Here are clear guidelines for an overhaul in Palestinian curriculum for more than 300 PA Schools which teach 321,000 pupils who live in UNRWA facilities in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and Jerusalem;
Avoid De-legitimization of the State of Israel and of the Jewish Presence in the Country
- Maps that show today’s boundaries should at least mark Israel’s pre-1967 territory as “Israel”. Such a territory must not be left un-named and certainly not be named “Palestine”, as that constitutes a distortion of the situation on the ground.
- Israel should be presented as a sovereign state in every text.
- Every reference to a region or site within Israel’s pre-1967 lines must not describe such places as Palestinian-under-occupation.
- Discussions of the Holy Places in the country should refer to the Jewish holy places alongside the Muslim and Christian ones. Reference to a place which happens to be sacred to Jews (such as the Western Wall, the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem) should state that fact.
- Discussion of demography should include the number of Jews living there (close to 7 million in 2019). Maps which show cities should include the Jewish cities as well – under their Hebrew names (such as Tel Aviv, Eilat, Ashdod, etc.).
- The books should not describe Israel’s pre-1967 territory as “occupied Palestine”, nor use terms like “the lands of 48”, “the Interior” instead of “Israeli territory”.
Avoid Demonization of Israel and Jews
- Schoolbooks that demonize Israel/Jews, or de-humanize them, or any description that goes beyond the presentation of Israel and/or the Jews as an adversary with its own rights, interests and positions should be discarded. Jews should not be presented as enemies of Islam. It is much desired to add to the books the non-existent material that deals with Israel and the Jews objectively (for example, pieces that talk about the Israeli government structure, economy, science and technology, the Hebrew culture, Jewish history, etc.), which might balance the pervasive anti-Israeli theme in the books.
- It is important to stress in the books that the Jew is also a human being, apart from being an adversary, and should be treated accordingly.
- PA schoolbooks studied at UNRWA schools should include also self-criticism (i.e., the rejection of proposals for a peaceful resolution of the conflict, massacre of unarmed Jewish neighbors, etc.)
Advocate a Peaceful Solution instead of Violent Struggle, Jihad and Martyrdom
- Books taught in UNRWA schools should emphasize that peace and coexistence is a strategic choice and that negotiations are the way to achieve a solution to any conflict.
- The books should refrain from presentation of a violent struggle as a means for solving the conflict.
- Islamic terms of Jihad and martyrdom should be mentioned in historic context and not as a goal to pursue.
- Any discussion of “Nakbah” should stress that the Nakbah resulted from of a war initiated by the Arabs and not by Jews, contrary to what is said today in the new PA books.
- “Right of Return” should be presented as the PLO position regarding “the Refugee Problem”, while any solution will be achieved in negotiations on the basis of mutual agreement only.