There are times when I get a glimmer of hope that peace with our neighbors may actually be possible.
And then there are times when those hopes are burned to the ground and shoveled over with dirt.

Like when I read the report on the brand spanking new Palestinian National Authority textbooks for grades 4 and 9 recently published by the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace.
Here are some highlights of thier findings

There are no references to the Jews of modern times in this latest
issue of textbooks, and the trend noted in the earlier reports of not
counting the 5.5 million Jewish citizens of Israel as legitimate
inhabitants of the land continues. They are not included in any of
the figures of the local population.

The systematic non-recognition of any Jewish holy place as such in
the Holy Land continues in this latest issue of textbooks. All holy
places in the country that are mentioned in the textbooks are either
Muslim or Christian.

Israel’s image is wholly negative: It has usurped the land of
Palestine; it is oppressive and aggressive; it occupies Palestine and
inflicts physical and mental harm on the Palestinians; it violates
human rights; it attempts to obliterate the Palestinian national
identity. No objective information is given to the student about
Israel as a neighboring state. No Israeli is depicted as an ordinary
human being.

Jerusalem (that is, historical Jerusalem within the walls) is
presented as an Arab city from time immemorial…The only
connection that the Jews have to it, according to the PA textbooks,
is as foreign occupiers, from whom it should be liberated.

Jihad and martyrdom are still exalted as ideals, though to some
lesser extent than in the earlier books.

Unlike the earlier reports, this one includes a chapter about the PA
books’ attitude to the West in modern times, an issue not dealt with
before by the textbooks. Western Imperialism is presented as the
source of major problems encountered by the Arab world today.
Apart from that, no other information is given to the student about
the West in the textbooks of this latest issue.

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Laya Millman

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