Israel Resource Review 27th August, 2006


David Bedein

As this is being written, in late August 2006, news wires around the world are running a story that Machmud Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority, has launched a new peace initiative with Israel.

As this is being written, in late August 2006, news wires around the world are running a story that Machmud Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority, has launched a new peace initiative with Israel.

However, the new school books that this same Machmud Abbas has now introduced in the Palestinian Authority school system - run independently of Hamas - represent a curriculum that prepares a new generation of Palestinians to destroy Israel.

Following fervent support given to Hizbullah's total war on Israel by Abbas and the Palestinian Authority this summer, this raises the question as to whether the new school year in the Palestinian Authority, opening next week, will simply ad fuel to the fire of the Palestinian Authority's war against Israel, instead of a new peace initiative with the Jewish State.

Since these PA school books have also been incorporated in the Arab schools in Jerusalem, which raises cause for further concern, while a movement is afoot in the Israeli Arab schools in the rest of Israel to adopt the PA curriculum in their schools.

Indeed, the latest study of PA textbooks,, commissioned by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center in Herzelia,, an agency that had been consistently supportive of the Oslo Peace Process, speaks for itself.

Here are some pearls of wisdom that Palestinian children will learn from the new school books of the Palestinian Authority this year:

1. Israel does not appear on any maps of the world in the new PA textbooks, while maps of Israel replace the name Israel with Palestine in all of the new Palestinian Authority school books. Tarikh al-Hadarat al-Qadima (History of Ancient Civilizations), 5th grade textbook, p. 53. Al-Iqstisad al-Manzili (Home Economy), 10th grade textbook, p. 42,Tarikh al-'Alam al-Hadith wal-Mu'asir (History of the New Modern World) 10th grade textbook, p. 86.

2. The new Palestinian School Books "annex" sites in Israel to Palestine: "Haifa is a Palestinian seaport", (p. 7) (Lughatuna al-Jamila (Our Beautiful Language) Vol. 2, 5th grade textbook, p. 86). "Galilee, Nazareth and Beit She'an are regions in Palestine" (p. 7) (Al-Iqtisad al-Manzili (Home Economy), 10th grade textbook, pp. 36-37).

3. The new Palestinian school books mention Israel only as an enemy, in reference to "occupation of lands" in 1948 and 1967. Example: "there is no doubt that the Israeli occupation has a negative impact on Palestinian agriculture and its export" (p. 8) (Lughatuna al-Jamila (Our Beautiful Language) Vol. 1, 10th grade textbook, p. 102).

4. The new Palestinian school books present Zionism only as an enemy movement. a. "The Palestinian people are under an oppressive siege, limiting their movement and way of life" ( p. 9) (Al-Tarbiyah al-Islamiyyah (Islamic Education), Vol. 1, 5th grade textbook, p. 49). b. Accusation against settlements [from 1948!] of damaging water sources "the influence of settlement on sources of water in Palestine" (p. 9) (Ulum al-Sihha wal-B'ia (Health and Environmental Sciences), 10th grade textbook, p. 122) c. "the Palestinian family has problems . . . stemming from the occupation . . . it loses father, mother or son to death or imprisonment . . . endures the difficulties of life . . . (p. 11) (Al-Tarbiyah al-Wataniyya (National Education), 5th grade textbook, p. 23)

5. The new Palestinian School Books make the false claim that an "extremist Zionist" set fire to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in 1969 (p. 12) (Tarikh al'Alam al-Hadith wal-Mu'asir (History of the new Modern World), 10th grade textbook, p. 106) when it was really a mentally unstable fundamentalist Christian Australian

6. The new Palestinian School Books teach that the 1st Zionist Congress at Basel fostered the Zionist State based on a secret decision of what came to be known as the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion". (p. 13) (Tarikh al-'Alam al-Hadith wal Mu-'asir (History of the News Modern World), 10th grade textbook, pp. 60-64).

7. The new Palestinian School books teach that the only ancient inhabitants of Israel were Arabs, ignoring any ancient Jewish presence. "Concentrated . . . in the land of Al-Sham {Greater Syria} . . . was the culture of the Canaanite and Aramaic peoples who migrated there from the Arab peninsula" (p.14-15) (Tarikh al-Hadarat al-Qadima (History of Ancient Civilizations), 5th grade textbook, Foreward).

8. The new Palestinian school books teach that Palestinians must use war and violence to accomplish their goals, especially martyrdom. (p.18) The heroic mother, "who incessantly presents one sacrifice [fida'] after another" (Lughatuna al-Jamila (Our Beautiful Language), Vol 2, 5th grade textbook, p. 31). The warrior goes to war faced with one of the : victory or martyrdom in battle for the sake of Allah. (Ibid. Vol. 1, 5th grade textbook, p. 70). (p.19) "Allah designated the people of this land (Al-Sham and Palestine) to an important task: they must stand on the forefront of the Muslim campaign against their enemies, and only if they fulfill their duty to their religion, nation, and land will they be rewarded as stated in the scriptures." (Al-Tarbiya al-Islamiyyah (Islamic Education), Vol 2, 10th grade textbook,p. 50).

