Textbooks used in United Nations-run schools in the West Bank did not include Israel in their maps or mention Jewish historical or cultural ties to the country, a recent study has found.
Professors Arnon Gross and Roni Shaked of the Harry Truman Research Institute at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem found that books, which are written by the Palestinian Ministry of Education and used in West Bank schools run by the United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA), display a single state of Palestine in the place of both Israel and the Palestinian Authority—effectively teaching students to recognize Israel as a nation. No Israeli city established after 1948 is listed on maps in the books.
In one of the textbooks, Zionism is described as a colonialist ideology devoted to moving European Jews to Israel and displacing Arabs. The textbooks also teach that Jewish holy places—including the Western Wall, the Cave of the Patriarchs, and Rachel’s Tomb—are actually Muslim holy sites that Jews are appropriating. They claim that the 1929 riots, in which around 130 Jews were killed by Arab neighbors in Hebron, Jerusalem, and Safed, were part of the “al-Buraq revolt,” to prevent Jews from taking over religious sites in those areas.
In another instance, an image of a Mandatory-era stamp, which had writing in Hebrew, English, and Arabic, was reproduced with the Hebrew erased.Palestinian textbooks have long been under scrutiny for their denial of Jewish history, incitement of violence, and failure to promote peaceful coexistence to Palestinian children. A similar report was issued in last June by the watchdog group IMPACT-SE, which found that the word “peace” did not appear at all in its survey of 78 Palestinian Authority textbooks for grades 1 through 12.
In The Palestinian Textbook Fiasco, which was published in the June 2013 issue of The Tower Magazine, Adi Schwartz dissected a State Department-sponsored study that whitewashed the extremism present in Palestinian textbooks.
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