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Monday, November 26, 2001


PRESS RELEASE 21 November 2001

Center For Monitoring The Impact Of Peace
477 Madison Avenue, 10th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10022 USA (212) 572-5566
25 Keren Hayesod Street, Jerusalem 94188, Israel 972-2-6223250
e-mail: info@edume.org http://www.edume.org

Following is a summary of the findings of a survey conducted by the Center
for Monitoring the Impact of Peace, of the new Palestinian Authority
Textbooks. The findings were presented at a press conference held today
(Wednesday) in Jerusalem, by the Chairman of the Center, Mr. André Marcus
and the Vice-Chairman, Dr. Yohanan Manor:

In the two academic years 2000-2001 and 2001-2002, the Palestinian National
Authority (PNA) introduced 58 new textbooks and two teachers' guides for
grades 1,2,6,7 and 11. CMIP has conducted a comprehensive survey of these
textbooks in order to determine how they relate to peace, tolerance,
recognition and reconciliation according to criteria set by the
international community.

CMIP has found that the new PNA textbooks do not fulfill these criteria in
educating to peace and reconciliation with Israel, but rather foster a
multi-faceted rejection of its existence. The educational approach employed
by the PNA does not reflect international standards as defined by UNESCO.
The textbooks do not teach acceptance of Israel's existence on the national
level, and instead of working to erase hateful stereotypes, the new PNA
curriculum is instilling them into the next generation's consciousness.

+ The concept of peace with Israel is not to be found anywhere in the
Palestinian schoolbooks. The peace process between Israel and the
Palestinians, based on the Oslo Accords, is not mentioned. They fail to
teach the youth to see Israel as a neighbor with whom peaceful relations
should be desired.

+ Tolerance, both in a historical and a contemporary context, is addressed
at length in the Palestinian textbooks. It is described as being based on
Islam's traditional approach of "accepting the members of the monotheistic
religions" and "respecting the People of the Book in their religion,
property and ceremonies". However, in their examples, the textbooks refer
only to tolerance between Moslems and Christians. The Jews are not

+ The Jewish connection to the Holy Land is confined to antiquity. From the
Roman period onwards this Jewish link is ignored. The Jews' return to
Palestine is described as "infiltration". Zionism is mentioned in a negative
context only. The Jews are not "deserving" of Palestine. Hebrew is not
considered one of the languages of the land.

+ The State of Israel, a member state of the UN since 1949, is not
recognized. It is referred to by substitute names such as the lands within
the "green line", "interior" or "1948 lands". Its name does not appear on
any map, nor do any towns, villages and projects (industries, harbors,
railways, etc.) created and developed by Israel. Israel is presented as the
usurper and occupier since its establishment in 1948.

+ By contrast, the State of Palestine (Dawlat Filastin) is often referred to
and its name appears with the official emblem of the Palestinian National
Authority, on the cover and the front page of many textbooks. Palestine
stretches from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea and is exclusively
Arab. The 5.5 million Jewish inhabitants are not counted.

+ The maps that appear in the textbooks continue to disregard the existence
of the State of Israel. In most cases no names are given at all. In other
cases Israel's place on the map is marked "Palestine". There are several
maps that delineate the contours of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip but do
not name them. Areas located in the territory of Israel within its 1949
borders, such as the Negev, are presented as an integral part of Palestine.
The Arab population of Israel is counted among the inhabitants of Palestine.

+ Jerusalem is presented as belonging to the Palestinians alone, and as the
capital of Palestine. Its central importance and holiness for the Jews are
not mentioned, neither is the fact that the Jewish population constitutes
the vast majority of its inhabitants.

+ The holy places in Palestine are exclusively Muslim and Christian. There
is no reference to Jewish holy places as such. Rather, they are presented as
Muslim holy places that the Jews have attempted to Judaize, such as the
"Tomb of the Patriarchs" in Hebron, "the Western Wall" a.k.a. "the Wailing
Wall", in Jerusalem, and "Rachel's Tomb" in Bethlehem.

