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PA Education official: “Israeli schoolbooks are full of incitement to murder”

Headline: “Jerusalem – education in the shadow of Judaization and threats”

“The [Arab] residents of Jerusalem are anticipating the start of the 2023-2024 academic year in another two weeks, while in the background are changes carried out by the Israeli Ministry of Education, which is responsible for managing the education system in occupied Jerusalem in cooperation with the occupation’s [Jerusalem] Municipality. The goal of the changes is to put the Israeli curriculum or the false Palestinian curriculum (i.e., the PA curriculum after Israeli censorship on problematic sections promoting terrorism) into most of the schools instead of the national Palestinian [PA] curriculum. This is on the background of fierce Jerusalem opposition to the schools that are subordinate to the occupation’s municipality and to the Israeli Ministry of Education.

This year the dangers to the Palestinian education and narrative are renewing with greater vigor, as the occupation announced the implementation of firm and Judaizing measures against all the schools in Jerusalem. It prevented the opening of every new school that does not accept the Israeli demands to teach the Israeli curriculum or the false Palestinian curriculum…

General-Director of the Palestinian [PA] Ministry of Education’s Jerusalem Affairs Unit Dima Al-Samman thinks that the occupation is carrying out large operations to burn the consciousness in Jerusalem. These operations have greatly expanded in the current and new [academic] year, in a manner that testifies that the occupation has not made do with fighting the Palestinian curricula on the claim that they are ‘inciting curricula that spread hate speech,’ but rather it has also begun to implement a plan in order to cause 98% of the schools in Jerusalem to teach the Israeli curricula, and just 2% to teach foreign curricula.

Al-Samman noted that currently 54% of the Jerusalem [Arab] students are learning in ‘the contractor schools’ (i.e., schools whose management works in cooperation with the Israeli Ministry of Education but is not affiliated with it), which are private schools that teach the Israeli curriculum, and in the schools of the occupation’s municipality and its Ministry of Education. Approximately 34% are learning in the Palestinian schools that teach the national curriculum, approximately 11% are learning in the Islamic Waqf schools, and 1% [are learning] at the UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) [schools].

She added that this year the occupation is specifically targeting the private schools; the occupation’s municipality is directly penetrating them, the curricula that are being taught there are being monitored, and they are being threatened with closure…

Al-Samman said that… since 2000 we have Palestinian schoolbooks, which have united the two parts of the homeland – the West Bank and the Gaza Strip… She also said that the donor states took upon themselves the printing of these schoolbooks, but then a pressure campaign was waged against them to stop the funding of their printing following baseless and invalid excuses and arguments (refers to demands based on terror promotion in the PA curriculum -Ed.), at a time when the Israeli schoolbooks are full of incitement to murder and hatred against the Arabs and Palestinians.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 9, 2023]

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