9. The new Palestinian school books feature children with names such as Jihad (holy war) and Nidal (struggle). (p.22) (Tarikh al-Hadarat al-Qadima (History of Ancient Civilizations), 5th grade textbook, p.6).

10. The new Palestinian school books stress the importance of "return" of refugees to all of Palestine - by violence, if necessary. (p. 22) "The wrong must be made right by returning them to their homes: we returned to the homeland after a long absence".(Lughatuna al-Jamila (Our Beautiful Language), Vol 2, 5th grade textbook, p. 43). "Returning to the homes, the plains and the mountains, under the banners of glory, jihad [holy war] and struggle" (Lughatuna al-Jamila (Our Beautiful Language), Vol 1, 5th grade textbook, p.88).

If the path to peace is paved with education, that path is not being taken by the Palestinian Authority.

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Arlene Kushner

If Hezbollah -- using sophisticated PR -- has promoted the perception that we've lost, then this rebounds on us seriously within the Arab world, which will be ready to see us as vulnerable and will be more eager to rely on terrorist and guerilla techniques rather than negotiations. A sign of the perception on the Arab street is an inciteful pro-Nasrallah song that has become tremendously popular in Palestinian Authority areas: "Hey, you, hawk of Lebanon. Hey, you, Nasrallah. Your men are from Hezbollah and victory is yours with God's help."

But it's not just Hezbollah PR that has promoted the perception that we caved: many analysts, looking at the horrendous terms of the UN resolution that we settled for, have concluded that this represents a failure for Israel.


Much still depends on how that UN resolution is enacted. While there have been some good signs -- such as more clearly defined rules of engagement for the enhanced UNIFIL forces that permit them to open fire on Hezbollah -- the overall picture is not encouraging. As we've already seen, Hezbollah will not be disarmed and will not even be pushed back north of the Litani. And now it turns out that UNIFIL may not be deployed along the Lebanese-Syrian border to stop weapons smuggling -- the Lebanese army alone may do it. UNIFIL is to join the Lebanese army to provide assistance only at Lebanon's request, and Lebanon isn't requesting -- they're up to it themselves, they say. Seems Assad has said foreign troops along his border would be considered a "hostile" act (which the State Department has called "preposterous"). Israel is insisting that it will maintain an air blockade until troops -- including UNIFIL -- are in place at the Syrian border. Israel believes that even if Hezbollah isn't disarmed, it remains essential to prevent re-arming. The entire issue is still under discussion.


The make-up of the UNIFIL troops is in process of being defined, as well. After France said it would lead the troops but send only 400 of its own soldiers, Italy offered to step in both with leadership and troops. But France wasn't having it. Now the French have said they will send an additional 2,500 troops and provide leadership for the mission, which Kofi Annan has agreed to. What happened here is fairly obvious: France wants to be a major player in the Middle East and was not about to relinquish a leadership role. Having France -- the most anti-Israel of European nations -- in that role is not good news.

The Europeans jointly will be sending close to 7,000 troops as the backbone of the force -- a step in the right direction; for a while there it looked like no Europeans wanted to sign on. However, Italy's Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema has given an interview to Time Magazine, in which he says: "Our objective is not to destroy Hezbollah, which by now is an important part of Lebanese society. We hope Hezbollah transforms into a legitimate political movement, but now if it wants to resume hostilities, it knows that it must face the international community." So there you have it -- no dismantling of Hezbollah and the pipedream of it renouncing its terrorist tendencies. If D'Alema is serious about Hezbollah having to face the international community, that is a major change; but he makes it clear he's looking to promote an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement next and may be intent on meddling (pressuring) in ways that are not positive.

It should be noted that Kofi Annan is overriding Olmert's objection to including forces from Muslim countries that have no diplomatic ties to Israel: Indonesia, Malaysia, and Bangladesh having volunteered. Says Annan, we don't have so many offers to choose from that we can afford to turn anyone away.


With all this said, let me note that Hezbollah's Sheikh Naim Kassem told Al-Nahar -- a major Lebanese paper --- that, "We were surprised by the size and strength of the Israeli reaction. We expected that the IDF would bomb areas close to the border for several days and only cause minimal damage . . . The size of the aggression was beyond our expectation."

And now that the dust is settling there are reports of Lebanese Sunni hostility to Nasrallah. The Post reports on responses from the village of Marwaheen, where several hundred fighters in civilian clothes (again, note this, please!) entered and set up rocket launchers. "Nobody wants Hezbollah here," said resident Adel Abdallah. "They don't want to fight for Lebanon. They fight for themselves, for Iran, for Syria."

Of even greater interest is an interview the Mufti of Tyre, Sayyed 'Ali Al-Amin, has given to Al-Nahar, translated and reported by MEMRI (, in which he declared: "The Shi'ite community [presumed to be pro-Hezbollah] authorized no one to declare war in its name or to drag it into a war that was far from its wishes . . . What happened in the south does not represent the will of the Shi'ite community, and is not its responsibility, but was caused by the vacuum that the Lebanese state left for years in this region . . . What happened is the natural result of a state relinquishing its duty to defend a region and its citizens."

The more all of this is publicized, the less Hezbollah's "win" seems clear.

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