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Schools of Darkness By: David Bedein
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, September 01, 2004


August 31st marked the day the new school year began in the Palestinian Authority. The theme of the school books used in Palestinian Authority (PA) and United Nations schools in Arab refugee camps, as translated at www.edume.org, is based on the idea that the Palestinian Arab people have a right to "liberate all of Palestine." That includes the city of Beersheeba in the heart of Israel’s Negev Desert, which is not in the West Bank or Gaza.

Palestinian Authority maps on the website PalestineRemembered.com indicate that Beersheba is an "illegal Israeli settlement,” because it replaced the Arab city of "Bir Is Saiba" in 1948. The "right of return" educational programs in PA and UN schools stress the importance of “liberating” Beersheba from the Jews.

The issue of the “right of return” to Beersheba is no theoretical notion for the Palestinian Arabs. The United Nations refugee camps in Gaza and the West Bank have shacks that are supposedly laid out in alleyways precisely according to the neighborhoods from whence the inhabitants say they came in 1948. This exemplifies the idee fixe of the Arabs in their unrelenting drive to make war on, and destroy, Israel.

 

With grants received from the German government through the Ebert Foundation and from the U.S. government through USAID, Palestinian Arab refugees have also developed for their children their own special educational curriculum, which focuses all of their energies on the “right of return” to Beersheba and to hundreds of other places the Palestinians supposedly left in 1948. All are to be liberated by force, even at the cost of children’s lives and futures.

 

The German government’s involvement with the “right of return” issue is particularly specious, considering the fact that the it would never consider making an effort to encourage the right of their German nationals and their descendents to return to the Sudetenland, Silesia and East Prussia, from which eight million German nationals were expelled following World War II.

 

The Germans, however, have different standards for Palestinian refugees, people who have wallowed in the squalor of Palestinian Arab refugee camps for more than 55 years under the premise and promise of the “right of return” to non-existent homes that are now inhabited by Israeli shopping centers, industrial parks and a modern society.

 

In addition, the U.S. government’s encouragement of such “educational” programs which incite Palestinian Arabs to “reclaim” lands from 1948 would seem to fly in the face of new legislation passed by the U.S. Congress. According to an article in the August 2nd, 2004 issue of the Near East Report, the publication for AIPAC, Israel’s lobby in Congress, this year's foreign aid act contains key policy provisions to "place stricter auditing procedures that will force Palestinian non-governmental organizations to demonstrate that funds are in no way linked to terrorism before they qualify for U.S. aid."

 

However, officials of USAID in Jerusalem found a way to circumvent the legislated requirement of Palestinians to sign statements opposing incitement to terrorism by not requiring "contractors and sub-contractors" who receive USAID grants to sign the anti-terror waivers. As a result, those who receive money from USAID for educational programs in the Palestinian schools are "contractors and sub-contractors," and thus not the agencies themselves, according to the loophole.

 

So thanks to German and American foreign aid, Palestinian children learn that Beersheba is a town to be liberated by killing Israelis. This all explains why the evening news of the Voice of Palestine, the official radio program of the Palestinian Authority, described the Palestinian killers who yesterday blew up two Israeli buses as “heroic martyrs” rather than as murderers of 16 innocent people.

 

Beersheba is now a focal point for Palestinian demands that continue to roil the war that the Oslo Accords was to have settled over ten years ago with its offer of a two state solution. Now, even Israel’s confirmed 1948 borders are claimed by an implacable enemy that will not settle for less than her annihilation. It is therefore imperative that the Europeans and the United States finally stop funding this madness.


David Bedein, author of the forthcoming book, "Swimming Against the Mainstream", has run the Israel Resource News Agency. www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com, since 1987, at the Beit Agron Press Center in Jerusalem, where he also heads the Center for Near East Policy Research and serves as the Middle East correspondent for the Philadelphia Bulletin, www.thebulletin.us.


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