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Palestinian schoolchildren take part in a lesson at a school run by UNRWA in the Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem.(Photo by: AMMAR AWAD/REUTERS)
PA wipes peace agreements from schoolbooks, encourages incitement and intolerance
By TAMAR BEERI
10/07/2019
The Palestinian Authority removed all mention of any agreements or meetings with Israel, with the exception of the Oslo Accords, in which Israel is mentioned in a negative light.
The Palestinian Authority has removed any mention of past agreements with Israel from their school textbooks, with the exception of the Oslo Accords, which are mentioned in far less detail than in previous editions of the schoolbooks, according to a new report by Yedioth Aharonot.

The new curriculum, which has been progressively implemented throughout the past three years, and the textbooks in particular, are studied between 1st and 12th grades in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, east Jerusalem and refugee camps. They, unlike their previous editions, make no mention of the historical Jewish presence in Israel, and speak about every quarter in Jerusalem's Old City – except the Jewish Quarter.

The portions of the textbooks that do mention the Oslo Accords portray Israel in a negative light, claiming that "the Zionist occupation was forced to recognize the PLO after the First Intifada in 1987."

In addition, the old textbooks contained the full contents of the letter written in 1993 by then-PA chairman Yasser Arafat to then-Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, which detailed the values of peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

The new textbooks, however, censor the part in which Arafat writes that the declaration of principles "is the beginning of an era of coexistence in peace without violence and any action that may risk the peace."

The few times in which Israel is mentioned throughout the rest of the textbooks are in parentheses, a habit typically taken on to claim the illegitimacy of the state by extremist organizations such as Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, according to Mako.

"Deleting the past is an attack on the hope of a better future," wrote Blue and White Chairman Benny Gantz on Twitter in response to the report. "This is first and foremost affecting young Palestinians. The ability to reach a better future begins with the education of future generations in peace, tolerance and coexistence, and not by inciting and glorifying suicide bombers."

"As if, in Israel, they teach about the Oslo Accords and not the nation-state law," said Joint List party leader Ayman Odeh on Twitter. "Maybe the Palestinians erased the agreements from their textbooks, but Israel erases them from the territory every day that it violates them.

"Only an independent Palestinian state alongside the State of Israel will ensure peace and security for both peoples," he concluded.

Research conducted by Hebrew University of Jerusalem research institute IMPACT-se found that Palestinian schoolchildren are exposed to a dramatic amount of incitement and intolerance against Jews and Israel.

Previously, school children in the West Bank and east Jerusalem were taught the Jordanian curriculum, while students in Gaza used Egyptian textbooks.

The new textbooks, according to the research institute, justify and even encourage violent acts, hatred and even "martyrdom."

An 11th grade history book described the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre by Palestinian terrorists in which 11 Israeli athletes were murdered as “a strike at Zionist interests abroad.”

Another 7th grade social studies text claimed that “Zionists” tried to burn down Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque in 1969. In fact, an Australian tourist belonging to a Christian fundamentalist sect was responsible for the arson attack.

IMPACT-se CEO Marcus Sheff said: "Another school year began with 1.3 million Palestinian school students being radicalized daily by the Palestinian Ministry of Education. It is difficult to understand how education for this hatred is funded by foreign donor countries without content oversight.

"Just last month, the United Nations called on the Palestinian Authority to remove antisemitic content from textbooks," Scheff added.

Rossella Tercatin contributed to this report.

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