Little progress seen in Palestinian books


Palestinians have made scant progress in removing anti-Semitic passages from school textbooks, a new report found.

“Palestinian Textbooks: From Arafat to Abbas and Hamas,” the fourth report on the subject of Arab textbooks published jointly by the American Jewish Committee and the Center for Monitoring Peace in the Middle East, found little mention of the State of Israel in the books and described hatred of the West as a “prevalent theme.”

“While Israeli and Palestinian leaders speak openly of negotiating a two-state solution, many Palestinian children are exposed to a rigid, narrow worldview in which Israel does not exist and Jews are considered subhuman enemies,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “A negotiated settlement cannot succeed until Palestinian children are taught to live in peace with their Israeli neighbors.”

The report, which examined 42 textbooks used in grades 11 and 12, found that most maps do not include Israel and that the historic Jewish connection to certain holy places is not mentioned.

Under Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, whom the Israeli and U.S. governments consider a moderate, some improvements were made in books used in the 11th grade.

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