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November 27, 2015 4:35 pm

References to ‘Israel’ in Jordanian Textbooks Irk Jordanian Students

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A view of Eilat. Photo: Ester Inbar via Wikimedia Commons.

A view of Eilat. Photo: Ester Inbar via Wikimedia Commons.

Jordanian students were apparently shocked to discover a mention of neighboring Israel, by name, in a college-level geography textbook, The Jordanian Times reported on Friday.

According to the report, a paragraph in the 2015 edition of the University of Jordan national geography textbook, written by several Jordanian scholars, read: “… Aqaba Gulf plays an important role in geopolitics between Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Israel, for its proximity to Arabian oil fields.”

The line apparently irked some students who felt it promoted normalization with Israel, and failed to mention Palestine or the Palestinian territories while mentioning the Jewish state by name. Generally, in publications in the Arab world, Israel either goes unmentioned in maps, or is called Palestine. In Arab media, Israel is often referred to as “the Zionist entity.”

Another line read, “the economic importance of the Gulf of Aqaba increased after the occupation of Palestine, as it is considered the only port that connects Jordan to the world.” Some students apparently interpreted the line to mean that the “occupation of Palestine” was good for Jordan because it led to the economic importance of the Gulf of Aqaba.

Aqaba, a Jordanian city on the Red Sea, shares a border with the Israeli city of Eilat. Jordan and Israel have enjoyed full diplomatic relations since 1994, when a peace treaty ended decades of hostility.

Fakher Daas, an organizer for the National Campaign for Defending Students’ Rights in Jordan, told the English-language Times: “We are not used to seeing a book at Jordanian universities that recognizes the Zionist entity and the state of what is referred to as ‘Israel’.” One student told the paper that he and fellow classmates were in shock and noted that it was the first time Israel appeared in their curricula.

Co-author Ziyad Makhamreh said students need to separate their opinions from the reality that the state of Israel is recognized by the UN. Yusra Husban another of the book’s co-authors, said “Israel” would probably be replaced in the 2016 edition with “Palestine” or “the occupied territories,” according to the report.

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  • Celeste

    It’s not fair because Palestine didnt exist before and it should be Israel.

  • A Zionist

    Such is the indoctrination of the “Big Lie”, that Arab students are unable to even tolerate reality: that Israel exists and will continue to exist as the Jewish State.

    If Arab students are unable to tolerate reality, either a denial of reality will be prominent and/or reality has to be changed.

    Both are examples of the death drive. Both result in projections and acting-out of those projections.

    Until the “West” recognise that Arab culture is not the same; and until the left-wing Israel haters decide that their version of reality is part of the problematic discourse, there will be no changes in the Middle East. Arab children will have to be re-educated but as today’s Germans who were once part of the Hitler Youth illustrate, they still adhere to the Nazi ideology. Thus, we cannot expect any changes in the ME until its leaders adopt a different strategy which means admitting generations of lies, libels, fabrications and the rewriting of history.

    Currently, the patronising attitude of the Western-liberal-intellectuals, take from the Arabs their agency and responsibility. Blaming the Jews and now the Jewish State, is no different from classic antisemitism. Today’s “new” antisemitism or anti-Zionism, is simply a pretence that it is about “free speech”(as in anti-Israel discourse only) and “human rights” (except for Jews in the Jewish State). Only the Jewish State is singled out and treated differently. Only Israel’s legitimacy is questioned; and only Israeli Jews, whose indiscriminate murder is routinely justified.

  • VictorMc

    How do these fools get to go to college/university???? It must be money/bribery- nobody can be that stupid….can they?

  • Fred

    It seems that any kid in Jordan has a say how to run the countries curricula.

  • R.C.

    There is no palestine, palestinians or palestinian territories–there is only Israel within Israels borders.

  • Jack

    Poor students,
    so delusional;((
    At least it is proof that delusional behavior is learned.

  • Roger

    They better get used to it, since ISRAEL is there to stay FOREVER!

  • Claude Hasson

    Jordan and Israel have the same age !!!! UN partition was between those two countries !!!!