by Prof.Dr.Hans Jansen… The World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, which was held by the United Nations from 21st – 25th April 2009 in Geneva, had drawn up an agenda which had been worked on for many months. But the problem of hatred against Israel was completely absent from this agenda.
Perhaps it is not strange that this subject did not appear on the agenda of the Review Conference of the UN, because the media has usually remained deafeningly silent on the subject in recent decades. It became clear during preparatory discussions in the summer of 2008 that this conference would also be mainly used as a political weapon against Israel and the West. This is why Israel, Canada, the United States, Italy and the Netherlands did not take part in this Review Conference.
The Ministry of Higher Education of the Palestinian Authority introduced 8 new schoolbooks for 17/18 year-olds in December 2006. These schoolbooks were written by the Center for Developing the Palestinian Curricula. Palestinian education experts, who were appointed by the Fatah governments of Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas, work in the centre. Dr.Naim Abu Al-Humos, former PA Minister of Higher Education, was appointed director of this centre in 2002. The centre is financed by sponsors from abroad. In the foreword of the latest schoolbooks the Belgian government is thanked for the finances. The new schoolbooks have the following titles: Geography, History of the Arabs and the World of the 20th Century, Contemporary Problems, Islamic Education, Arabic Language and Language Literature, Mathematics, History of the Arab Culture. The following themes occupy a central place in these schoolbooks.
1. The Holy Land Palestine ethnic cleansing of Israel.
The Palestinian schoolbooks teach that the struggle against Israel is not so much a territorial, nationalistic struggle, but rather a religious war of Islam. The Palestinian education experts define the conflict with Israel as a Ribat, which, in Islamic tradition, means that Muslims defend the borders of Islamic land (regions). Moreover, the 17/18 year-olds are told that this Ribat for the liberation of Palestine is a very special struggle, i.e. one of the greatest religious wars in the history of Islam, for which Allah will richly reward the Palestinians. The Palestinian violence (including suicide terrorism) is called muqawama, which means “resistance”, “opposition” (Arabic Language, Analysis. Literature and Commentary, grade 12, p.105). The youth are taught that they must place themselves in the centre of the Islamic struggle, and that the current war against Israel is the latest in a whole series of wars that Islam has waged in the magnificant past in this land, against enemies who were defeated.
The war against the Jews will continue until the Day of the Resurrection, which will not dawn until the entire Jewish race will have been destroyed. The battle of Al-Yarmuk decided the outcome of the struggle against the Byzantines, the battle of Hettin the struggle against the Crusaders and the battle of Ein Jalut the struggle against the Mongols (Islamitic Education, grade 12, p.86, 87). No peace treaty will ever be able to be made with Israel. The struggle will continue, as it is said, until the Day of the Resurrection. A strong emphasis is placed in these schoolbooks on the fact that there will be no end to the struggle against Israel until Israel will have been destroyed (Islamic Education, grade 12, 87). The state of Israel will have to be wiped off the face of the earth because they want to found an Islamic state in the whole of Palestine. Palestinian men, women, the youth and the aged will take part in this struggle (Arabic Language and the Science of Language, grade 12, 44).
2. The “(Islamic) state of Palestine” exists in a world without Israel .
Many lessons in the Palestinian schoolbooks are devoted to a presentation of Palestine and the countries of the Middle East, in which Israel has completely disappeared. The Arabic word Dawla, meaning state, is used in the schoolbooks. A visual world without Israel : “Palestine” is written on all the country maps, but “Israel” does not appear on any map whatsoever. So Palestine (insteads of Israel) is called Dawla. The state of Palestine is said to have access to the Red Sea. This is only possible if the state of Israel does not exist however. Neither the Gaza Strip nor the West Bank offer access to the Red Sea. The Israeli city of Eilat provides that access and Eilat is a Palestinian town on Palestinian maps. (Physical Geography and Human Geography, grade 12, p.105). It is taught in the schoolbooks that the state of Palestine covers more than 10,000 square kilometres. That would indeed be the case if Israel were not to exist. (Physical Geography und Human Geography, grade 12, p.107).
The Palestinian schoolbooks claim that the area in which the state of Israel was founded in 1948 forms a part of the state of Palestine. (Physical Geography und Human Geography, grade 12, p 108-110). The history of the Jewish people in the region, which has been called Palestine since the Roman occupation, and the attachment of the Jewish people to this land since approximately 3,000 years, are not mentioned. Jerusalem and Nazareth are described as being Palestinian cities, where there are Christian and Muslim holy places. No mention is made of Jewish holy places in Jerusalem ((Physical Geography und Human Geography, grade 12, p. 143).
