Benny Gantz blasts Palestinian Authority for 'erasing the past'

Criticizing censorship of PA textbooks, Gantz says: 'Erasing the past destroys hope for a better future.'

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Benny Gantz
Benny Gantz
Kobi Richter/ TPS

MK Benny Gantz, chairman of the Blue and White party, slammed the Palestinian Authority's (PA) decision to remove any mention of the agreements it signed with Israel from school textbooks.

"If the agreements with Israel were in fact removed from the textbooks, that is first and foremost harming the Palestinian youth," Gantz tweeted in response to the report.

"The ability to achieve a better future starts with educating future generations to peace, tolerance, coexistence, and not to incitement and the glorification of suicide terrorists. Erasing the past is a destruction of the hope for a better future."

According to a Monday morning report by Yediot Aharonot, the PA's education department has led a reform over the past three years, updating the textbooks for students in first to twelfth grades in three stages.

This year, the reform ended, and it was revealed that all material on the agreements and negotiations between the PA and Israel over the past few decades, other than the Oslo Accords which were signed in the first half of the 1990s, was removed. The Oslo Accords appeared as they did in the previous version.

Among the censored material are the Cairo Agreement, the Camp David agreement, the Hevron Agreement, the Wye River Memorandum, US President George W. Bush's infamous "Road Map," the Annapolis Conference, and others.

The context in which the Oslo Accords appeared was also changed to less favorable text. In one example, the book reads: "The Zionist Occupation was forced to recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) after the First Intifada in 1987, and this helped senior PLO officials and institutions return to the West Bank and [Gaza] Strip."