The most recent Palestinian Authority (PA) school textbooks are more extreme than previous editions, failing to meet curriculum standards of peace and tolerance in education set by UNESCO, according to a new report.
A report by the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se) focused on the exams of the equivalent of primary school years two through to five (aged six to ten) and sixth form (aged 16 to 18) of 2016-2017 PA educational curriculum.
The report, which provides numerous examples of radicalisation, found that the newest Palestinian textbooks encouraged incitement, taught pupils to become expendable “martyrs” and reject negotiations with Israel, while demonising and denying the existence of Israel.
The organisation’s CEO Marcus Sheff stated: “Despite assurances from the PA Education Ministry, these new books are actually more radical than we have previously seen”.
He added: “There is clear evidence of a strategy of radicalisation of young Palestinians, devised and implemented by the ministry, which includes a commitment to an Arab Palestine encompassing the entirety of Israel”.
IMPACT-se is a research centre that assesses curriculum compliance with UNESCO’s standards of peace and tolerance.
The report stated that what was most “troubling” was the demonisation of Israel and the outlook of the PA, PLO and Fatah authorities towards “six-to-ten year old children who are considered to be expendable”.
The report concluded that “the strategy of violence and pressure is advocated as the most effective action to achieve Palestinian goals” and that there was an “absolute lack of empathy” for non-Palestinians or explanation of the “root causes of the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis”.
In 2016, a study conducted by Hebrew University on 45 textbooks and teachers guides found clear examples of radicalisation. This included one textbook aimed at eight-to-nine year olds promoting martyrdom to children, and another maths textbook asking the equivalent of year five students to calculate the number of “martyrs” who died during both Intifadas.
The study also found a recurring theme of struggle against Israel in textbooks, with political map’s consistently showing Palestine as the entirety of Israeli territory, and many Israeli cities, such as Tel Aviv, being given Arabic names.