Few issues are more acrimonious and more harmful to the trust necessary for peace than the question of whether the Palestinians are inciting hatred in their schools and media, or alternatively, whether Israel is instilling prejudice or educating for peace. This recent NY Times article, “To Shape Young Palestinians, Hamas Creates Its Own Textbooks,” is a disturbing report on new texts introduced in Gaza schools by Hamas.
The gist of the article is that Hamas is deviating from the approved Palestinian Authority curriculum, using new texts as part of a broader effort to propagandize Gaza youngsters against accepting that Jews have any rights in what is now Israel and in favor of armed conflict. As for the official P.A. curriculum, the article refers to a comparative study of Israeli and P.A. textbooks concluded a few months ago:
The study that [Tel Aviv University] Professor [Daniel] Bar-Tal co-led found that Palestinian Authority books generally contained more negative characterizations of Israel and less self-criticism than Israeli books do of Palestinians, but that both sides presented the other as the enemy, failed to properly mark most maps and lacked information about each other’s religion, culture and daily life.