Intolerance, Anti-Semitism, and Praise for Terror in Palestinian Education Have Worsened

Surveying hundreds of Palestinian textbooks and teachers’ guides published between 2013 and 2019, Arnon Groiss finds no shortage of anti-Israel propaganda, which, he concludes, is even more virulent than what was found in the earlier crop of textbooks published in the previous decade:

These books are used in the Palestinian Authority (PA) territories, as well as in Gaza and in most schools in eastern Jerusalem. They are mandatory in all schools in these areas, including private ones and those operated by the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). From the very start, the PA schoolbooks have featured [three fundamental premises regarding the conflict with Israel]: 1) de-legitimization of both Israel’s existence and the very presence of its six million Jewish citizens, . . . as well as the denial of the existence of Jewish holy places there, 2) demonization of both Israel and the Jews, and 3) advocacy for violent struggle for liberation, instead of education for peace and coexistence.

The PA schoolbooks published since 2016 have featured an alarming new phenomenon: the name “Israel” has been replaced in most cases by the epithet “the Zionist occupation,” thus deepening the formerly adhered-to line of non-recognition of Israel as a legitimate state and transforming a concrete entity—the state of Israel—into a mythical, all-evil, entity—Zionism—with accompanying [connotations] of fear and hatred.

Among the many examples Groiss cites is an eleventh-grade religious-studies textbook that states, “spreading corruption on earth is of the Children of Israel’s nature.” Other books praise the Munich Olympics massacre and other terrorist attacks, hailing their perpetrators as heroes and martyrs. Moreover, such propaganda is not limited to lessons in history, geography, and religious studies, but also appear in math, science, and language instruction. Thus a teacher’s guide for ninth-grade Arabic suggests that students be given “free time to reflect on the dangers of the Jews’ greedy ambitions in Palestine.”

Read more at Israel Behind the News

More about: Anti-Semitism, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian public opinion

An American Withdrawal from Iraq Would Hand Another Victory to Iran

Since October 7, the powerful network of Iran-backed militias in Iraq have carried out 120 attacks on U.S. forces stationed in the country. In the previous year, there were dozens of such attacks. The recent escalation has led some in the U.S. to press for the withdrawal of these forces, whose stated purpose in the country is to stamp out the remnants of Islamic State and to prevent the group’s resurgence. William Roberts explains why doing so would be a mistake:

American withdrawal from Iraq would cement Iran’s influence and jeopardize our substantial investment into the stabilization of Iraq and the wider region, threatening U.S. national security. Critics of the U.S. military presence argue that [it] risks a regional escalation in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Iran. However, in the long term, the U.S. military has provided critical assistance to Iraq’s security forces while preventing the escalation of other regional conflicts, such as clashes between Turkey and Kurdish groups in northern Iraq and Syria.

Ultimately, the only path forward to preserve a democratic, pluralistic, and sovereign Iraq is through engagement with the international community, especially the United States. Resisting Iran’s takeover will require the U.S. to draw international attention to the democratic backsliding in the country and to be present and engage continuously with Iraqi civil society in military and non-military matters. Surrendering Iraq to Iran’s agents would not only squander our substantial investment in Iraq’s stability; it would greatly increase Iran’s capability to threaten American interests in the Levant through its influence in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.

Read more at Providence

More about: Iran, Iraq, U.S. Foreign policy