The Palestinian Authority does not meet the UNESCO recommendations for becoming
a full member in the international organization, according to a study published
on Monday by IMPACT-SE – the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural
Tolerance in School Education.
IMPACT-SE is a research organization that
monitors and analyzes schoolbooks and curricula across the Middle East with an
eye toward determining their compliance with international standards on peace
and tolerance, a goal derived directly from UNESCO declarations and
resolutions.RELATED:PA gains Arab backing for UNESCO membership request
“The monitoring of the Palestinian schoolbooks in use for
the school year 2011 shows that the fundamentals against Israel and the Jews are
upheld,” the study concluded.
It said that the fundamentals included
negating both Israel and the Jews.
Israel, for example, is not mentioned
among the states of the Levant (which presently consists of the states of
Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria as well as the Palestinian territories) and
Jewish holy places are never mentioned as such. For instance, Rachel’s Tomb in
Bethlehem is presented as the Bilal bin Rabah Mosque.
According to the
study, the Jewish and Hebrew identity of Palestine under the British Mandate is
stricken out. One illustration twists a stamp of Palestine under the British
Mandate by erasing the Hebrew term ERETZ ISRAEL PALESTINA.
The study also
found that there was continued demonization of both Israel and the Jews in the
books. Jews are described, among others, as violating treaties, getting rich
unduly, deceitful, murdering children, disemboweling women and invading snakes.
They are never presented in neutral or positive terms.
The study quotes
the following examples from the Palestinian schoolbooks: “The Messenger of God
[Muhammad] ordered Zayd Ibn Thabit to learn the language of the Jews in order to
be safe from their cheating,” History of the Arabs and Muslims, Grade 6, (2009),
page 133; “Your enemies killed your children, split open your women’s bellies,
held your revered elderly men by the beard, and led them to the death pits,”
Reading and Texts, Grade 8, Part 2,  (reprinted 2007), page 16; and “By
your life! How come snakes invade us and we [still] observe a protection
covenant [dhimma] which respects commitments?” Arabic Language– Linguistic
Sciences, Grade 12, (2010), page 61.
“The Oslo accords and the
Declaration of Principles are mentioned and even quoted, but they are not
praised and a peacefully negotiated settlement is not advocated or supported,”
said the authors of the study.
“In contrast, there is a lot of praise for
jihad and martyrdom to free Palestine without defining clearly the territory to
be liberated, hence implying that Israel’s territory is also to be
The study quotes the following paragraph from a Grade 8 book:
“Today the Muslim countries need urgently jihad and jihad fighters in order to
liberate the robbed lands and to get rid of the robbing Jews from the robbed
lands in Palestine and in the Levant.”
The Shoah is not mentioned at all,
though one ambiguous passage reads as follows: “The Jewish question is first and
foremost a European problem.”
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