The Palestinian Authority’s Real Strategy Can Be Found in Its Textbooks

Dec. 28 2016

At a Christmas-eve party, Mahmoud Abbas gave a speech endorsing the creation of a Palestinian state existing alongside Israel “in peace and security” and called for direct negotiations and a neighborly spirit. The best evidence for Abbas’s insincerity, writes Marcus Sheff, lies in the curricula of Palestinian schools:

The current curriculum is made up of nearly 200 books that together represent the single most comprehensive expression of Palestinian national identity and reflect the values that the PA wishes to pass down to future generations. There is enough space and enough subject matter in this large corpus of information for young Palestinians to delve into what exactly Abbas means when he speaks of “living side-by-side with Israel” and “sitting together to negotiate.” But none of this appears in the PA curriculum. No living side-by-side and no sitting together. In fact, the word “peace” does not appear in the curriculum at all.

Instead, the textbooks delegitimize and demonize Israel, including the characterization of Israel as “an evil entity that should be annihilated.” Israel barely intrudes onto textbook maps—the entire area from the Jordan Valley to the Mediterranean Sea is marked as Palestine. Textbooks promote a continual war drawing on a culture of martyrdom and specifically reject negotiations. . . .

This is not an accident. The curriculum studied by generations of young Palestinians is carefully crafted by the Palestinian leadership to lay out a national strategy that alternately combines violence with international pressure against Israel.

In one of many examples, such as in the poem “Palestine,” by Ali Mahmoud Taha, jihad is justified: “O brother, the oppressors have exceeded all bounds, and jihad and sacrifice are necessary” (Reading and Texts, Grade 8, Part 1, 2015, p. 44). A seventh-grade textbook, Our Beautiful Language, refers to pre-1967 Israel as occupied and speaks of the return to it.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Education, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority, Politics & Current Affairs

The State Department Seems to Be Covering Up Palestinian Incitement

July 26 2017

Last week, the U.S. State Department released its annual report on global terrorism in the year 2016, and, for apparently the tenth consecutive year, the report defended the Palestinian Authority in language identical or nearly identical to that used in years before. For example, the 2016 report notes that “The PA has taken significant steps during President [Mahmoud] Abbas’s tenure (2005 to date) to ensure that official institutions in the West Bank under its control do not create or disseminate content that incites violence.” That same sentence also appeared in the department’s reports for 2015, 2014 and 2013. Similar repetition of language from those years and years earlier can be found across the report.

What’s going on? “Two prominent former Israeli diplomats are charging that the State Department is recycling parts of its old reports in order to whitewash the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) incitement to violence,” Rafael Medoff writes, quoting the former Israeli diplomat Alan Baker:

[According to Baker], State Department officials seem to be “taking previous reports and copying them, making slight changes where they consider it relevant,” instead of objectively assessing the PA’s most recent behavior.

Baker said that not only has the PA failed to take “significant steps” against incitement, but “the opposite is the case—their own actions, statements and publications, naming streets and squares after terrorists, formally paying fees to terrorist families, all point to a distinctive step backward in violation of Palestinian commitments pursuant to the Oslo Accords.”

The result, Baker said, is that “the Palestinians see it as a license to continue and as support for their struggle. If the State Department closes a blind eye, this is tantamount to giving a green light.”

[According to a second Israeli diplomat], the State Department slants its reports about the PA because the department “fears that its own words will be used to buttress congressional efforts to cut aid to the PA. . . . ”

Read more at JNS

More about: Israel & Zionism, Palestinian Authority, Politics & Current Affairs, State Department