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New textbooks may appear more moderate, but the classroom environment, the old hate-filled textbooks, TV, radio and the Hamas stranglehold on the Education Ministry all promise more Jew-hatred, more Israel-hatred, and endless exhortation to children’s suicidal martyrdom. Hamas uses its own children as political pawns, encouraged to participate in violent demonstrations, taught the virtues of mass murder, and exhorted to die a martyr’s death: a clear violation of the Geneva Convention, and a gut-wrenching example of horrifying child-abuse raised to the level of public policy. How does one judge a society that invests so much effort and resources into the intellectual and emotional abuse of its own children?
Do the Palestinian Authority textbooks inspire children to mass murder and suicidal martyrdom? The accurate answer right now may be: not as much as they used to; but if Hamas has its way, it won’t be long before they do again. Meanwhile, other resources do exactly that, in the Palestinian classroom, media, and society.
Can a government so filled with hate and bigotry that they crucify their own children on the cross of jihad and Jew-hatred realistically be expected to develop a nation that will work toward peace?
[i] http://www.eufunding.org/Textbooks/Marcus.html , http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/04/palestinian_hateeducation_cont.html, http://www.betar.co.uk/articles/betar1057183655.php , http://www.theettingerreport.com/Palestinian-Issue/Palestinian-Hate-Education-(K-12).aspx, http://www.impact-se.org/research/pa/index.html, and most comprehensive is http://www.pmw.org.il/.
[ii] Validated, interestingly, by Nathan Brown who otherwise presents a very rosy view of PA textbooks: http://www.robat.scl.net/content/NAD/pdfs/nathan_textbook.pdf pp 9f.)
[iii] For detailed assessments and a plethora of examples see: http://www.jcpa.org/JCPA/Templates/ShowPage.asp?DBID=1&LNGID=1&TMID=111&FID=442&PID=0&IID=6515, http://www.jcpa.org/JCPA/Templates/ShowPage.asp?DBID=1&LNGID=1&TMID=111&FID=377&PID=1854&IID=3387, http://www.jcpa.org/brief/brief2-8.htm, http://www.betar.co.uk/articles/betar1057183655.php, http://www.theettingerreport.com/Palestinian-Issue/Palestinian-Hate-Education-(K-12).aspx, http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=155&doc_id=454, and the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs at http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Terrorism-+Obstacle+to+Peace/Palestinian_incitement/Terror-incitement-Palestinian-media.htm .
[iv] http://electronicintifada.net/content/myth-incitement-palestinian-textbooks/5626, http://www.pcdc.edu.ps/brown_research_summary.htm, http://www.robat.scl.net/content/NAD/pdfs/nathan_textbook.pdf, http://www.jweekly.com/article/full/21668/reports-on-palestinian-kids-hatred-grossly-exaggerated/.
[v] Other examples of negative assessments inadvertently validated by defenders can be found on the Miftah website, www.miftah.org/Doc/Factsheets/MIFTAH/English/Jan30hy2k4.doc, where Fouad Moughrabi defends the PA textbooks by saying that the new textbooks of 2000 present Israel as “a settler colonial entity that forcibly expelled Palestinians and destroyed their villages” (p. 6), because this is in fact what they are. Moreover, “serious scholars” have embraced this characterization of Israel. Thus he inadvertently acknowledges that the critics are correct. …this image of Israel as an occupier, destroyer, and ethnic cleanser is indeed taught by the PA textbooks. Because some scholars accept this representation, it is justifiable to teach this to Palestinian children, even though, as critics maintain, children fed this type of education are likely to grow up hating the perceived adversary and seeking to maintain the conflict: hardly a recipe for future peace.
Moughrabi further validates critics in his attempt at rebuttal about the misuse of maps in PA textbooks. He explains that “They [the textbooks] do not provide a map of Israel because the latter has yet to define its borders, and they do not provide a map of Palestine because its borders remain to be negotiated” (p. 3). He may be right that final borders are not yet defined, but he ignores the critique that there is no Israel on Palestinian maps.
He stresses that new textbooks do indeed teach peace and promote tolerance, openness and democratic values, thus indirectly acknowledging that the former ones did not. Then he goes on to say that since the reality of Israel’s occupation is cruel and humiliating, it is not logical for the textbook to extend these positive values to Israelis, thus validating the assertion that positive values, while in the text, are not extended to Israelis. (p. 11). See http://www.impact-se.org/research/pa/index.html for a comprehensive list of other research demonstrating hate-teach and incitement in PA textbooks which Mr. Barghouti does not mention nor rebut.
[vii] See http://www.jcpa.org/JCPA/Templates/ShowPage.asp?DBID=1&LNGID=1&TMID=111&FID=377&PID=1854&IID=3387, http://www.jcpa.org/brief/brief2-8.htm and http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=14637
[viii] http://www.betar.co.uk/articles/betar1057183655.php, http://www.theettingerreport.com/Palestinian-Issue/Palestinian-Hate-Education-(K-12).aspx, http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=155&doc_id=454 and http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Terrorism-+Obstacle+to+Peace/Palestinian_incitement/Terror-incitement-Palestinian-media.htm.
[ix] Knowing that outside approval is important because Palestinian public schools depend on foreign aid, Hamas leaders recognize that any attempt to change the textbooks must be done judiciously to avoid undermining the PA’s efforts to portray itself as politically moderate. Validation of this assessment is found in http://www.impact-se.org/docs/reports/PA/PA2008.pdf, p. 15, where the author notes that 12th grade textbooks, prepared after Hamas took over the Education Ministry, are harsher and more akin to earlier ones than the 11th grade texts.
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