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Monday, February 4, 2013
Education Ministry and Strategic Affairs Ministry Responses to the Press Conference on the Issue of Israeli and Palestinian Textbooks

Education Ministry Response to the Press Conference on the Issue of Israeli
and Palestinian Textbooks
(Communicated by the Education Ministry Spokesperson)

An evaluation, by professionals from the Education Ministry and from outside
it, of materials collected by the "Scientific Advisory Panel" initiated by
the "Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land" clearly shows that
it is biased, unprofessional and profoundly unobjective.

The clear impression is that this is a "study" the conclusions of which were
known in advance, before any professional work was done, and certainly does
not accurately reflect the reality.

The attempt to create a parallel between the Israeli and Palestinian
educational systems is without any foundation whatsoever and has no basis in
reality.

The Education Ministry chose not to cooperate with those elements who are
interested in maliciously slandering the Israeli educational system and the
State of Israel.

The products of this "study" show that the decision not to cooperate with
these elements was correct.

For further details and interviews, please contact Education Ministry
Spokesperson Michal Zadoki at 050-6282701.

Response of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs

The school book study correctly recognizes the critical importance that
incitement and education play in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However,
the study's approach, methodology and findings are highly-problematic and
strongly-misleading for several reasons:

1. The overall approach and tone of the study reflect an attempt to create
an artificial and inaccurate picture of balance between Palestinian and
Israeli books.

2. The study omits important examples of incitement and delegitimization
found in official PA textbooks.

3. Its methodology is flawed in that it misses or obscures critical
differences between Israeli and Palestinian texts.

4. The study provides a highly-distorted depiction of the PA's systematic
efforts to educate and indoctrinate Palestinian children to hate, violence
and non-acceptance of Israel's existence. This is a result of the fact that
the study focuses only on a very specific and limited component of those
efforts.

It should be noted that at least three members of the study's Scientific
Advisory Panel refused to support the study, citing methodological and
procedural flaws. The Israeli Chief Rabbinate has also disassociated itself
from the study.

Official PA and PLO educational platforms, including formal and informal
educational frameworks, summer camps, children's magazines, television
programs, and cultural events systematically promote the following messages:

1. The dispute with Israel is not over territory, but over the legitimacy of
Israel's very existence (let alone Israel's existence as a Jewish state.)

2. The ultimate goal is to eliminate the Jewish State and reclaim the
historic Land of Palestine.

3. Jews/Zionists/Israelis possess demonic characteristics (demonization and
dehumanization.)

4. All forms of struggle- including terrorism- are legitimate in pursuit of
the ultimate goal. Terrorists are national heroes and role models. At times
diplomatic or political struggle may be more expedient than terror.

The Palestinian educational system contains no curriculum promoting a
lasting peace and co-existence between a Palestinian and an Israeli state.
In contrast, the Israeli educational system clearly promotes a culture of
peace. As long as Palestinian children are taught that terror is legitimate
and Israelís existence is not, a viable Israeli-Palestinian peace will
remain beyond reach. Those who wish to support peace efforts must encourage
the PA to cease official incitement and promote a culture of peace.

For more information and interview access with Strategic Affairs Ministry
Director General Yossi Kuperwasser, please contact Ministry Spokesperson
Ofer Harel at 050-6205631.

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