On what values does the Palestinian Authority and United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) school system raise and educate generations of students? Dr. Arnon Gross, formerly a senior Arabic language broadcaster at Voice of Israel Radio, read no less than 200 Arabic textbooks from both past and present to understand exactly what Palestinian students are taught.
Gross’ latest research will be published in the coming days. His investigation was the result of an initiative by the Center for Near East Policy Research in Jerusalem, headed by David Bedein. Gross takes quotes and conclusions from the textbooks, which amount to libel for all intents and purposes, to demonstrate that the school system drills into the heads of students that there is no entity called “Israel.” And if indeed it does exist, it should be called by another name: “The Zionist entity” that must be destroyed.
In conversation with Gross, he is remarkably straightforward, wasting no time on political correctness. What were his conclusions after studying some 200 school textbooks taught in the Palestinian school system? With no ifs, ands or buts, Gross’s answer cuts like a razor: “There is no chance for peace and reconciliation between the State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority.”
Moreover, he concludes the books clearly intend to “demonize the Jews and Israel, and encourage the violent struggle to liberate Palestine from the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea.”
The area in question here is not only the land on the other side of the 1967 Green Line of “the Occupation” but the whole Land of Israel – as it is drawn in the textbooks, covered with the Palestinian flag. The ludicrous suggestion here is that Israel does not exist.
Take, for example, a ninth-grade textbook’s description of Safed, a city in the north of Israel with millennia of history : “Safed is one of the most beautiful Palestinian cities in the Galilee. Its magnificence hails back to its Canaanite origin, despite the fog of occupation that will one day lift.”
Looking through Gross’s research, it becomes clear that all this information, invaluable to “knowing thy enemy,” is presented to us slowly, over time, very sparingly. The reason for this, apparently, is to avoid making some people “uncomfortable.” It may greatly inconvenience the well-wishers and dreamers working to strike a peace agreement with the Palestinian representation. In any case, this information is not hidden in top-secret binders by the intelligence establishment – it is openly printed in Arabic textbooks.
Would it not be more fitting for Gross’ research to be distributed among the 120 MKs who speak day and night about peace with the Palestinians? Anyone who looks at this research will arrive at the negotiation table – if negotiations ever restart – armed to the teeth with clear and publicly available information. This should be used in public speaking abroad. This is heavy ammunition in the diplomatic struggle. Israeli diplomats all over the world should keep the pages of this research within arms’ reach and submit a copy to the government of their host countries.
The research brings truly hair-raising, dehumanizing examples to demonstrate how the Palestinian education incites to the annihilation of the Jews. One of the textbooks calls the 1978 Coastal Road massacre – in which Fatah terrorists crossed from Lebanon into Israel, hijacked a bus and murdered 38 Israeli passengers – a “barbecue.” Why? Because the terrorist cell leader, Dalal Mughrabi, gave a command to firebomb the bus and burn the Jews alive. The burning of Jews alive is actually presented as a “barbecue.” Gross stresses that from year to year, Palestinian textbooks have not become more moderate – quite the opposite, in fact.