The Palestinian Authority says it’s a “crime” to use Israeli materials in Arab schools in Jerusalem, instead of Palestinian books, because the Israeli publications don’t teach children to demonize Jews, glorify terrorism and become “martyrs.”
In a report by the Gatestone Institute, Bassam Tawil, a Muslim in the Middle East, wrote that Palestinian Authority Minister of Education Sabri Saidam is fretting because of a decision to use the Israeli curriculum in Arab schools in Jerusalem, a move he called an “ugly crime of counterfeit.”
“Why are the minister and the Palestinian Authority so truculently opposed to Arab schoolchildren studying according to the Israeli curriculum? Is this curriculum really an ‘ugly crime of counterfeit,’ as the minister says?” Tawil asked rhetorically.
“The main reason the PA leadership is opposed to the Israeli curriculum is because it does not promote hatred. The curriculum also does not demonize Arabs in parallel to the way the Palestinian curriculum demonizes Jews.”
He said a recent study, “Palestinian Elementary School Curriculum 2016-17: Radicalization and Revival of the PLO Program,” found Palestinian children were being taught, using Palestinian texts, “to glorify and value terrorism and violence.”
He explained that the Palestinian curriculum teaches students to be martyrs, demonizes and denies the existence of Israel, and focuses on a ”return to an exclusively Palestinian homeland.”
“Children are being taught to be expendable. Messages such as: ‘The Volcano of My Revenge’; ‘The Longing of my Blood for my Land’; and ‘I Shall Sacrifice My Blood to Saturate the Land’ suffuse the [Palestinian] curriculum. Math books use numbers of dead martyrs to teach arithmetic,” he said.
Further, it teaches that Arabs are the “original dwellers of the land.”
“The Palestinian minister of education, then, is worried that Arab children in Jerusalem will no longer be exposed to the poison and brainwashing of the Palestinian curriculum,” the report said.
Saidam wants students to be taught why Muslims should be killing Jews.
The report cited the well-known saying of Muhammad that “a Jew will hide behind a rock or a tree, and then the rock or the tree will say: ‘O Muslim, O God’s servant, there is a Jew behind me, so come and kill him.”‘
Explained Tawsil: “The Palestinian Authority and its Ministry of Education are angry because this hadith has been removed from the textbooks in the Arab schools of Jerusalem. The removal of the hadith, they argue, is an ‘ugly crime.’ In other words, the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah is fighting for the right of students to be taught that Jews are ‘corrupt’ and ‘occupiers’ and should be killed, even as they try to hide behind a rock or a tree.”
The Gatestone report noted a fatwa, or Islamic decree, was issued by Sheik Mohammed Hussein, the mufti of Jerusalem, that prevents school children from studying an Israeli curriculum.
“Teaching the Israeli curriculum in Palestinian schools is dangerous and abusive,” he said. “The Israeli curriculum consists of matters that contravene the Islamic faith, the Arab identity, and Palestinian values and traditions.”
Tawil asked: “If the Israeli curriculum is as bad and dangerous as the Palestinian Authority claims, why are thousands of Arabs continuing to enroll in Hebrew University, Haifa University, Tel Aviv University and even the ‘settler’ Ariel University in the northern West Bank? How come the Arab citizens of Israel have never complained about the Israeli educational system?”