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.”