [educate] to peace and reconciliation with Israel, but rather foster a multi-faceted rejection of its existence.”
This, despite the long-running demands for “education to peace” on the part of the PA. Ariel Sharon said in 2001, for example, that Israel’s expectations from the Palestinian Authority “lie in three spheres: preventive action against terrorism and the infrastructures of terrorism; cessation of incitement and education for peace; and economic cooperation.”
Other excerpts from PA textbooks, according to the PMW report:
“Palestine” today is a special “state” with water access to both the Mediterranean and the Red Seas – a situation possible only if Israel does not exist. Similarly, the size of the “state” of “Palestine” is said to be more than 10,000 sq. km. – a realistic figure only if Israel does not exist, as Judea, Samaria and Gaza total only 6,220 sq. km. Maps of the region likewise teach children to visualize a world without Israel, as Israel does not appear on any map and its area is marked as “Palestine.” [Physical Geography and Human Geography, grade 12, p. 105-107]
A book teaching about language states, “Palestine will be liberated by its men, its women, its young ones and its elderly.” [Arabic Language and the Science of Language, grade 12, p. 44] The PMW report explains, “Since all of Israel and all its cities are taught to be an ‘occupation’ of ‘Palestine,’ and ‘Palestine’ in all the school books replaces all of Israel, the above] teaching can only mean that Israel’s destruction is inevitable.
The PMW reports concludes:
“One of the most meaningful gauges of the ideology and aspirations of a people is the education of its youth. For this reason, the new Palestinian Authority schoolbooks, introduced in the end of 2006 by the PA Ministry of Higher Education apparatus, are a continuation of the tragic disappointment of the earlier books. Instead of seizing the opportunity to educate future generations to live with Israel in peace, the PA schoolbooks glorify terror and teach their children to hate Israel, vilify Israel’s existence and define the battle with Israel as an uncompromising religious war. Instead of working to minimize the current hate, the new PA curriculum is ingraining it into the next generation’s consciousness, and packaging the war against Israel as existential, mandatory and religious. The new PA schoolbooks are guaranteeing that the next generation will grow up seeing Israel as an illegitimate enemy to be hated, fought, and destroyed, rather than as a neighbor to negotiate with and to ultimately live beside in peace.”
Funding University Terrorists
Another current PMW report cites Palestinian Authority newspaper articles discussing the activities of student chapters of Hamas and Islamic Jihad at Al Quds University and other PA schools assisted by USAID since 2005. As a result, Rep. Nita Lowey, (D-NY), the chairperson of the committee responsible for USAID funding, said, “It goes without saying that U.S. taxpayer dollars should absolutely never be used for advocating or honoring terrorist activity. Support for terrorists and terrorism in any shape or form is unacceptable.” So reports the Washington Times.
The Times reports that USAID (the U.S. Agency for International Development) has provided more than $140,000 in assistance to the Hamas-controlled Islamic University in Gaza – including scholarships to 49 of its students – though Congress changed the law in 2004 to restrict aid to entities or individuals “involved in or advocating terrorist activity.”