The school system of the nascent Palestinian Authority, established in the wake of the Oslo peace process, has fostered the first curriculum since Nazi Germany to train children in the art of war against the Jews. Yet the thorough research of the school books of the Palestinian National Authority remain a secret to most people in Israel. Why?
When the CMIP presented its evaluation of the Palestinian Authority school books at a well attended press conference at the King David Hotel on November 21, 2001, several media outlets were noticably absent: the three main Israeli newspapers were not there: HaAretz, Yediot and Maariv.
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency, which supplies releases to all the Jewish media and Jewish organization, was also not there. The JTA bureau chief in Israel, David Landau, co-author of the seminal 1993 volume, New Middle East, the book that promoted the Oslo process, has never reported about PA education.
Israel TV was there, yet preferred to delay the news of the press conference from its main 9 p.m. newscast until the less viewed midnite newscast.
Israel Kol Yisrael Radio news ran a story of the press conference on exactly two newscasts.
The people in Israel are therefore left in the dark concerning the PA curriculum.
Two days before the press conference, the Beligian Foreign Minister visited Israel, the PLO press agency WAFA announced that the Belgian government would be funding this year’s set of PA school books.
When I asked the Belgian foreign minister’s press secretary about the reason for the Belgian funding of the school books, she specifically mentioned that she had heard that the CMIP had reported that there had been an “improvement” in the content of the books.
The CMIP could only point to cosmetic improvements in the books, such as the “recognition” of the Jewish connection to Palestine during the time of King David.
Queries to the Israel Foreign Ministry concerning the school books produced a response:
The Israel Ambassador to Belgium, Mr. Shaul Amor, was instructed to discuss the school books with the Belgian Foreign Minister, while the Israel Foreign Ministry issued a release that it would conduct its own inquiry concerning the PA school books.
This would represent the first time that the Israeli government has conducted a study of PA textbooks.
The question remains as to whether the Israeli government will ever protest the content of the PA school books to the funders of PA education.
The Israeli public at large does not yet know about the PA curriculum.