New Palestinian curriculum 'indoctrinates for death, martyrdom', report claims
The new Palestinian school curriculum was designed “to prepare Palestinian children to join in the resistance against Israel” and “indoctrinates for death and martyrdom”, a new report claims.
The Palestinian Authority launched a new curriculum over the last two academic years, revising its textbooks for the first time since 2000, after the Oslo Accords. According to an analysis of textbooks for grades 1-12 by the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se), revealed for the first time by i24NEWS, the reformed curriculum has the “central goal” of encouraging Palestinian children “to sacrifice their lives in the name of religion”, glorifying martyrdom and violent resistance.
The report finds a “common radical voice… accommodating the full spectrum of nationalist and Islamist ideologies”, with a “severe demonization of Israel”, “anti-Semitic motifs”, and indoctrination towards the violent liberation of Palestine and destruction of Israel.
“The Palestinian Authority’s strategy…is to keep millions of young Palestinians on a low light, ready for violence whenever that might be necessary,” IMPACT-se CEO Marcus Sheff told i24NEWS.
The report accuses the Palestinian Authority of including “barely hidden indoctrination” in the curriculum, with violent motifs permeating through all aspects of the curriculum.
In mathematics, fourth graders are taught to add using the number of Palestinian “martyrs” in two violent intifadas against Israel. In ninth grade, children are taught to use frequency tables with the number of “martyrs” killed by Israel in Jerusalem over the course of the years.
In science, Newton’s Second Law of motion is taught through the image of a boy targeting soldiers with a slingshot, used to explain the concepts of power, mass, tensile strength, and circular motion. One physics textbook even asks children what “safety precautions” they should take when using a slingshot. Children learn about hormones by describing a clash with the Israeli army, and about the spine through a story of “Zionist aggression”.
In Arabic, first graders learn the letter “hā” using such words as shahid (martyr), hujum (attack) and harab (run away).
The curriculum also includes more overt examples of incitement to violence. One poem taught to third graders includes the lines: “I vow I shall sacrifice my blood / to saturate the land of the generous / and will eliminate the usurper from my country / and will annihilate the remnants of the foreigners.”
The report finds that “terrorism (in the curriculum) is considered a legitimate tool for liberation movements”. Dalal Mughrabi, who participated in the 1978 Coastal Road Massacre, which killed 38 Israelis including 13 children, is hailed as a “hero” and a “martyr”. The 1972 Munich Massacre, in which Palestinian terrorists killed 11 Israeli athletes, is described in a history book as an “operation” forming part of the “Palestinian resistance”.
IMPACT-se’s report also points to an uptick in anti-Semitic motifs, with children taught in Islamic Education that the Jews tried to kill the Prophet Muhammad.
The report points to “severe demonization” of Israel, which is often described as the “Zionist Occupation”. One mathematics textbook invites children to calculate the size of Israel’s Negev Desert as a proportion of the territory of Palestine.
The European Union is the biggest international donor to the Palestinian Authority, heavily subsidizing its teachers’ salaries. The report’s authors plan to present the evidence to European Union donors, to urge them to pressure the Palestinians to excise the incitement.
“With money should go the right to suggest— to insist—that the hate goes out, and good values, of peace, go in,” IMPACT-se CEO Marcus Sheff told i24NEWS.
The Palestinian Ministry of Education could not be reached for comment.
Eylon Levy is the i24NEWS investigative reporter. Follow him on Twitter: @EylonALevy
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It’s disgusting but business as usual.