Palestinian Authority Breaks Its Promise to Clean Up Its Textbooks

What the European Union can do about it.

Every year the PA promises the EU that it will clean up its textbooks, to revise or replace them, because of their antisemitic content, and every year it turns out that nothing has been changed, yet it still receives its funding from the EU. This year may be different. A report on the latest EU-PA contretemps is here: “PA hasn’t removed hateful content from textbooks, producing worse content,” by Ben Zion Gad, Jerusalem Post, January 28, 2022:

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has reneged on an agreement with the EU to revise its academic curriculums in 2021 and has instead promoted new academic materials that feature hateful language and violent imagery, a January 2022 report by The Institute for Monitoring Peace and Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se) discovered.

Despite a roadmap created in tandem with the European Union to ensure new textbooks produced in 2021 would be free of hate – an initiative started following the publication of an EU funded study on Palestinian textbooks that discovered rampant antisemitism and violent references – the PA has not removed the troubling content from its textbooks, which are used to educate public school children in PA-administered regions.

“Faced with a clear call by the EU for them to create new textbooks free of hate and antisemitism, the PA simply reprinted the old ones, then produced thousands of pages of new teaching material with content worse than the textbooks themselves,” said IMPACT-se CEO Marcus Sheff. “The EU was apparently unaware of any of this.”

While neglecting their promise to edit the textbooks, the PA produced thousands of pages of new material – much of it directly propagating violence and overt antisemitism. For instance, some materials teach of the “characteristics” of Jews who are devious and treacherous and Israelis, who are described as “Satan’s aide.”

The PA did not revise or replace its textbooks as it had promised it would; instead it reprinted them, unchanged. And then it came up with “thousands of pages of new teaching material” to supplement the textbooks: curricular suggestions as to which subjects should receive greater, and which lesser, attention, guides for leading classroom discussions, templates for tests, and even suggested homework assignments.

The new hateful learning materials span across school subjects. Science classes use illustrations of a boy with a slingshot to illustrate the transfer of energy, while Geography classes remove all mention of Israel.

The “boy with a slingshot” example used to illustrate the transfer of energy (instead of a soccer ball being kicked) is meant to remind students of the use of these weapons against Israeli police and soldiers by rioting Palestinians; it also fits in with the PA’s propaganda that has the Palestinian David bravely defying the Israeli Goliath. Israel is not discussed in Geography class, nor is it shown on any of the maps that are used in the PA’s schools: where the Jewish state should be, there is an empty space.

History classes are particularly controversial, as much focus is spent on recording Jewish control of global events via means of money and power. The Jewish “takeover” of Palestine is also a point of emphasis on the educational materials, as the journey of how “Zionist influence” led to the takeover of Palestine by Jews is among the most broadly covered educational topics….

This narrative of how modern Israel came to be is pure antisemitism, with the tale of a secret cabal of rich and powerful Jews who control much of the world and were supposedly responsible for the Zionist “takeover of Palestine.” There was no “takeover”; the Zionist pioneers arrived, beginning in the late 19th century, buying land from Arab and Turkish landowners. Before 1948, every dunam of land the Jews settled on was paid for.

Apparently these “rich and powerful Jews” were unable to prevent the three major wars that Israel had to fight for its survival – in 1948, 1967, and 1973 – as well as the half-dozen lesser campaigns that it was forced to fight against the terrorists of the PLO, Hamas, and Hezbollah. Nor have those “rich and powerful” Jews managed to prevent the United Nations itself from becoming a kangaroo court with Israel perennially in the dock, at both the General Assembly and at the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC), where Israel has been the object of more resolutions than all the other 192 nations put together. Only Israel is on the permanent agenda (Agenda Item #7) of the UNHRC. And in late December the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) voted to fund an unprecedented open-ended war crimes probe against Israel by the UNHRC.

Amazing, isn’t it, that those “rich and powerful” Jews appear to have no power whatsoever to protect Israel at the U.N.

The schoolbooks teach children that they have a duty to engage in violent Jihad against the Jews, and that those who die attacking the “infidels” will be rewarded by Allah. Taught thus from an early age, it should be no surprise that so many Palestinians want to engage in terrorist attacks on the hated Zionists. The schoolbook lessons are reinforced by messages on Palestinian television, on childrens’ shows where even tiny tots are shown making stabbing motions with their little knives and in their childish voices lisping their desire to grow up and “kill Jews.”

“It is very clear that the study does reveal the existence of very deeply problematic content that remains of serious concern,” said Maciej Popowski, whose directorate commissioned the study and who oversees all aid to the Palestinian education sector, in September amid the agreement to revise PA curriculums. He added that the EU “will not let off [sic] until we see change happen and we get assurances that no questionable content in books are in use.”…

Mr. Popowski, the EU official in charge of overseeing aid for Palestinian education, needs to be more forceful. It’s not “deeply problematic content” but extreme, murderous antisemitism that is being taught in PA schools– why not call it that? He promises that the EU this time “will not let the P.A. “off [the hook]” but doesn’t specify what the EU will do if these schoolbooks, unrevised, and the even more disturbing “educational materials” that have just been produced to supplement those books, continue to be used.

All Maciej Popowski has to say is “until we see change happen, so that all of the antisemitic and violent content is removed, I will recommend that the EU suspend all aid sent to support the PA”s educational sector.” That is the only threat that will get the attention of the PA leaders, and that might at long last cause them to remove the antisemitic and anti-Israel passages in their textbooks, and to get rid of the ghastly guides and other material it recently produced to supplement those schoolbooks.

Appeals to decency have never worked in the past with the Palestinians; threats to the P.A.’s bank balance just might.


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