A new independent study of educational institutions in the occupied Palestinian territories has destroyed yet another long-held and widely-spread Zionist Supremacist propaganda lie, namely that Jews are vilified in Palestinian school text books.
Several years in the making, the study was carried out and overseen by a team of American, Israeli, Palestinian 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 $590,000 in funding from the U.S. State Department.
The study, described by its authors as the first scientific analysis of incitement in Israeli and Palestinian textbooks, has cleared the Palestinians of demonizing Jews in school textbooks and contradicts a longstanding narrative among Israelis, American Jews and their controlled media that Palestinians incite their children to violence by depicting Jews as subhuman in their textbooks.
Not surprisingly, the Israeli government refused to cooperate with the study and has denounced the findings as “predetermined,” without elaborating.
“The attempt to create a parallel between the Israeli education system and the Palestinian education system is completely unfounded and lacks any basis in reality,” the Israeli Ministry of Education said in a press release.
The question of Palestinian textbooks’ portrayal of Jews has been bitterly debated for years. More than a decade ago, the European Union considered halting aid to the Palestinian Authority based on its negative portrayals of Israelis in its textbooks.
As recently as last year, the Washington Jewish Week reported on a dispute over whether Palestinian textbooks call Israelis pigs and snakes.
Over the past decade, the Israeli government, the State Department and independent groups have produced wildly varying reports on the contents of Palestinian textbooks. A recent example illustrates this article alongside.
The new 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.
There were just 20 instances of “extreme negative characterizations” of Palestinians in Israeli secular books and seven in Israeli ultra-Orthodox books, according to the study. One such example in an ultra-Orthodox book referred to a decimated Arab village, now the site of an Israeli settlement, as “a nest of murderers.”
Palestinian books had just six instances of these “extreme negative characterizations”—but these did not seem very negative at all, and one of the worst quoted referred to an Israeli interrogation room as a “slaughterhouse.”