+ There are a series of references to the liberation of Palestine, presented
as a struggle against Israeli occupation. At times, the liberation from
Israeli occupation points to the territories of the West Bank and the Gaza
Strip occupied by Israel in 1967. Sometimes this expression refers to the
territory of the State of Israel, within its 1949 borders. There is an
explicit reference to the Israeli occupation of 1948 and another to the need
to establish an independent Palestinian state on the entire national soil.

+ The struggle for the liberation of Palestine is presented mainly as a
military one. There is no direct support of terror in the textbooks, but the
Feda'i and the Shahid are praised as the spearheads of this struggle.
Palestinians hanged by British Mandate authorities for murders of Jewish
civilians are presented as Shahids. Those arrested and jailed in Israeli
jails for acts of terrorism against Israeli civilians are depicted as
"prisoners of war". Jihad continues to be glorified and martyrdom is
praised, with special attention given to the martyrs of Palestine.

+ There is no attempt to encourage reconciliation with Israel. Israel is
presented exclusively as inhumane and greedy. It has destroyed the
Palestinian villages, driven them away, seized their lands and water,
inflicted on them pain and loss, taken over their holy places. Israel is
responsible for the obliteration of Palestinian Arab national identity, the
crippling of Palestinian economy, and for social and ecological ills.

+ Israel is accused of being responsible for the creation of the Palestinian
refugee problem, with no consideration being given to the consequences of
the Arab and Palestinian rejection of the 1947 UN Partition Plan. The
solution to this problem presented in PNA textbooks is "the return of every
refugee" to his former home, i.e. to the territory of the State of Israel
within its 1949 borders.

+ Although bilateral treaties and accords have determined the allocation of
land and water between Israel and the Palestinians by mutual agreement, (The
Israeli-Palestinian Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, 1995,
Article XI and Appendix I article 40,and the Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty
1994, Annex II.). Israel is accused of robbing the lands and waters from the

+ Reference to the Jews is minimal. Although their historical connections to
Palestine are mentioned, these references do not provide the pupils with at
least a basic knowledge of Jews and Judaism, as one of the three
monotheistic religions. Several of these references, however, contain
negative generalizations attributing traits of trickery, greed and barbarity
to the Jews, and insinuation that they do not keep agreements and treaties
as Muslims do. Accusations of racial discrimination that were leveled
against Israel in a textbook published in 1995 have since been removed (in
1996 and 2000).

+ Inaccuracies in determining and presenting historical facts appear in
several instances, particularly in the textbooks of Grade 7. For example,
statements such as: "[Israeli] attempts at obliterating the artistic
[Palestinian] heritage: .Setting fire to the antique pulpit of Saladin in
the al-Aqsa Mosque." (National Education, Grade 7, p. 55). "The Arab
Jebusites built it [Jerusalem] five thousand years ago in that distinguished
place and it has remained since that time a capital of Palestine during the
ages." (Geography of Palestine, Grade 7, p. 77) are to be found in the
textbooks, as well as the falsification of a stamp issued by the British
Mandatory Government.

+ The Palestinian textbooks use terminology that is associated with war and
violence and is likely to create prejudice,misunderstanding and conflict,
such as: "The demographic weapon" will play "a positive role in winning the
Arab-Israeli conflict" (The Palestinian Society-Demographic Education, Grade
11 (2000), p. 29), and :"The coming of the Jewish throngs to Palestine
continued until 1948 and their goal was taking over the Palestinian lands
and then taking the original inhabitants' place after their expulsion or
extermination." (National Education, Grade 7, p. 20)

+ The tendency towards educating pupils to reject and delegitimize Israel
that was prevalent in the PNA textbooks of 2000-2001 has not been addressed
in the new textbooks. Instead, it appears to have gained impetus through
instilling animosity and the implicit aspiration to replace the State of
Israel with the State of Palestine.

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