The 2020 Palestinian Authority’s Arabic Language, Vol 2, Grade 5, pp 51-61 and Social Studies, Vol. 1, Grade 9, p. 40 herald Dalal al-Mughrabi, who led – and participated in – the March 1978 massacre of 38 Israeli civilians (mostly passengers of two Haifa-Tel Aviv buses), including 13 children and wounding 72. The 5th and 9th graders are encouraged to become “martyrs” and follow in the footsteps of “the crown of the nation” and “the role model of Palestinian resistance… whose struggle portrays challenge and heroism, making her memory immortal in our hearts and minds.”
Education mirrors leadership and society
Education is the most authentic reflection of the identity, core values, culture, track record, worldview and vision of the architects of the education system and (subsequently) the society at-large.
Education plays a major role in shaping the personality of individuals and society at-large, especially in non-democratic societies, such as the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinian education system has been overseen by Mahmoud Abbas since 1993, when he established it in his capacity as Arafat’s deputy. The Palestinian education system is a byproduct of the 1959 and 1964/1968 Fatah and PLO Charters and the 1974 Palestinian Phased Plan, which stipulate the Palestinian vision.
Education in non-democratic societies mirrors the worldview of its leaders much more credibly than diplomatic statements, briefings and media interviews. The latter constitute “screen savers,” aiming to conceal the real vision, which is lucidly expressed by the educational curriculum.
While free societies promote education in order to enhance enlightenment, expand information and upgrade the standard of living, rogue regimes employ education as a means to advance their brutal goals and brainwash the younger generation into full-submission, including the perpetration of terrorism.
While free societies foster education as a hothouse of tolerance, peaceful-coexistence and innovative ideas and technologies, rogue regimes exploit education as a hothouse of fanaticism and violent intolerance, as well as terrorism and suicide-bombing.
The 2020-2021 Palestinian school curriculum highlights
According to a September 2020 report on the Palestinian School Curriculum, conducted annually by IMPACT-se, the 2020-2021 school textbooks of the Palestinian Authority are more inciteful, violence-oriented and martyrdom-driven than prior years, highlighting:
*Antisemitism (e.g., Jews portrayed as corrupt and enemies of Islam);
*Demonizing and repudiating Jewish history west of the Jordan River as forgery;
*Delegitimizing and dehumanizing Israel and Israeli Jews;
*Articulating the violent annihilation of Israel and Israeli Jews;
*Rejecting peaceful-coexistence with Israel and criticizing the Israel-Egypt peace accord;
*Inciting to anti-Israel terrorism (“martyrdom”) and Jihad (“Holy War”) as a personal religious obligation, while glorifying Jihad “warriors’ (mujahid), suicide-bombing and specific Palestinian terrorists (e.g., the murder of 11 Israeli athletes during the 1972 Munich Olympic Games);
*Glorifying women-terrorists as role-models in the struggle against Israel;
*Islamic inducements (including virgin brides in paradise) to terrorism;
*Promoting geographic maps, which exclude Israel, that is replaced by Palestine;
*Extending the “liberation struggle” from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean;
*Islamic Education, Vol. 2, Grade 5, pp. 74-79: Girls are encouraged to kill and be killed in the battle against “Zionist occupation,” and follow in the footsteps of women, who elevated themselves as martyrs, during the early days of Islam.
*Islamic Education, Vol. 2, Grade 8, p. 93: Children are encouraged to engage in Jihad on behalf of Allah and the homeland.
*Islamic Education, Vol. 1, Grade 7, pp. 85-89: A chapter is dedicated to self-sacrifice in the service of Allah and in defiance of enemies/infidels, as the most noble sacrifice. It is rooted in Islamic history, relevant to the Palestinian reality, yielding martyrs a path to paradise.
*Islamic Education, Vol. 1, Grade 11, pp. 10-16: According to the Qur’an, Jews are corrupt and are doomed to be annihilated by Allah’s servants. “Allah said that the Children of Israel will spread corruption through sin and arrogance…. The Children of Israel’s corruption was and will be the cause of their annihilation….”
*Islamic Education, Vol. 1, Grade 11, pp. 114-117: “In Islam, war is a legitimate necessity…. Infidels should be given an option before the battle: to embrace Islam or live under the rule of Islam…. War is defined by Islam as Jihad… in order to fight those who oppose the spread of Islam spreading to other nations. The goals of Jihad are noble… unlike the goals of non-Muslim wars….”
*History, Vol 2, Grade 11, p. 52: “The Fedayeen [“martyrs”]… sought to strike at Zionist interests abroad, such as the Munich [Olympic Games] in 1972 [murdering 11 Israeli athletes and 1 German police officer].”
*Arabic Language, Vol. 1, Grade 5, pp. 14-15: “Khalil al-Sakakini [antisemitic Nazi-supporter, who praised Hitler for revealing the truth about Jews, and urged the murder of Israeli civilians] has decorated the pages of history… lighting the darkness of our black nights…. The crown of the nation…. Immortalized by history….”
*Islamic Education, Vol. 1, Grade 9, p. 13: “Allah has made it clear that he is capable of annihilating the enemies [the “infidel” Christians, Jews and polytheists]…. Allah wants to take shuhada [martyrs] from among the believers and honor them by shahadah [martyrdom], to forgive their sins and raise their stature in paradise….”
*Islamic Education, Grade 12, p. 16: “Do not say that martyrs in the service of Allah are dead. They are alive. For Allah, martyrdom is a sublime status…. Martyrs live with their Lord; they were transferred from the life we know to the life, which we do not sense….”
*Social Studies, Vol. 1, Grade 6, p. 54: “The map of Palestine” [one of hundreds of similar maps in the curriculum] extends “from the Mediterranean Sea in the west to the Jordan river in the east, from Lebanon and Syria in the north to the Gulf of Aqaba and Egypt in the south, an area of approximately 27,000 square kilometers [replacing Israel].”
*Islamic Education, Vol. 2, Grade 8, pp. 49-52: Martyrdom in the battlefield is an integral element of Jihad, which is presented – by Qur’anic verses – as physical warfare, rewarding its participants. “Jihad relies on the holy Qur’an and the Sunnah [legacy] of the Prophet…. Rewards are awaiting the Jihad warrior…. Never think of martyrs as dead….”
*Arabic Language, Vol. 1, Grade 11, pp. 74-76: supported by Qur’anic verses, a poem glorifies the terrorist, who murdered 16 passengers in a Tel Aviv-Jerusalem bus, and was rewarded by happiness in paradise. Terrorists ” stand, blazing on the road, shining like stars…. Their rebirth will emerge from the depth of death and darkness….”
Peace process relevance of Palestinian curriculum
Western policy-makers have ignored the significance of the Palestinian education system, which is the most authentic mirror of the norms and vision of the Palestinian leadership and society, irrespective of Palestinian diplomacy and public relations, which serve as moderately-packaged “screen savers.”
The Palestinian curriculum (K-12) is consistent with the Palestinian intra-Arab track record, documenting the rogue profile of the proposed Palestinian state.
The Palestinian curriculum has been a most effective hothouse of terrorism, enticing almost two generations of young Palestinians to pursue the path of terrorism “in the service of Allah.”
Western policy-makers, who rightly condemn and don’t tolerate hate-education in their own societies, ignore a critical prerequisite and precondition to a constructive peace process: the uprooting of hate-education.
Therefore, hate-education, on the one hand, and a path to peaceful-coexistence, on the other hand, constitute a classic oxymoron.