& Hatred of Israel in Palestinian School Textbooks
The textbooks used in
Authority school system, from elementary
through high school, are replete with
strong expressions of hatred towards Israel,
negation of its right to exist and praise
for the struggle against it, as well as antisemitic expressions against the Jews.
In these textbooks, Israel
is described as "a country of gangs, born
in crime." The Jews are arrogant and sly
traitors, and Zionism is a racist movement and a "germ."
From this point of view,
Accords are described as "a move to
get the Palestine Liberation Army into
the territories," and support for jihad is emphasized.
Thus, Palestinian youth are educated from
birth in an atmosphere of religious and
nationalist incitement, with no trace of
anything positive regarding Israel, which
results in a deepening of their hatred towards
Israel, a fanning of the flames of violence
and encouragement and justification of terrorism
against the State of Israel and against
1. In the eight years that have elapsed since
the establishment of the Palestinian Authority,
the Palestinian educational system has been
using Jordanian and Egyptian textbooks. It
is only in the past academic year that the
Palestinian Ministry of Education has added
textbooks to the curriculum that were specially
written for the 1st and 6th grades and this
year, according to reports, for the 2nd and
7th grades as well.
2. The Jordanian textbooks, intended for
all students in high schools and most of the
classes in the elementary schools, abound
in expressions of incitement and hatred that
were reintroduced when the educational system
was transferred from Israeli to Palestinian
responsibility. These books are indicative
of the "war to the death" mentality
against Israel and Zionism and everything
that they represent.
3. Following are some examples of incitement,
hatred towards Israel and antisemitism, according
- The Jewish people - the textbooks
are replete with antisemitic expressions
of hatred and hostility towards the Jewish
people, including references from the Koran
attesting to the corrupt, dishonest character
of the Jews, who are also anti-Islam. They
claim that, according to the Talmud, the
Jews believe that the human animal was created
to serve them and that it is permitted to
deceive the gentiles, who have satanic souls.
- Jerusalem - Israelis covet Jerusalem
above all else. They burned the Al Aksa
mosque in 1969 as part of the Zionist plan
to take control of Haram al-Sharif (the
Temple Mount) and to destroy the Muslim
buildings there, in order to build their
Temple. It is incumbent on the Arab army
to liberate the mosques from the thieving
- Zionism - Zionism is a threat to
the Arabs, and all Arabs are obligated to
fight it; the Zionist germ must be expunged
from the Arab nation. Teachers’ guides for
the 10th and 12th grades explain that Zionism
is a racist movement that aspires to Judaize
Palestine by expelling its Arab residents.
Furthermore, Zionist ideology is more racist,
extremist and aggressive than other ideologies
(of the 20th century) and established a
Jewish political entity in Palestine that
threatens the security of the Arab homeland.
- Jihad - already in the 2nd grade,
Palestinian pupils learn that Jordanian
young men are eager to sacrifice their lives
for the jihad, to defend the Arab character
of Palestine. Another textbook states that
the Arabs and the Muslims will fight the
Jews who evicted them from their homes.
In the 8th grade, the students learn that
the usurpers have crossed all boundaries
and therefore the time has come for jihad,
to unsheathe the sharp sword.
The Iz a-Din al-Kassam receives much
praise in descriptions of Palestinian
bravery, and the battle of Karama is described
as resulting from the Zionist lust for
expansion. Stone-throwers are also glorified
in these books.
- Israel - The name "Israel"
does not appear on the maps, and Jewish
cities are not mentioned. Tel Aviv is called
"Jaffa." In the 5th grade, discussion
is devoted to the question: Why must we
fight the Jews and expel them from our land?
In the 7th grade, the children learn that
1948 was the year of "the Great Crime,"
when "the gang state" was established
by seizing control of cities and villages
and mistreating the residents.
- The "Right of Return"
- Eighth-graders are taught a song about
Jaffa, promising to return from the diaspora
and the prisons. An 8th grade history textbook
explains that Israel’s close ties with imperialism
made its establishment possible.
