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Israel Rejects Study Minimizing Hatred in Palestinian Arab Textbooks

February 4, 2013 11:33 am 6 comments

Palestinian textbook. Photo: source unknown

Israel’s Education Ministry has rejected the findings of a State Department-funded study that determined Palestinian textbooks do not incite hatred against Israel and that both sides use textbooks to distort the national narrative.

In a press release the Education Ministry said, “An evaluation, by professionals from the Education Ministry and from outside it, [shows…]that it is biased, unprofessional and profoundly unobjective.”

The Education Ministry further stated: “The clear impression is that this is a ‘study’ the conclusions of which were known in advance, before any professional work was done, and certainly does not accurately reflect the reality.

“The attempt to create a parallel between the Israeli and Palestinian educational systems is without any foundation whatsoever and has no basis in reality.”

The study took several years and was carried out and overseen by a team of American, Israeli, Palestinian Arab and international education experts. It was commissioned by the Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land, a consortium of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian leaders in Israel, and received nearly $600,000 in funding from the U.S. State Department.

The study examined 94 books from Palestinian school systems in Gaza and the West Bank, and 74 books from the Israeli secular and religious school systems.

The results counter Israel’s longstanding claim that Palestinian Arab educational tools incite children towards hatred of the Jewish state. During his Israeli election campaign Yesh Atid’s Yair Lapid even made mention of the issue, saying it was one that would need to be addressed.

Noting that at least three members of the study’s Scientific Advisory Panel refused to support the study, citing methodological and procedural flaws, and that the Israeli Chief Rabbinate has disassociated itself from the findings, the Education Ministry provided several reasons for its rejection of the study.

“1. The overall approach and tone of the study reflect an attempt to create an artificial and inaccurate picture of balance between Palestinian and Israeli books.

2. The study omits important examples of incitement and delegitimization found in official PA textbooks.

3. Its methodology is flawed in that it misses or obscures critical differences between Israeli and Palestinian texts.

4. The study provides a highly-distorted depiction of the PA’s systematic efforts to educate and indoctrinate Palestinian children to hate, violence and non-acceptance of Israel’s existence. This is a result of the fact that the study focuses only on a very specific and limited component of those efforts.”

According to the study, there were just 20 instances of “extreme negative characterizations” of Palestinians in Israeli secular books and seven in Israeli ultra-Orthodox. One example reads: “Since its establishment, the State of Israel sought to make peace with its neighbors, the Arab countries, through Israeli-Arab negotiations. Its efforts, however, have failed in the first thirty years of Israel’s existence, because of the refusal of Arab countries and nations to recognize the right of existence of Israel as a sovereign Jewish state.”

The study found just six instances of these “extreme negative characterizations” in Palestinian textbooks. One example: “The conference reaffirmed again that the Zionist occupation and its usurpation of Palestine and its people’s rights comprise the core of the conflict in the Middle East.”

However the study concludes in part that “Books from Israeli State schools included more positive portrayals of the other, more self-criticism, and more information about the other than books from either Israeli Ultra-Orthodox or Palestinian schools.”

The Education Ministry further stated that “Official PA and PLO educational platforms, including formal and informal educational frameworks, summer camps, children’s magazines, television programs, and cultural events systematically promote the following messages:

1. The dispute with Israel is not over territory, but over the legitimacy of Israel’s very existence (let alone Israel’s existence as a Jewish state.)

2. The ultimate goal is to eliminate the Jewish State and reclaim the historic Land of Palestine.

3. Jews/Zionists/Israelis possess demonic characteristics (demonization and dehumanization.)

4. All forms of struggle- including terrorism- are legitimate in pursuit of the ultimate goal. Terrorists are national heroes and role models. At times diplomatic or political struggle may be more expedient than terror.”

6 Comments

  • RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG

    Dissenting voice on Advisory Council Israeli-Palestinian schoolbook research

    http://israelbehindthenews.com/bin/content.cgi?ID=5332&q=1

  • —–Original Message—–
    From: Center For Near East Policy Research Lt
    To: chaimdov
    Sent: Wed, Feb 6, 2013 3:28 am
    Subject: Breakthrough with new UNRWA movie

    David Bedein

    Director

    Israel Resource News Agency

    Center for Near East Policy Research

    Beit Agron International Press Center

    Suite 105-106

    37 Hillel Street

    Jerusalem 94581 Israel

    +972-547-222-661

    +972-2-623-6470

    http://www.israelbehindthenews.com

    From: Center For Near East Policy Research LTD.

    Date: Sun, Feb 3, 2013 at 10:31 AM

    This year, I am pleased to inform you that we succeeded in filming UNRWA classrooms in session.

    We raised the necessary $19,000 to cover the costs of the crews that we dispatched to film the UNRWA schools in Gaza and in Jerusalem.

