Egyptian Textbooks Will Cover Peace Treaty With Israel For First Time

For the first time, Egyptian textbooks will cover the 1979 Camp David peace agreement with Israel.

A reporter for Israel’s Army Radio saw a new ninth-grade textbook on Egyptian modern history, reporting that it covered the Camp David Accords, which officially ended the state of war between Israel and its southern neighbor, in an unbiased manner.

Eight clauses from the treaty were reproduced in the textbook, including phrases that Egypt and Israel would be “ending the state of war,” with “each side respecting the sovereignty and independence of the other side.”

The textbook mentioned that Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin won the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts, explaining that “the reason they won was the great effort they invested in reaching peace in the Middle East.” However, the textbook doesn’t mention that Sadat was assassinated by Egyptian opponents of the peace agreement.

According to Army Radio, the mention of the peace treaty is part of a systemic change in Egyptian textbooks started in 2014 by Egypt’s Education Ministry in what was described as a “bid to counter radical Islamic ideologies.” Content in over 1,300 books has been changed.

Some of the change has been political. Former President Hosni Mubarak’s role in the 1973 Yom Kippur War has been reduced. Mubarak was deposed in 2011 after nearly 30 years as president. Material in the textbooks added during the reign of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammad Morsi has also been removed, such as content calling for a return to Islamic values. Morsi was deposed by his then-defense minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, now the president, in 2013.

[Photo: Sowr / Flickr ]