4. Although there is a certain moderation
of the militant terminology in the textbooks
edited by the PA, they contain no recognition
of Israel. Expressions of an Anti-Zionist and anti-Jewish character are still to be
found in them, although in an ambiguous and
5. Some of the negative elements found in
the textbooks are described below:
- No recognition of Israel - Israel
is not mentioned as a state, but rather
in the context of issues such as the settlements
and use of natural resources, or wars and
investigations. The borders of the state
are not delineated and its name does not
appear on maps, which bear the name "Palestine".
Some maps contain the names of cities that
existed before the establishment of the
state; others show Jewish settlements only
in the territories, but do not reflect the
true situation there.
- The Palestinian ambition to rule
over all of the Land of Israel - A photograph
of the city of Jaffa identifies it as a
Palestinian city, and a picture of the Al-Jazzar
mosque in Akko bears the caption: "Palestine
is Our Land." Students are expected
to aspire to the unification of Palestine
and to understand that the Palestinians,
descendants of the Canaanites, have first
rights to the land.
- The struggle against Israel - the
"Right Of Return" - The textbooks
state that the refugee camps are temporary
quarters, until the residents return to
the places that they were forced to abandon.
One book contains a song praising Iz a-Din
al-Kassam as the heroic figure of the struggle.
Jihad is taught as a value for the citizen
who desires to defend his homeland. Using
any and all available means is presented
as a religious imperative, and anyone killed
in the course of defending his homeland
becomes a "shaheed" (martyr) -
all this is included in a textbook for the
- The Oslo Accords - The accords
are described as a move that enabled the
Palestinian liberation army to entrench
itself in the territories. Principles such
as normalization and coexistence are, of
course, not even mentioned.
6. In the eight years since the signing of
the Oslo Accords, another generation of pupils
has been educated to believe that the establishment
of the State of Israel was "the Big Crime"
and that the Palestinians, together with the
Arab and Muslim states, must fight it to "the
7. The pace at which the PA is working to
change the content of the textbooks is slow
and does not reveal much enthusiasm, to say
the least, towards fulfilling the explicit
Palestinian commitment "to educate pupils
in the spirit of the peace agreement."
That the PA is dealing with this subject unwillingly,
under Israeli and international pressure,
is obvious from the meagerness of the results.
I. Name of book:
Al-Mutalaa Wa-Al-Nussous Al-Adabia,
for the 8th grade
- Everything previously written
leads to the conclusion that Zionism constitutes
a threat to all Arabs and must be fought
by each and every Arab.
- Zionism is poised to take
over the rest of Jerusalem and its holy
sites and, thereafter, to continue, step
by step, to complete its control of Palestine.
In the third stage, it will invade Jordan,
Syria, Lebanon and the rest of the Arab
states. This will happen unless the Arabs
take serious steps to exterminate the Zionist
germ and thrust this evil out of the Arab
homeland. If the Arabs ignore the danger
that threatens them with destruction and
avoid taking the necessary action, they
will share the same fate as that of their
II. Name of book:
Al-Mutalaa Wa-Al-Nussous Al-Adabia for the 8th grade
- My brother, the oppressor
has crossed the line and the time has come
for jihad and martyrdom.
III. Name of book:
Lughatuna Al-Arabia, for the
Part 2, page 17:
- The year 1948 is known as
the year of the "Great Crime",
when the "gang state" was established
by means of invasion and conquest of towns
and villages and abuse of their residents.
Examples of this are the Dir Yassin massacre,
the Kibya massacre, the Kafr Kassem massacre
IV. Name of book:
Altarbia Alwanya, for the 6th grade
- Page 15:
a. Photo: The jihad-fighter, Iz a-Din
b. A map of Israeli settlements in the
West Bank and the Gaza strip.
- Page 8:
Map entitled "Geography of Palestine"
(no marked borders; showing cities in
the West Bank and Gaza and cities in Israel
such as Jaffa, Haifa, Akko and Nazareth,
as in one unit).
Document prepared by a
team from the Office of the Advisor for Palestinian
Affairs, the Civilian Administration in Judea