    Now we need to raise another $30,000 to edit and promote the film.

    Our new UNRWA footage shows UNRWA pupils as thy learn the core UNRWA curriculum, as they learn to emulate their “martyrs” who murder Jews under the inspiration of the “right of return” through the “armed

    struggle”.

    We must cope with well funded PR professionals of UNRWA who advance the claim that the PA school books of incitement are not really being taught in the UNRWA classrooms.

    UNRWA has gone so far as to produce their own films and dispatch speakers to Jewish groups and to the US Congress.

    The new “UNRWA produced films” claim that peace and coexistence are taught in the UNRWA schools

    Enclosed please find a warm letter from the highest level of the Israeli government which was sent to AIPAC, which will enable our agency to present our newest film on UNRWA at the AIPAC Conference in March,after which we will hold a screening for congressional staffers on the Hill.

    Please consider a renewed grant to our agency to produce this new film, which represents a breakthrough in our work

    We must counter the well oiled misinformation machine of Israel’s detractors

    Seeing is believing.

    With warmest regards,

    DAVID

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Center For Near East Policy Research Lt
    To: Center For Near East Policy Research Lt
    Sent: Wed, Feb 6, 2013 7:17 am
    Subject: Background from Dr. Arnon Groiss for today’s DC press conf on Israeli-Palestinian schoolbook research project

    Background Comments for today’s DC press conf on Israeli-Palestinian schoolbook research project

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

    Comments from Dr. Arnon Groiss for today’s press conference on Palestinian/Israeli textbook study

    Contact Number: 215 240 4919

    Today, at the National Press Club in Washington DC, there will be a press conference to announce the results of a new study on Palestinian Authority and Israeli textbooks, overseen by Yale Prof. Bruce Wexler and funded by the US State Department.

    Venue of press conference:

    http://www.americantaskforce.org/in_media/pr/2013/01/28/1359349200

    Attached please find comments from Dr. Arnon Groiss, a member of the Advisory Council on the Israeli-Palestinian schoolbook research project that was commissioned by The Council for Religious Institutions in the Holy Land,

    that was released on February 1, 2013 :http://israelipalestinianschoolbooks.blogspot.co.il

    For a period of ten years, 2000-2010, Dr. Groiss translated Arabic language textbooks for The Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education — formerly referred to as the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace , http://www.impact-se.org/

    Previous studies of Dr. Groiss include:

    http://israelbehindthenews.com/library/pdfs/RightofReturninUNRWASchools.pdf

    http://israelbehindthenews.com/library/pdfs/PA-schoolbooks.pdf

    http://www.ajc.org/site/apps/nlnet/content3.aspx?c=ijITI2PHKoG&b=846725&ct=5834611

    http://israelbehindthenews.com/library/pdfs/Quotations_from_the_PA_Textbooks.pdf

    David Bedein

    Director

    Israel Resource News Agency

    Center for Near East Policy Research

    http://www.israelbehindthenews.com

    tel. 0547 222 661

  • Center For Near East Policy Research

    new UNRWA footage shows UNRWA pupils as thy learn the core UNRWA curriculum, as they learn to emulate their “martyrs” who murder Jews under the inspiration of the “right of return” through the “armed

    struggle”. RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG, PRESIDENT ISRAEL ADVOCACY TASK FORCE.

  • I don’t understand what the fuss is about.

    Israelis are portrayed as inhuman, bloodthirsty, animals in both children’s videos and also adult television shows, which screening is not solely limited to “palestine,” but also to the muslim world as a whole.

    This is patently obvious, if one takes the time, to assess the information available on the net, for example provided by MEMRI on youtube.

    The West, and in particular, the U.S. has been trying for years to avoid provoking the fervent, extreme, violent, jihadist responses that have been seen in the world arena, to even the slightest criticism of Islam.

    Western thinking, in general, is unable to fathom the depths of religious fervour which are inextricably entwined within the muslim community at large.

    Unquestioning faith, and a willingness – nay, an honour, to die as a martyr for the jihad.

    The ultimate goal of Islam, is world domination and the subjection of all humankind to sharia law. This objective is openly stated in the qur’an. Since Western thinking has, during the last few centuries, largely marginalised this type of zealousness, the average “man in the street” is unable to comprehend it. Even when he comes face to face with it!

    This state department “study” is clearly another attempt to “whitewash” the truth that is apparent to those without blinkers!

    Wake up world, before it’s too late!

  • The US State Dept is by definition an antisemetic institution since before WW2…It supported an arms embargo against Israel in 1948 hoping that the Arabs would murder all the Jews in Israel…It denied THE ST LOUIS landing rights sending hundreds of Jews to their death by the Nazis…Joe Kennedy Sr was the perfect State Dept employee because he supported the Nazis and hated Jews…All career state Dept employees must be antisemetic to get their jobs…

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