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Monday, February 26, 2007

Brit Zedek v'Shalom defends hate-filled PA textbooks

At Palestinian Media Watch, Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook report that according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Brit Zedek v'Shalom - Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace is defending the new 12th grade textbooks published by the 'Palestinian Authority as encouraging "a peaceful resolution of the conflict," and as being "better than those used in most of the Arab world because they 'endorse democracy.'

Marcus and Crook tell us what those textbooks really say:
As to when there will be peace with Israel? Never, according to the schoolbooks: "[Palestine's] residents are in a constant struggle with their enemies, and they are found in Ribat until Resurrection Day."

Israel's right to exist is denied and Israel's founding is called a theft: "Palestine's war ended with a catastrophe that is unprecedented in history, when the Zionist gangs stole Palestine and expelled its people from their cities, their villages, their lands and their houses, and established the State of Israel" (Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism, grade 12, p. 104). Israel is called: "the Zionist entity," and "Zionist Enemy." Israel's existence since 1948 is an "occupation" (ibid pp. 104, 122).

The conflict will eventually end -- not with peace, but with Israel's destruction, effected by Palestinians of all ages and abilities: "Palestine will be liberated by its men, its women, its young and its elderly" (Arabic Language and the Science of Language, grade 12, p. 44).

THE BOOKS anticipate this future destruction of Israel by painting a picture for the Palestinian child of a world in which Israel already does not exist. The place of Israel is marked as "Palestine" on all maps, and "Palestine" is defined as a dawla -- the Arabic word for "state," not a geographical region.

This "state" is said to have water access to both the Mediterranean and the Red seas, a situation possible only in a world without Israel. (Physical Geography and Human Geography, grade 12, p. 105) Likewise, the size of "Palestine," the "state," is said to be more than 10,000 sq. km., a situation possible only if Israel does not exist, since the West Bank and Gaza Strip together total only 6,220 sq. km.

Because Israel has no right to exist, and must be fought and destroyed for Islam, violence and terror against Israel since its founding are justified and glorified as muqawama, resistance: "The tragedy of Palestine of 1948... and afterward the muqawama in which the inhabitants carried acts of most glorious heroism and sacrifice" (Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Commentary, grade 12 p. 105).

THE WORLD cringed in horror at the Iranian Holocaust denial conference. But the new PA schoolbooks teach World War II without the Holocaust. There are extensive details about the history of the war, lessons about the Nazi "race theory" and even mention of "an international court to bring to trial the senior Nazi leaders as war criminals." (The History of the Arabs and the World in the 20th Century, grade 12, p. 46). However, the books fail to mention why the Nazis were on trial, or that their "race theory" involved elimination of Jews and other minorities.

It is clear that the newest PA schoolbooks are a tragic recipe for incessant war. Israel is presented as an illegitimate enemy to be hated, fought and destroyed. Even the most well-meaning student is left with no justification or religious option to accept Israel as a neighbor to live beside in peace.
There's much more too. But according to Marcus and Crook, that hasn't stopped Brit Zedek v'Shalom (which also backs the 'Palestinian unity government' and the Baker-Hamilton Commission to trade Israeli land for peace in Iraq) from defending the PA textbooks:
US Senator Hillary Clinton said earlier this month that this curriculum, together with PA media targeting children, "basically, profoundly poisons the mind of these children" and that these books are "an indoctrination," not an education.

But an American Jewish group, Brit Tzedek v'Shalom-Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace has rushed to defend these hate-filled schoolbooks. As reported by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, the group wrote Clinton urging her to "re-examine claims that the Palestinian schoolbooks indoctrinate hate." The group argued that the books encourage "a peaceful resolution of the conflict," and are better than those used in most of the Arab world because they "endorse democracy."
And these people aren't even the left wing of the Jewish community since they purport to favor a 'two-state solution'....

Update 2:45 AM

Richard Landes at The Augean Stables implicitly accuses Brit Zedek v'Shalom of coloring their view of the 'Palestinian' textbooks to suit their own agenda. I could hardly agree more.

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