3. The foundation of the state of in 1948 was “a catastrophe without precedent in history of mankind”.
Whereas the existence of “Palestine” is described in the schoolbooks in a world without Israel, the foundation of the state of Israel is taught as “a catastrophe without precedent in the history of mankind”. The Zionist gangsters stole the land of Palestine and drove the original population from their cities, villages, houses and regions, and founded the state of Israel thereafter” (Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism, grade 12, p.104). Israel is a foreign, colonial and imperialistic state. The youth are taught that the foundation of the state of Israel is immoral and that it therefore has no right to exist. We read literally in one of the schoolbooks : “In July 1922 the League of Nations decided that the British would be awarded Palestine as a mandated territory.
That amounted to theft, for the Palestinian inhabitants of the land were denied the right of regulating their own affairs. From then on it became easier for Jews to emigrate to Palestine. This development culminated in the foundation of the state of Israel, after the original population had been expelled or annihilated. When the Palestinians were confronted with this imperialist plan of the Zionists, they decided to join battle against it, to pursue Jihad with their money and their life. The struggle against the British and the Jews lasted until 15th May 1948 when the state of Israel was founded. That was a catastrophe without precedent in the history of mankind: Zionist gangsters expropriated the land of Palestine and drove the original inhabitants from their towns, villages, houses and regions, thereafter founding the state of Israel!” (Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism, grade 12, p.103-104). Although Israel is a thriving democracy today, the schoolbooks compare Israel’s politics to the white minority government of South Africa (the racist apartheid regime) and Zimbabwe. The schoolbooks published at the end of 2006 write about the apartheid regime in South Africa as if it still exists! (History of the Arabs and the World in the 20th Century, grade 12, p.6).
4. There was no Holocaust in the Second World War
The Palestinian schoolbook History of the Arabs and the World in the 20th Century gives teaching on the political and military events of the Second World War. There are some remarkable details: the racist ideology of the Nazis is mentioned, but there is not a word about the persecution of the twelve million Jews in Europe who were declared outlaws and the genocide of six million Jews. It is abundantly clear that the education experts of the Palestinian Authority have very consciously taken the decision to delete the genocide of six million Jews from history. The authors of the latest Palestinian schoolbooks write very selectively about the events that took place during the Second World War: as already pointed out, they write about the Nazis’ racist ideology and about the distinction between inferior and superior (the Arian) peoples, but they do not talk about the Jews and about the Holocaust. The schoolbooks even give teaching about the Nazi leaders, who were condemned as war criminals at Neurenberg, but they make no mention of the crimes for which they were condemned. (The History of the Arabs and the World in the 20the Century, grade 12, p.123, and p.46.).
The education experts devote separate chapters to important events which took place during the Second World War: the battles on the front in the Balkans, in the West, in Africa, in Russia, in the Far East, and to the Battle of El Alamein, the defeat of the Axis powers, the defeat of the Japanese and the atom bomb on Hiroshima. But in the view of the Palestinian education experts in the year 2006 the genocide of six million Jews never took place in the history of the Second World War.
5. The state of Israel pursues racist policy from the outset
Not only do the latest Palestinian schoolbooks deny the legitimacy of Israel, they also continuously demonise the policies pursued by the Israeli government. The state of Israel pursues a racist policy. In the schoolbooks we witness a significant change in Anti-Semitism. What is the precise nature of this significant change in Anti-Semitism? That the most horrible crimes that Anti-Semites committed in the past (Hitler and his henchmen) – racism, ethnic cleansings, attempted genocide and crimes against humanity – are now ascribed to Jews and the state of Israel. This means, among other things, that whoever fights against racism and Nazism, must absolutely set himself up against the Jews. The reason why the United Nations passed resolution 3379 on 10th November 1975, in which Zionism is condemned as racism, is explained to the students. A whole list of racist acts is brought to the attention of the students to make it clear to them that Israel has been setting out a racist policy right from the start, in 1948: the Law of Return, the expropriation of land, the occupation and annexation of Jerusalem, the destruction of houses, the checkpoints, the control over water and the building of the wall (the Security Fence!). (History of the Arabs and the World in the 20th Century, grade 12, pp.125-126).
It is said of the policy of Israel that the new state wants to conquer all the Arab states, including Egypt, Iraq and even Mecca in Saudi-Arabia. This reminds us of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which are widely distributed in all the countries of the Middle-East (Arabic Language and the Science of Language, grade 12, p.80). Israel is called “the Zionist enemy”, because it drove out the original inhabitants in 1948 and continues to occupy the land that belongs to the Palestinians through the foundation of the state (Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism, grade 12, pp.122).
