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New PA Text Books Teach Anti-Semitic Forgery as History

An urgent request was sent to PM Ariel Sharon to bring to the attention of US President Bush the prevalence of anti-Semitic material in the new Palestinian Authority textbooks.
First Publish: 4/12/2005, 1:02 PM / Last Update: 4/11/2005, 7:47 PM

The new PA history books present, among other things, the infamous anti-Semitic forgery produced by Russian police, known as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, as an accurate portrayal of the decisions of the First Zionist Congress. That work describes the Jews as plotting to take over the world.

Diaspora Affairs Minister Natan Sharansky sent the information to Sharon, and asked him to raise it with President Bush. “There is continued incitement in the PA," Sharansky said, "and it has even intensified - surpassing and solidifying the anti-Semitic line that has been recognized there in recent years."

Sharansky contacted the Prime Minister after he received copies of the newly published PA textbook that, for the first time, presents the Protocols as “historic fact and the secret decision of the First Zionist Congress.”

According to Sharansky, nowhere in the PA history book is it mentioned that the Protocols are in fact a forgery. “The exact opposite is true," he said. "The matter is presented in the introduction regarding the First Zionist Congress in Basel [Switzerland], which took place in 1897, and the book goes on to claim that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are the decisions of that Congress.”

The book in question is a 10th grade history book called, “History of Modern and Contemporary World." The section cited by Minister Sharansky appears on page 63 of the book, which is already in use in PA schools.

“The presentation of the Protocols in a false manner is particularly severe due to the fact that it has seen renewed popularity," Sharansky said. "New editions of the book have been widely printed in Syria and Egypt, and it is available in book stores and on the internet throughout the Muslim world."

Minister Sharansky’s urgent communique to Prime Minister Sharon came after he received the translations of the textbooks from the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace (CMIP), an organization that seeks to identify what is being taught in schools with regard to recognition and acceptance of others. CMIP has produced four reports on school books in the Palestinian Authority, and will complete a report on textbooks for grades 5 and 6 shortly.

CMIP reports state that in more than 160 school books produced by the PA, Israel is never mentioned as a sovereign state, and maps appearing in the books do not include the State of Israel.

“There is no doubt that this information shows that the Palestinian leadership is not demonstrating the necessary willingness to end incitement and change the threatening tone between our nations,” Sharansky wrote to PM Sharon. “More than that, there is an intensifying of the incitement that seeks to raise the level of anti-Semitism past that which has been present for years.”

Bush hosted Sharansky in the White House last November, and said that Sharansky's book, "The Case for Democracy," echoes Bush's own beliefs about the importance of spreading democracy around the world.

“Real progress in the peace process is not possible," Sharansky says, "while incitement continues to be spread through textbooks, especially when it is intensified in the new books just introduced into the system. It is important that our friend President Bush, who in my last meeting with him expressed particular interest in everything connected to education in the PA, receive this information during your current meeting.”

The issue of anti-Semitism in PA textbooks has outraged the US Congress in the past, and has resulted in legislation limiting funding to the PA. Sharansky hopes that proof of continued PA incitement will convince Bush that the PA is not living up to its promises.