WEST BANK, Israel – Schools run by the United Nations in Gaza and the West Bank are using textbooks that suggest Israel doesn’t exist, a reality scholars at the Harry Truman Research Institute are highlighting in the wake of a recent UN Security Council resolution declaring the settlements illegal.
Research conducted by Dr. Arnon Gross and Dr. Ronni Shaked at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem found textbooks used in schools run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in Gaza and the West Bank are authored by the Palestinian Ministry of Education and provide a very unbalanced perspective on the long disputed territory.
Y Net News reports:
In one of the history books, Zionism is defines as a colonialist movement that was founded by European Jews in order to gather Jews from all over the world and to put them in Palestine along with in other neighboring Arab countries. The textbooks argue that the Zionists do this via methods such as immigration and forcing the Arab population off their land.
No mention is made of the religious or historical connection of Jews to the Land of Israel or to Jerusalem in these textbooks used by UNRWA. The schools also make no mention of Jewish holy sites anywhere in their materials—no Western Wall, no Cave of the Patriarchs, and no Rachel’s Tomb.
Instead, the textbooks teach that these are all Muslim holy sites which the Jews are trying illegitimately to take control of.
Also, children at UNRWA schools are taught that the Arab massacres of Jews in 1929 (specifically in Safed, Hebron, and Jerusalem) was called the “al Buraq revolt,” and was carried out to keep the Jews from conquering and occupying these holy cities.
Over 130 Jews were murdered by their Arab neighbors during these massacres.
Gross and Shaked also point out that the textbooks used for Palestinian children disregard Hebrew and feature doctored images of stamps used during the British Mandate Period that omit the language as it appeared on the stamps alongside English and Arabic.
Maps in the textbooks also neglect to reference Jews in Israel and rename Israeli cities like Tel Aviv as “Tel al-Rabia,” according to the news site.
“Incitement in Palestinian textbooks is well known and documented. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has spoken about the issue several times, and has agreed to be a part of a joint Israeli-US–Palestinian committee to design new textbooks. However, this committee has yet to meet,” Y Net News reports.
“The research was conducted by the Center for Near East Policy Research, and was published less than two weeks after the UN Security Council resolution declaring construction and settlements in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem illegal.”