Well, Palestinian Arab children are in the midst of their sixth week of the school year. These school children are learning from new Palestinian Authority school books, made possible through grants made possible by US AID, CIDA of Canada and special grants from EU countries made available for educational institutions that operate in the Palestinian Authority.
This week, the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace, an agency that monitors expression of peace and reconciliation in all educational systems of the Middle East, acting under the mandate of UNESCO that encourages education for peace and reconciliation, provided translations of the new Palestinian Authority school books at a press conference in Jerusalem, and published their findings at www.edume.org
In the new schoolbooks of the Palestinian Authority, no Jewish connection to the Holy Land is mentioned whatsoever. Indeed, Jews are only referred to in the context of their wars with Prophet Muhammad, where they are depicted in an unfavorable light, as violators of a treaty they had signed with him and as ”employers of trickery”. And the 5.5 million Jewish citizens of Israel are not even counted in the population figures of the new Palestinian geography schoolbook that covers all of the Holy Land, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.
There is a single historic reference in the new Palestinian school books to the role of Jews in “early Palestinian history” – as the people who killed Christ.
At the same time, the new Palestinian Authority textbooks somehow transform the Canaanites and Jebusites of Biblical times into Palestinian Arabs, generations before Ishmael, the primordial ancestor of the Arabs was born, and many more generations before the Muslim conquest ever occurred.
In terms of how the new Palestinian school books define the state of Israel, the Jewish state appears nowhere on the maps in the new PA school books, while series of three maps in the Palestinian Authority history atlas which show the “Jewish Zone” in the 1937 Partition Plan, the 1947 Partition Resolution and the 1949 armistice lines.
However, Palestinian children learn from their new schoolbooks that the Palestinian Arab entity is the sovereign state in the region, encompassing Israeli regions, cities and sites which are presented as part of the Palestinian Arab State. Israeli territory is referred to as “the lands of 1948” or “the Green Line”
The new Palestinian school books describe the Middle East conflict as “a confrontation between “Zionism backed by Imperialism” – and its victims – the Palestinians. Not one word is mentioned in these new textbooks about the UN Partition Resolution of 1947 or about the invasion of the nascent state of Israel by seven Arab nations on the day of Israel’s declaration of independence in 1948.
And how do the new textbooks of the Palestinian Authority explain the creation of the Palestinian refugee problem in 1948 to a new generation of Palestinian Youth? As nothing less than the “outcome of a premeditated plan by Zionism and British Imperialism to expel the Palestinian Arabs from their land”. The new Palestinian textbooks suggest only one solution to their plight” the return of the refugees (or, rather, their descendants) to their former homes inside today’s Israel.
Jerusalem is presented by the new Palestinian Authority as an Arab city from time immemorial. Its Jebusite founders are Arabized and the Israelite or Jewish historical ties to this city, both national and religious, are not mentioned. Jerusalem is declared to be the capital of Palestine.
Jihad and martyrdom are still exalted as ideals, though to some lesser extent than in the earlier books. Individual Palestinian terrorists who were killed in the act of terror are defined as martyrs and prisoners-of-war, and praised in the new Palestinian textbooks as role models for the Palestinian youngster to emulate.
Perhaps what is most worrisome about the new textbooks of the Palestinian Authority is that the western democracies are funding them – the first school system since the Third Reich to inculcate Children to make war on the Jews.
Not only are Western democracies funding the new Palestinian school system. Jewish organizations in the US and Canada and throughout Western Europe encourage their respective countries to aid Palestinian Authority education. Despite wishful thinking that the Palestinian education would change for the better, the brand new Palestinian school books convey another impression entirely.