Palestinian Schools Still Teach Hate

Feb. 26 2019

Time and again, Palestinian Authority (PA) officials, as well as administrators for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), have promised their Western backers that they will do away with textbooks that encourage violence and anti-Semitism. Yet a study released last fall by IMPACT-se, an organization that monitors the Palestinian curriculum, shows that there has been no progress to speak of. Marcus Sheff, the organization’s director, describes some of these textbooks and explains how schools that use them continue to get funding from America and Europe:

Newton’s Second Law is taught by way of a slingshot and the image of a violent confrontation. Nine-year-old children in the third grade recite a poem calling for “sacrificing blood” to remove the enemy from the land by “eliminating the usurper” and “annihilat[ing] the remnants of the foreigners.” Young Palestinians are even exhorted to sacrifice themselves. They are taught that jihad is the pinnacle of ambition, that martyrdom for boys and girls is a life goal. In perhaps the ultimate betrayal of young people, they are told that choosing death is better than choosing life. . . .

A long-classified report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) on the Palestinian curriculum taught in UNRWA schools was obtained by the congressional offices of Lee Zeldin and Scott Perry, and . . . a double deception was uncovered. The report shows that when UNRWA officials responsible for the PA curriculum were presented with irrefutable evidence that American funds had been abused to inculcate intolerance, they pledged to create supplementary materials to rectify the issue. However, the findings further show that UNRWA took no such actions, but instead lied to Washington about having done so. In other words, UNRWA officials were caught red-handed not only deceiving the U.S. government, but having gone to great lengths to avoid teaching the most basic principles of tolerance and respect.

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Anti-Semitism, Palestinian Authority, Palestinians, Politics & Current Affairs, UNRWA

Gaza’s Quiet Dissenters

Last year, the Dubai-based television channel Al-Arabiya, the Times of Israel, and several other media organizations worked together to conduct numerous interviews with residents of the Gaza Strip, taking great pains to protect their identities. The result is a video series titled Whispers in Gaza, which presents a picture of life under Hamas’s tyranny unlike anything that can be found in the press. Jeff Jacoby writes:

Through official intimidation or social pressure, Gazans may face intense pressure to show support for Hamas and its murderous policies. So when Hamas organizes gaudy street revels to celebrate a terrorist attack—like the fireworks and sweets it arranged after a gunman murdered seven Israelis outside a Jerusalem synagogue Friday night—it can be a challenge to remember that there are many Palestinians who don’t rejoice at the murder of innocent Jews.

In one [interview], “Fatima” describes the persecution endured by her brother, a humble vegetable seller, after he refused to pay protection money to Hamas. The police arrested him on a trumped-up drug charge and locked him in prison. “They beat him repeatedly to make him confess to things he had nothing to do with,” she says. Then they threatened to kill him. Eventually he fled the country, leaving behind a family devastated by his absence.

For those of us who detest Hamas no less than for those who defend it, it is powerful to hear the voices of Palestinians like “Layla,” who is sickened by the constant exaltation of war and “resistance” in the Palestinian media. “If you’re a Gazan citizen who opposes war and says, ‘I don’t want war,’ you’re branded a traitor,” she tells her interviewer. “It’s forbidden to say you don’t want war.” So people keep quiet, she explains, for fear of being tarred as disloyal.

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Read more at Boston Globe

More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, Palestinian dissidents, Palestinian public opinion