By Rachel Avraham
Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan once stated, “Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress in every society in every family.” Yet unfortunately, millions of Palestinian children are being deprived of the right to a proper education by their own government, who prefers to invest in terrorism and enriching the pockets of their own leadership.
According to a Palestinian source based in Eastern Jerusalem, “The main problem facing them is the lack of facilities and utilities to allow a humane schooling system to operate. I blame the PA for that. It is the PA’s responsibility to be accountable for the money raised for education, which is going God knows where. They need to establish a modern educational system, which deals with the needs of the younger generation that is rapidly developing.”
The source added, “The Palestinians are known for being well-educated. Nablus is a center for Palestinian education and literature. The Palestinians are proud of it. Many educated Palestinians live in Nablus and it is the financial capital of Palestine. You must provide proper education for generations to come if you want this to continue.”
However, the source claimed that this is not being done: “The curriculum is not upgraded for the students, who desire to enter hi-tech. They have no facilities. The whole school system is still, compared to other countries, backwards in its curriculum. It does not provide the basics that is expected of high society. When Palestinian students finish the university, there is no hope and vision beyond that. They have no facilities. There is nothing that can give them hope, unless they take the initiative upon themselves. The whole school system is still backwards in its curriculum compared to other countries.”
David Bedein, who heads the Center for Near East Policy Research, claims that the Palestinian Authority invests in propaganda and incitement to terrorism, not education: “For 22 years, I hired a team of Arab journalists to oversee the curriculum and no schoolbooks discussed peace. There is no accountability in the PA. A great percentage of the money has been stolen. No country has forced for there to be transparency.
“In 2021, the US signed a contract with UNRWA saying they would not give them more money without transparency and a change in the schoolbooks. As a result, US funds have not been delivered. They have not changed and will not change.”
Bedein concluded, “When the US money did not come through, Germany and Norway gave more funds. They did not provide a proper transparency report and they didn’t change the schoolbooks. In fact, they made the schoolbooks much worse. 75 UN schoolbooks have a female terrorist Dalal Mughrabi as a role model.” She was responsible for Israel’s Coastal Highway Massacre in 1978, which slaughtered more than thirty Israelis. In the Palestinian Authority, even fifth-graders are taught that she was a “martyr” who was “brave” for slaughtering innocent Israelis.
In fact, a Palestinian textbook for third graders titled “Our Beautiful Language” includes the following poem:
“I swear I shall sacrifice my blood in order to water the land of the noble ones; And to remove the usurper Israel from my country and to exterminate the foreigners defeated remnants; O land of Al Aqsa and the sanctuary; O cradle of dignity and nobleness; Patience, patience for victory is ours and dawn is peeping from the darkness.”
Dr. Yitzhak Ben Gad, who served as Israel’s Consul General in Miami and Chicago, as well as Netanya’s Deputy Mayor, stated, “The Palestinians for decades teach their children how to hate other people. They teach the Palestinians to be shahids (martyrs), to kill and be killed. There are so many proofs for this wrong policy of the Palestinians. It is in their schoolbooks. It is from the regime of Abu Mazen (Mahmnourd Abbas). He developed this. He does not do anything to stop it. You can teach people to hate the Jews, but to say it is education is false. No, its hatred, not education. Unfortunately, the Palestinians stick to this policy.”
Ben Gad continued, “It is clear that the Palestinians must change their educational system, their way of thinking and to forget about the Nakba (catastrophe of Israel’s founding) and what happened in 1948. This does not bring you anywhere. The solution is to have a constructive educational system. There are tens of thousands of Palestinians, young men and women, who can go into high tech. That would push the Palestinian economy up. They would stop relying on other people and could stand on their own feet economically. The time has come. There is a good potential. I know they can do it, but they must change the concept. They cannot teach hatred and propaganda, and teach hi-tech and knowledge at the same time. Knowledge is power. Hatred is not knowledge. It is ugly propaganda. But, knowledge is knowledge.”
According to Ben Gad, “They can raise their standard of living. They can enrich the Palestinian economy. I think that the Israeli government is looking for a few years to find thousands of Palestinian students in the Israeli universities and try to ask them to join the high tech companies in Israel, which is leading the Israeli economy. 45 percent of the income in Israel comes from hi-tech. If we can do that, and it takes time for they are used to hate and believe that Islam is the solution and are crying about the past, so it is hard to get them to change their way of thinking.
“But, we live now in revolutionary times. We have peace with Morocco, Bahrain, the Emirates, and changes for the better with Jordan and Egypt. We have peace with hundreds of millions of people, who accept Israel as a reality and the Palestinians must change. The Arab states are now telling them to change too. Abu Mazen is going soon. He is an old man. I hope the leaders after him will have an open mind.”
Jews, Israel and Peace Used in Textbooks in UNRWA Schools in the West Bank and Gaza PowerPoint Presentation–http://unrwa-monitor.com
Rachel Avraham is a political analyst working for the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research, Public Relations and Human Rights, which is run by Mendi Safadi, a former Likud Candidate for the Knesset and a chief of staff of former Israeli Communication Minister Ayoob Kara. Since 2012, she has been working as an Israel-based journalist and writer, covering Iran, Kurdistan, Turkey, Iraq, Syria, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and other developments in the greater Islamic world.
Her articles have appeared in the Washington Times, the Hill, Front Page Magazine, the Daily Wire, the Christian Post, the Baltimore Jewish Times, the Jerusalem Post, Israel Hayom, Ahval and many other publications across the globe. She received her MA in Middle Eastern Studies from Ben-Gurion University. She got her BA in Government and Politics with minors in Jewish Studies and Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Maryland at College Park.