An Attempt to Revise Palestinian Textbooks Fails

Feb. 24 2022

In June 2021, the European Union (EU) released a long-awaited report on Palestinian Authority (PA) curricula for schoolchildren, finding that the educational materials promote anti-Semitism and glorify terrorism, among other things. In response to this report and subsequent pressure by EU officials, the PA agreed to revise Palestinian textbooks. As Marcus Sheff reports, the promised reforms have not taken place.

By September 2021, the PA—finally faced with the prospect of losing funding from its largest donor—agreed to a “roadmap” with the EU Commission. This should have been the moment that hate, anti-Semitism, and incitement to violence were finally taken out of the Palestinian curriculum, and replaced with peace education.

That is what the EU had hoped would happen. But, predictably, it did not. The Palestinian Authority had simply taken all of the 2020 textbooks, replaced the date stamp with 2021, and reprinted thousands of copies. This was done without telling the European Union, throwing the roadmap to the wind. The European Commission was not even aware this had happened until IMPACT-se presented them with its report.

But this was just the beginning. Even as the PA agreed to a roadmap for textbook change with the EU, its Ministry of Education was writing thousands of pages of new material—study cards—roughly equivalent in size to all the textbooks in the curriculum. The material, in some places, contained content even worse than the current Palestinian textbooks, with a greater number of lessons that directly incite violence and propagate overt anti-Semitism.

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Read more at Algemeiner

More about: Anti-Semitism, European Union, Palestinian Authority

Will Costco Go to Israel?

Social-media users have mocked this week new Israeli finance minister Bezalel Smotrich for a poorly translated letter. But far more interesting than the finance minister’s use of Google Translate (or some such technology) is what the letter reveals about the Jewish state. In it, Smotrich asks none other than Costco to consider opening stores in Israel.

Why?

Israel, reports Sharon Wrobel, has one of the highest costs of living of any country in the 38-member Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

This

has been generally attributed to a lack of competition among local importers and manufacturers. The top three local supermarket chains account for over half of the food retail market, limiting competition and putting upward pressure on prices. Meanwhile, import tariffs, value-added tax costs and kosher restrictions have been keeping out international retail chains.

Is the move likely to happen?

“We do see a recent trend of international retailers entering the Israeli market as some barriers to food imports from abroad have been eased,” Chen Herzog, chief economist at BDO Israel accounting firm, told The Times of Israel. “The purchasing power and technology used by big global retailers for logistics and in the area of online sales where Israel has been lagging behind could lead to a potential shift in the market and more competitive prices.”

Still, the same economist noted that in Israel “the cost of real estate and other costs such as the VAT on fruit and vegetables means that big retailers such as Costco may not be able to offer the same competitive prices than in other places.”

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Costco, Israel & Zionism