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Peace with Israel is not to be found in PA schoolbooks

JERUSALEM (November 23) - Hostile Palestinian attitudes toward Israel as expressed in their schoolbooks have not improved at all in the last four years, according to the findings of a new survey conducted by the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace (CMIP).
After reviewing 58 textbooks being used in the Palestinian Authority school system for the years 2000-2002, the CMIP found no mention of Israel - which is perceived as a usurper or occupier - or its right to exist. Neither is there any mention of the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, nor any reference to the land of Israel, its cities or villages, on maps, said CMIP vice chairman Yohanan Manor.

CMIP was founded by Manor and Andre Marcus in 1998, with the mission of
encouraging tolerance and mutual respect between nations and people.

The organization has focused on textbooks as indicators of the views and values societies wish to instill in their youth and future generations.

In its findings, presented at a press conference this week in Jerusalem, the
organization declared,"the concept of peace with Israel is not to be found
anywhere in the Palestinian schoolbooks... the State of Israel is not recognized
but referred to such as the lands within the 'Green Line,' 'interior,' or '1948 lands.'

"The textbooks state that] Palestine stretches from the Jordan River to
the Mediterranean Sea, and Jerusalem is presented as belonging to Palestinians
alone. There is no reference to Jewish holy places - holy places in Palestine
are exclusively Moslem and Christian, and are often presented as Moslem holy
places which the Jews have attempted to 'Judaize,'" said Manor.

The struggle for the liberation of Palestine, he said, is presented as a
military one, and those arrested and incarcerated in Israeli jails for acts of
terrorism against Israel are described as "prisoners of war." In
addition, the Arab citizens of Israel are referred to as "the Palestinians
of the interior."

The organization noted that the Palestinians deleted the Hebrew inscription
that appears on the stamp, displayed in Palestinian textbooks, that stems from
the Mandate Government of Palestine and in its original form bore inscriptions
in Arabic, Hebrew, and English.

Manor noted that while there is minimal reference to Jews and their historical
connections to Palestine, there is no attempt to supply Palestinian
schoolchildren with even the basic knowledge or understanding of Jews and
Judaism. Many references in the textbooks refer to Jews in a negative manner
and portray them as greedy, barbaric, and tricky, and insinuate that they do
not honor agreements and treaties like the Moslems.


The National Education Homework for Grade 7 states: "Mention the attitude
of the Ottoman State toward the greedy ambitions of the Jews regarding
Palestine."

Another textbook, also for 7th-graders notes "the attempts to Judaize some
of the Moslem religious places such as the Mosque of Abraham [the Machpela
Cave] and the Mosque of Bilal Bin Rabbah."

The Western Wall is referred to as the al-Buraq Wall, and is referred to as
"the Jews' attempts at controlling the al-Buraq Wall."

There is also no reference in the textbooks to international and bilateral
treaties and accords that have determined the allocation of water and land by mutual agreements between Israel and the Palestinians.

The Grade 11 textbook The Palestinian Society - Demographic Education says
Palestine "suffers from... dangerous and destructive problems such as the
robbery of land where spoils have been distributed by occupation among the
settlers, the military bases... and the robbery of ground and surface water of
which nothing has been left, except for drops for domestic consumption or
agriculture."