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PA Education Minister denies incitement in Palestinian schoolbooks, says Palestinians won’t “accept conditions that deviate from the identity of the Palestinian struggle” from donors

Official PA TV program Palestine This Morning, on the UNESCO (UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) decision to support education in “Palestine” following Israel’s activities in the field of education in Jerusalem in the last two years, hosting PA Minister of Education Sabri Saidam

Official PA TV host: “Dr. Sabri, if we focus on Israel’s accusing the [PA] government of incitement in the Palestinian educational programs, and [its] constant use of these claims through its messages and media abroad, according to which the [PA] government is feeding the children incitement and hatred of the other, as they describe it – how do we understand this issue in the government’s policy, and especially when we don’t monitor the incitement on the Israeli educational programs, which teach Israelis that there is no such thing as a Palestinian and that they are essentially not human, and they must be dealt with in every manner, with incitement, murder, and such.”

PA Minister of Education Sabri Saidam: “You know this [PA] government, our Palestinian government of course, is justly deserving of being called the education government, as this subject greatly occupies it in its work and it truly attaches importance to this matter, as recently this discussion about incitement has increased. Let us examine matters – praise Allah, Israel after 20 years or more, [throughout] the years of the PA, has today exposed that there is something called incitement? It talks about our curricula – today you [Israelis] discovered that there is incitement in our curricula? [Israel] talks about naming schools after Martyrs (Shahids), and it tries to pressure us through the donors to change the names of the schools.
I say to it [Israel] sincerely that the Palestinian position is uncompromising because the position of Israel is clear. It cannot come after two decades and say that it has an indictment in its hands. It is clear that it is using the indictment to cover acts that it clearly wants to commit. It is not interested in the [PA] education standing out before the nations. Praise Allah, in UNESCO, before the proposed resolution, Palestine was chosen to represent the Arab world, and this is a reason for our pride… It bothers Israel that you as a Palestinian stand on a stage and advance Palestine, [when its achievements are] above the Arab world. [Israel] does not want Palestinian successes as it embarrasses it. It does not want schools that excel, and it does not want quality teachers, but [rather] it wants to kill the education… Therefore, we are clear on this position. First, there is no neglect , leniency, or concession. We appreciate the donors’ money and are proud of everybody that supports us, but we will not accept conditions that deviate from the identity of the Palestinian struggle. Therefore we have taken a number of clear steps - first, the exposure of these acts [by Israel]; second, resolve and determination over our position; and third, we said to the world: ‘Please, send whatever delegations you wish; we will open our schools and curricula to anyone who wishes to monitor details.’ And finally, the European Union, which sent us a letter in which it wrote that it wants to send a team that will check our curricula and schools, and we said that is not a problem. If Israel wants to take the same path, we have not yet heard anything from them. I say to them from this stage: ‘Renew this effort, come, welcome, whoever wants to check us – we are ready,’ as it is clear that Israel has invented a new invention. After it spoke about the Jewishness of the state, after it talked about different understandings, and today it has reached education, knock on wood - it made a discovery as if it was an oil field whose depth it wants to test. And we say to them: ‘Please, bring everything you have, we are ready for it.’ We will lead this battle, as we led it at UNESCO. [No] Palestinian will stand before you and make you feel he doesn’t care about his society. We are the sons of Martyrs, prisoners, [and] injured, and are proud of our path of struggle. This is our liberation project.”

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