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

Israel Has Survived Eight Years of Barack Obama’s False Friendship

Jan. 20 2017

In his speech justifying America’s decision to allow passage of the UN Security Council resolution declaring it a violation of international law for Jews to live in east Jerusalem, the West Bank, or the Golan Heights, Secretary of State John Kerry declared that “friends need to tell each other the hard truths.” John Podhoretz comments:

The decision in December by President Obama to abstain on the UN Security Council vote . . . marked the moment he crossed the finish line in the course he had charted from 2008 onward. The turn against Israel was complete. And, as he had when he began it, in farewell interview after farewell interview he characterized his assault on the legitimacy of the Jewish presence in the Holy Land as an act of tough love. . . .

Which raises the key question: why [only] abstain [from the resolution]? If “hard truths” define friendship, then by all means they should have made the truths as hard as possible. If Barack Obama and John Kerry truly believe the Jewish presence in east Jerusalem is illicit, then they should have voted for the resolution. Instead, they took the coward’s way out. They opened the vault to the criminals and placed the jewels in their hands while wearing white gloves so there would be no residual trace of their fingerprints. The abstention was in some weird sense the mark of their bad conscience. They wanted something to happen while maintaining some historical deniability about their involvement in it.

In the eight years of the Obama presidency, war broke out twice between the Palestinians and the Israelis and nearly broke out a third time. In each case, the issue was not the West Bank, or east Jerusalem, or anything near. . . . The idea that the settlements and the Jewish presence in East Jerusalem are the main barrier to peace between Israel and the Palestinians was proved to be a lie right before Obama’s eyes in 2009, and 2012, and 2014. And he didn’t care to see it, because he is blinded by an antipathy he wishes to ascribe to Israeli action when honesty would compel him to find it in his own misguided leftist ideology—or within his own soul.

Israel has survived the horrendous blessing of Barack Obama’s false friendship.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Barack Obama, Israel & Zionism, John Kerry, U.S. Foreign policy, US-Israel relations