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New Palestinian textbooks teach 12th graders in the Palestinian Authority that hating and working to destroy Israel is a religious duty, according to a new report published by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) that will be presented to the Knesset Education Committee on Tuesday morning.
"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," the report reads, adding that "the new PA curriculum is ingraining [hate] into the next generation's consciousness, and packaging the war against Israel as existential, mandatory and religious."
Until 2000, Palestinian Authority textbooks were reprinted Jordanian and Egyptian books that were not focused on the Palestinian situation. Since 2000, the PA has released its own textbooks, and these have met with international opprobrium for their anti-Israel messages. Though the books for first through 11th grades were subsequently replaced, the new 12th grade textbooks "are a continuation of the tragic disappointment of the earlier books," according to the report's authors.
The new schoolbooks are written by Fatah-appointed officials at the Center for Developing the Palestinian Curricula, which is directed by former PA minister of higher education Dr. Naim Abu Al-Humos. They were formally released by the PA Ministry of Higher Education.
The 35-page PMW report cites many examples of the delegitimization of Israel in the new books.
Among these, the report quotes the textbook titled Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism, in which the authors write of the 1948 war: "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 of Israel."
According to the report's authors, "defining Israel's founding as a 'catastrophe unprecedented in history,' a theft perpetrated by 'Zionist gangs,' together with numerous other hateful descriptions of Israel as 'colonial imperialist' and 'racist,' compounded by the presentation of the conflict as a religious war, leaves no latitude for students to have positive or even neutral attitudes towards Israel. The well-meaning student is left with no logical justification or religious option to accept Israel as a neighbor or to seek coexistence."
The report will be presented in the Knesset alongside the textbooks themselves.