Israel, Jews and Peace in Schoolbooks and Teachers’ Guides Used in UNRWA Schools in Judea, Samaria,East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip

Dr.Arnon Groiss
Introduction
  • The schoolbooks issued by the Palestinian Authority (PA) are mandatorily used in all areas of Judea, Samaria, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem (In schools that follow the PA curriculum) – in government, private and UNRWA schools. The books surveyed here are of the latest edition and are used in the current school year. They were mostly published in 2020. Teachers’ guides, mostly published in 2018, were examined as well. They shed special light on the PA indoctrination process which is also applied in UNRWA schools.
  • There are three fundamentals in these books related to the conflict:
  • De-Legitimization of the State of Israel’s existence and of the mere presence of its Jewish citizens in the country, which also includes denial of their history and the very existence of their holy places there.
  • Demonization of Israel, as well as the Jews – not only in the context of the conflict, but also from a religious point of view, which carries grave implications as far as the Jews’ image is concerned in the eyes of Palestinian children who mostly grow up in a traditional society.
  • Absence of any advocacy for peace with Israel. Instead, the books call for a violent struggle for the liberation of the country in its entirety, including Israel’s territory within its pre-1967 boundaries. This struggle is given a religious character, and terror constitutes an integral part thereof – with the accompanying meaning that the killing of Jews is to be encouraged.
  • Following are selected examples of these three fundamentals taken from schoolbooks and teachers’ guides in use in UNRWA’s school system (grades 1-10).