The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which serves Palestinian Arabs  who were  refugees from the 1948 war, along with their descendants,  is responsible for the education of about 25% of Palestinian Arab  students in Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with 96 and 276 schools in those areas, respectively.

The books used in these schools are published and distributed by the Palestinian Authority (with some books added by the Hamas authorities in Gaza to be used in schools there, including UNRWA schools).

PA school books are characterized by three main fundamentals: de-legitimization of Israel and of the Jews’ very presence in the country, demonization of Israel and the Jews, and advocacy of a violent struggle for the liberation of Palestine – including Israel’s pre-1967 territories – instead of advocacy of peace and co-existence with Israel.

Within this last fundamental, school children are encouraged to engage in acts of war by way of presenting the violent struggle against Israel as an inevitable necessity, including the violent return of the refugees’ descendants to a liberated pre-67 Palestine, and through the veneration of Jihad, martyrdom and Palestinian individuals who participate in this struggle (called Fidais – those who sacrifice themselves, or martyrs and prisoners-of-war when killed or imprisoned). There are even cases when school children are explicitly encouraged to become ones.

The authors of this paper wrote a report in 2015 under the above title presenting the relevant material at that time.

Since the Palestinian Authority started in 2016 a new project of schoolbook publishing, with over 70 books having so far appeared, it was necessary to conduct a new research and write a complementary report based on these new books from which the following examples have been taken. It should be noted that the publishing project of the new schoolbooks is not yet complete and many older books are still in use.

A decisive element in the PA indoctrination in this context is the official anthems of both the Palestinian Authority and its dominant body – the Fatah organization – which are taught to students of the lower grades.

The first one reads:

Fidai, fidai, fidai, O my land, O the forefathers’ land
Fidai, fidai, fidai, O my people, O the people of eternity
With my determination, my fire and the volcano of my revenge
And my blood’s yearning to my land and my home
I climbed the mountains and waged the struggle
I overcame the impossible and shattered the fetters
Fidai, fidai, fidai, O my land, O the forefathers’ land
Fidai, fidai, fidai, O my people, O the people of eternity
With the winds’ storm and the weapon’s fire
And with my people’s insistence on waging the struggle
Palestine is my home and the road to my victory
Palestine is my revenge and the land of steadfastness
Fidai, fidai, fidai, O my land, O the forefathers’ land
Fidai, fidai, fidai, O my people, O people of eternity
By the dint of the oath under the flag’s shadow
By my land, my people and the pain’s fire:
I shall live as a fidai and continue as a fidai
And I shall die as a fidai until I return
Fidai, fidai, fidai, O my land, O the forefathers’ land
Fidai, fidai, fidai, O my people, O people of eternity”
(National and Social Upbringing, Grade 3, Part 1 (2016) pp. 15-16)


The Second:

“I am a lion cub; I am a flower [male and female members of the Fatah youth movement, respectively]; we gave the soul to the Revolution [Fatah’s activity]

Our forefathers built houses for us in our free land [in the past]
I am a lion cub; I am a flower; we carried the Revolution’s ember
To Haifa, to Jaffa, to Al-Aqsa [Mosque], to the [Dome of the] Rock”
(Our Beautiful Language, Grade 2, Part 1 (2016) p. 42)

A language exercise mentions favorably the Jihad fighters:
“The two Jihad fighters who raised the flag were joyous.”
(Our Beautiful Language, Grade 4, Part 2 (2016) p. 8)

Other pieces in the PA school books used by UNRWA present killed terrorists as role models to be followed: Dalal al-Mughrabi, who led the terror attack in 1978 on an Israeli civilian bus on the Coastal Highway, in which thirty five civilians – men, women and children – were murdered, is referred to twice. In Arabic Language, Grade 5, Part 1 (2017) p. 14 she is mentioned among the martyrs of Islamic and Arab history of the country. Another piece reads: “Dalal al-Mughrabi who led the Fidai ‘Deir Yassin’ operation on the Palestinian coast in 1978 in which more than thirty soldiers were killed” (Social Studies, Grade 9, Part 1 (2017) p. 74).

The violent struggle in which the Palestinian children are encouraged to participate includes the perceived “Right of Return”.

A poem titled “A Refugee’s Outcry” Reads:

“I shall not live as a displaced person; I shall not remain fettered
I have a morrow and tomorrow I shall march as a revolutionary/avenger [tha’ir] and rebel
I shall not be afraid of the storms when they sweep the expanse
And of the hurricanes that hurl black destruction
I am the owner of the great right of which I make the morrow
I shall reclaim it; I will reclaim it as a precious and sovereign homeland
I shall shake the world tomorrow and march as a singular army
I have an appointment in my homeland; it is impossible that I forget that appointment”
(Arabic Language, Grade 5, Part 1 (2017) p. 85)

Another poem, adding an incitement to exterminate “the foreigners” to the violent struggle:

“I swear! I shall sacrifice my blood to water the noble ones’ land
And I shall remove the usurper [code name for Israel] from my country and shall exterminate the foreigners’ scattered remnants
O country of Al-Aqsa [Mosque] and the sacred place [Haram]; O cradle of pride and nobility
Patience, patience, for victory is ours and dawn peeps out from darkness”
(Our Beautiful Language, Grade 3, Part 2 (2016) p. 64)

This latest incitement is accompanied by a gross description of the victims of the said struggle.

A Molotov cocktail attack on an Israeli civilian bus is described as a “barbecue party”.

The piece reads: “The neighbor: ‘The curfew does not include us in [the neighborhood of] Al-Sharafah. It is imposed on the Al-Natarish [neighborhood]. It seems that there is a barbecue party there with Molotov cocktails on one of the buses of the Psagot settlement…'”
(Arabic Language, Grade 9, Part 1 (2017) p.61)

That is only a taste of what UNRWA teaches 492,000 Palestinian children in its schools

The above is excerpted from the first comprehensive study of all PA school books used in UN schools, entitled

Schoolbooks of the Palestinian Authority (PA):

The Attitude to the Jews, to Israel and to Peace, authored by Dr. Arnon Groiss and presented by Dr. Groiss at the UN on September 27, 2017.

The full report can be found in English and in Hebrew on the home page of IsraelBehindTheNews.com

Dr. Arnon Groiss, Research Director
David Bedein, MSW, Executive Director
The Center for Near East Policy Research

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