6. The state of Israel must be wiped out of the Middle-East
The expressions that the education experts have chosen in the latest schoolbooks demonise Israel and are meant to confirm the Islamic dogma to the students that this state has no right to exist. As in all the previous books that were published by the Palestinian Authority from 2000-2006, the problem of the return of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip plays hardly any role in these latest books, which are primarily concerned with the return of the region of Palestine in which the state of Israel was founded in 1948. And that is only possible if the state of Israel is wiped out of the Middle-East. “The Zionist gangsters have stolen the land of Palestine and banished the original inhabitants” (Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism, grade 12, p.104); “The occupation of the land of Palestine by the Zionist enemy” (Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism, grade 12, p.122); “(…..) “The Zionist entity also occupied the rest of Palestine, i.e. The West Bank and the Gaza Strip” (Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Criticism, grade 12, 104); “The Palestinians are confronted with the imperialist plan of the Zionists to conquer the whole of the Middle-East”.
7. Jihad is glorified as being the most heroic act
In a schoolbook for the Arabic language the students are taught that followers of Islam who pursue Jihad are superior to those who do not go to fight. A text from the Koran is explained to prove this. (Arabic Language and the Science of Language, grade 12, p.97). In the same schoolbook for Arabic language the students are given instructions to read what is taught in the schoolbooks about the importance of Jihad very carefully: “Allah blesses those (who pursue Jihad) and He guarantees their salvation” (Arabic Language and the Science of Language, grade 12, p.60). In the Islamic tradition many co-fighters of Mohammed are cited in preaching and teaching as examples to be followed. In the latest Palestinian schoolbooks they are presented as role models to promote Jihad among the students (Islamic Education, grade 12, p.92).
In all Palestinian schoolbooks published from the beginning of 2000 up to and including the latest ones, which appeared in December 2006, all acts of “resistance” (including the suicide operations) against the occupation of Palestinian land by Israel are defined as the most heroic acts that a Muslim can perform (Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Commentary, grade 12, p.105) “The carrying out of violent acts against Israel has been legitimised as “Mukawama”, as resistance, since 1948. The inhabitants of the land carry out acts of resistance against the occupation, and we must interpret these as the most heroic deeds and acts of self-denial that exist. Throughout the whole world those who resist colonialism and other forms of occupation have followed the example of the Palestinians” (Arabic Language, Analysis, Literature and Commentary, grade 12, p.105). The Palestinians must be very proud that their example is being followed throughout the whole wide world.
8. Hilary Clinton very shocked by schoolbooks of Palestinian Authority
I express the ardent desire that political and spiritual leaders will at last (!) sound a burning protest against these catechisms of hatred and maligning of Israel (Pope Benedict XVI maintained a deafening silence on such matters during his pilgrimage to the Holy Land in May 2009!), that journalists the world over will draw attention to them in the media, and that the Churches in Europe in co-operation with the Churches in the Middle-East will develop multi-disciplinary programmes to fight against this despicable campaign of hatred. So far, with the exception of Hilary Clinton, only Israeli politicians have sounded strong protests against it. When Hilary Clinton was still a Senator, she pointed out on several occasions that no lasting peace is possible in the Middle East without the disappearance of these catechisms that malign Israel.
Hillary Clinton said on 8th February 2007, when she was still a Senator, of the latest Palestinian schoolbooks: “I repeat once again today that we must call an unrelenting halt to the campaign of hatred to which Palestinian children are being exposed. This must be the highest priority of all those who care for the future of their children and who are working for the peace, stability and security of the state of Israel. This also applies to all those who are working tirelessly for the future of the Palestinian people. I already protested against the incitement to hatred and violence in 2001, when the first schoolbooks were published by the Palestinian Authority. At that time I joined with Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel, a survivor of Auschwitz, in New York, in strongly condemning the lessons of hatred and violence being given in Palestinian schools. It is very shocking to me that in the latest Palestinian schoolbooks, compiled under the responsibility of Mammoud Abbas, the existence of the state of Israel is so abundantly clearly denied and that it is even claimed that no Holocaust took place during the Second World War”.
But the question is whether spiritual and political leaders have dozed off so deeply that they no longer realise what such a catechism of hatred against the Jewish people in Europe led to. As Jules Isaac pointed out in such a brilliant manner decades ago, the genocide of six million Jews in Europe did not begin with the construction of gas installations, but with the teaching in the Catechism of virulent hatred against the Jews, which had been taught by the Churches for two thousand years.