Palestinian education officials are increasingly removing positive references to Israel and to peace from school books. A recent report warns that changes introduced in the last three years have produced a more combative anti-Israel curriculum.
The detailed report by the IMPACT-se advocacy group says that Palestinian schools are exposing youngsters to more radical messages.
Palestinian schools eliminated references to a “new epoch of peaceful coexistence” with Israel from at least one 2019 textbook. Similarly, a study unit about peace treaties and summits is no longer included in the grade 10 curriculum. Officials also erased mentions of Israel’s 1994 peace deal with Jordan.
Moreover, Palestinian school books are increasingly shunning the term “Israel” and instead using the unfavorable “Zionist occupation” label.
No Mention of ‘Jewish State’
Restructured Palestinian education materials also obscure the Jewish connection to Israel.
Education officials eliminated a reference to the Jewish Quarter in Jerusalem’s Old City from elementary school textbooks. A section on Jewish history in the region and rare mentions of the term “Jewish State” are also gone.
The report says that the modified curriculum marks a “quantum leap backward” toward radicalization. Earlier versions of some textbooks featured positive changes in previous years, the study says.
A senior Palestinian official, Ashraf al-Ajrami, dismissed the report’s findings in a conversation with popular website Ynet. “We did not erase history, merely updated it,” he said.
US Government Report Finds Anti-Israel Bias
Hate speech in the Palestinian education system has come under growing scrutiny in recent months.
In August, a UN committee condemned racist language against Israelis and Jews in Palestinian schools and elsewhere. This was the first time the panel rebuked Palestinian officials, according to the Geneva-based UN Watch.
A US government report declassified earlier this year also concluded that Palestinian schools run by UNRWA promote anti-Israel views.