PMW op-ed: PMW at international teacher's congress: Sending a message for peace
Vote ‘no’ on anti-Israel resolution:
Send a message for peace education
by Itamar Marcus
Itamar Marcus, director of Palestinian Media Watch, was invited by the Association of Secondary School Teachers in Israel to represent them and help fight demonization of Israel and BDS resolutions that were in the program of the 7th World Congress of Education International.
The following is a statement Marcus printed and handed out to the participants on the third day of the conference, criticizing the anti-Israel resolution and calling to vote against it as a vote for peace.
Before the 7th World Congress of Education International is a resolution blaming Israel for various things that are claimed to obstruct Palestinian education.
There are many things that definitely do obstruct a decent Palestinian education that were left out of this resolution and I want to mention a few of them.
On a Saturday afternoon in 1978, a young Israeli couple named Rebecca and Yossi took their two children, Ilan and Roi, aged three and six, on a bus outing with other families. Near Haifa, terrorists attacked and hijacked their bus and eventually murdered 37, including 12 children.
One of the terrorists, named Dalal Mughrabi, threw the hand grenade that killed Rebecca, her two children, and blew off Yossi’s legs.
The Palestinian Authority has named three schools after Mughrabi. It has named dozens of sporting events, summer camps, educational courses, even a city square, all in honor of this murderer of children.
What do children who study in schools named after Mughrabi learn from this? Official PA TV interviewed children in a Mughrabi school.
One teenager said: “My life’s ambition is to reach the level that the martyr fighter Dalal Mughrabi reached.”
Thanks to PA education, that girl’s life ambition is to reach the level of the murderer of 12 children and 25 adults.
The PA has named dozens of schools after people who did nothing noteworthy in their lives other than murder.
Students from a school named after a terrorist bomb builder who was killed when a bomb she was preparing accidentally detonated were interviewed on PA TV: One said: “The school is named after her to encourage people to be like her.”
The second added: “[She] will remain a model for us and we’ll follow her path.”
Some want to blame Israel for the problems in Palestinian education. Is Israel to blame for the PA turning mass murderers of kids into heroes and role models for children? And there is much more wrong with Palestinian education.
Is Israel to blame that a few months ago, on an official PA TV children’s program, The Best Home, a young girl recited a poem teaching that Jews are the “most evil among creations, barbaric monkeys and wretched pigs”? Is Israel to blame that the same official PA TV children’s program called for religious war against Christians and Jews, teaching that: “They [Christians and Jews] are inferior and smaller, more cowardly and despised”? Is Israel to blame that two Palestinian schools chose to post on their Facebook pages pictures of Adolf Hitler, glorifying his murder of Jews with this Hitler quote: “I could have annihilated all of the Jews in the world, but I left a few so that you would know why I annihilated them.”
A boy of about 12 or 13 recently told PA TV news that he had learned in a school workshop to “fight the Jews, kill them” (Official PA TV, March 22 and 25, 2015). Is that boy to blame? No. Is Israel to blame? Of course not.
When I held a press conference in 2007 with then Senator Hillary Clinton, Clinton condemned the PA’s messages to children because she said it “profoundly poisons the minds of these children.”
Referring to official PA TV broadcasts, Clinton said they “were a clear example of child abuse.”
And I agree completely.
These kids are not responsible for their statements and are not guilty for wanting to kill Israelis. But Palestinian leaders and educators who have taught them are definitely responsible.
The secretary general of the General Union of Palestinian Teachers, Ahmad Sahwil, said at an event in 2013 that Palestinian teachers were “brothers of Salah Khalaf... Abu Jihad...
and Ahmed Yassin.”
Who are these three? Salah Khalaf planned the murder of 11 Israeli athletes at the Olympics; Abu Jihad planned terror attacks that killed 125; and Yassin was the leader of Hamas, responsible for the deaths of hundreds in suicide bombings.
Is Israel responsible for the fact that the head of the Palestinian teachers’ union thinks mass murderers are role models for Palestinian teachers? Members of the EI Congress: before you is a resolution that puts blame on Israel.
A vote for the anti-Israel resolution will tell the PA that leading world educators condone teaching Palestinian children that Christians and Jews are “inferior, cowardly and despised.”
A vote for the anti-Israel resolution will tell the PA that you condone the PA’s teaching children that a murderer of three- and six-year-old Israelis should be their role model.
On the other hand, a vote against the anti-Israel resolution sends an important message to the PA: “Enough with hate education. The time for peace education is now.”
I call on all the delegates: do the right thing; do the moral thing. Vote to reject the anti-Israel proposal. Your vote will be a vote against PA hate education, a vote against poisoning the minds of innocent children, and a loud vote for peace education.
Let’s turn this EI Congress into a turning point in Palestinian education. The lives of many children – both Palestinian and Israeli – may depend on it.