In wake of the release of a report comparing Palestinian Authority textbooks to Israeli textbooks in terms of incitement, Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry has released a simple PowerPoint presentation outlining PA incitement and giving examples.
Among the more disturbing instances of incitement are incident in which teachers used their blogs or Facebook pages to spread hate. One PA school’s Facebook page includes an image of an Arab child being strangled by a snake marked with a Star of David.
Another school’s Facebook page has an image of Adolf Hitler, complete with a quote stating that Hitler left some Jews alive “so that you would know why I killed them.”
Two different educational TV programs broadcast by the PA included clips of girls reciting a poem including the line, "Our enemy, Zion, is Satan with a tail."
PA textbooks were examined as well. Islamic studies books were found to contain verses predicting, “The Hour of Resurrection will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews. The Muslims will kill them, and when a Jew would hide behind a rock or a tree the rock or the tree would say… ‘There is a Jew behind me; come and kill him.’”
The study of PA textbooks found that they went beyond “presenting unilateral national narratives,” as the controversial State Department-funded study found, to tampering with history. A picture of a stamp from British Mandatory Palestine included in a fifth-grade textbook was altered to show only the Arabic writing on the stamp, and not the Hebrew.
Ministry officials noted that the examples given were several of “hundreds.”
The PowerPoint rebuttal also addressed the reason that the “Victims of Our Own Narratives” study equated Israeli and PA textbooks despite the high levels of incitement in the PA curriculum. One major flaw in the study is that context was omitted, it noted, leading to a situation where a PA textbook’s declaration that Zionism is illegitimate would be equated to a description of a terrorist attack in an Israeli textbook. Both would be considered “very negative” portrayals of the other.
In addition, many important examples of PA incitement were simply ignored.
The Ministry for Strategic Affairs noted that four members of the study’s Advisory Panel had refused to endorse it, and that the Israeli Chief Rabbinate had withdrawn support as well.
The United States State Department clarified Tuesday that its funding for the study did not imply support for its methodology or findings.