The Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se), based in Jerusalem, has analysed Palestine's schoolbooks for the upcoming academic year, to find that new curriculum in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem has become more radical than before.
According to IMPACT-se, the schoolbooks in question invoke anti-Semitic motifs, referring to the Jewish State as "Zionist occupants" and making no distinction between Zionists and Jews in general. Additionally, they brand Israel and the Jewish nation as "enemies of Islam" who are to blame for poisoning Prophet Muhammad.
The textbooks, as per the report, largely take an anti-American stance too. For instance, a new grade 12 history textbook claims that the United States has taken advantage of the 9/11 attacks to "fulfil its hegemonic agenda" and justify the subsequent interference in the domestic affairs of Middle Eastern countries.
Another textbook "openly endorses" the 1972 Munich massacre, referring to it as the Munich Operation, the report said. The terror act was carried out by members of the Black September group, who killed 11 Israeli hostages and a Western German police officer.
The authors of the report demanded that schoolbooks be free from "religious bigotry and national hatred," and instead promote tolerance and peace.
The analysis stirred up public debate in Germany, the country that is providing funding to Palestinian schools, both directly and through EU programmes.
"Unbelievable," said Frank Müller-Rosentritt, an MP for the Free Democratic Party, "children should get education for a better future, not for hate and violence. The federal government must provide an explanation. German tax money should not flow into terror propaganda".
Unglaublich: #Kinder sollten #Bildung für bessere Zukunft erhalten, nicht Erziehung zu #Hass & #Gewalt. So wird #Frieden zw. #Palästinenser|n & #Israel unmöglich. #Bundesregierung muss f Aufklärung sorgen. Dt. #Steuergelder dürfen nicht in #Terror-#Propaganda fließen. @fdpbt #FDP https://t.co/zsBlHDvED6— Frank Müller-Rosentritt, MdB (@theliberalfrank) 17 декабря 2018 г.
A spokesman for Germany's Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development told Bild that the government sealed a four-year deal with the Palestinian Education Ministry in December 2017 to provide 32 million euros in education assistance. The funds are largely earmarked for infrastructure projects, the government emphasized, which cover some 1.3 million Palestinian school students. It is unclear whether the funds were also partly used to draw up the controversial curriculum.
The ministerial spokesman also noted that the results of an independent probe into the textbooks will come early next year. The Palestinian Authority has yet to comment on the report.