Israel to fight incitement with free textbooks to East Jerusalem schools

Posted: 8/29/2017 10:27:00 AM
Author: Noam Dvir and Israel Hayom Staff
Source: TThis article originally appeared in Israel Hayom on August 29, 2017.

Israel to fight incitement with free textbooks to East Jerusalem schools

Education Ministry decides to distribute Israeli schoolbooks for free to combat the Palestinian Authority's free books, which often preach hatred and incitement against Israel • Meanwhile, dozens of Arab-Israeli educators caught inciting against Israel.
by Noam Dvir and Israel Hayom Staff

The Education Ministry and the Jerusalem Municipality will be distributing schoolbooks for free in east Jerusalem | Photo credit: Getty Images

With the new school year set to begin Sept. 1, the Jerusalem Municipality and the Education Ministry have decided to tackle the issue of anti-Israel incitement in Palestinian-run east Jerusalem schools by distributing Israeli schoolbooks free for the schools to use, rather than Palestinian Authority school materials.

The decision comes after Israel Hayom reported that while schoolbooks from the Palestinian Authority, some of which are filled with incitement against Israel and Jews, are distributed at no cost to pupils in east Jerusalem, Israeli schoolbooks have to be purchased. Many school districts in Israel still require parents to purchase their children's schoolbooks rather than issuing books to pupils on a loan basis.

Parents in east Jerusalem said the cost factor was creating an absurd situation in which rather than being encouraged to send their children to Israeli schools, they were being incentivized to opt for Palestinian schools and the Palestinian curriculum, which preaches hatred and incites violence.

On Thursday, the Jerusalem District Police announced that they had stopped a shipment of books at one of the gates to the Old City after police officers spotted Palestinian flags on the book covers, as well as stamps indicating that the books had been sent to Jerusalem from the PA.

A review of some of the Palestinian textbooks to be used this year shows that, for example, the grammar books for 12th graders refer to Israelis as "invasive snakes." An 11th-grade current events text states that "drug use is particularly notable in a few areas in Palestinian society, because they [drugs] are encouraged and distributed to Palestinian youth by the Israeli occupation, which seeks to morally corrupt them."

Palestinian youth movement songs are full of references to the desire to annihilate Israel, as are older Palestinian textbooks, which claim that Israel murders Palestinian children and killed PLO founder Yasser Arafat.

"We are seeing that pupils are being prepared to fight a war against all the communities in Israel, which are defined as 'illegal settlements,'" said researcher David Badin, who analyzes PA schoolbooks.

Jerusalem Parent Teacher Association Chairman Paz Cohen said, "We welcome the important decision to distribute Israeli textbooks [in east Jerusalem] at no cost."

Meanwhile, dozens of teachers in Arab-Israeli public schools have been caught using lesson time to incite against Israel and IDF soldiers, and continuing their incitement outside school hours.

Israel Hayom has learned that the Education Ministry has taken disciplinary action against 12 teachers. One principal has been fired, another has been placed on administrative leave, and two teachers have been dismissed.

The Education Ministry licensing department is keeping tabs on what is being taught in schools in east Jerusalem and other Arab areas. In recent months, it has dealt with a number of cases of principals and teachers inciting against the government and against Israeli soldiers.