Clinton condemns textbooks
Photo: Reuters
Photo: AFP
Palestinian schoolchildren
Photo: AFP
Clinton slams PA indoctrination
US presidential candidate: PA textbooks incite hatred, fail to educate

US Presidential candidate Senator Hilary Clinton has condemned Palestinian textbooks for school children, saying the texts indoctrinate children towards incitement, and fail to provide them with an education.


"I believe that education is one of the keys to lasting peace in the Middle East and for this reason I am very concerned with these findings," Clinton was quoted as saying in a report released by the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), which monitors the Palestinian Authority for incitement to hatred and violence.


"Ever since we first raised this issue some years ago there still has not been an adequate repudiation of incitement by the Palestinian Authority. It is even more disturbing that the problem appears to have gotten worse. These textbooks don't give Palestinian children an education, they give them an indoctrination," Senator Clinton said.


In the press release, Itamar Marcus, head of PMW, said: "Teaching Palestinian children that the conflict is religious and not territorial will leave no possibility for compromise and could guarantee another generation of conflict."


According to the PMW's report, "new Palestinian Authority textbooks for Grade 12 encourage students to see Israel, the US and the West as enemies, and portray the PA's territorial disputes with Israel as an existential religious conflict for Islam."


The books teach Palestinian children to envision "a world without Israel," reject Israel's right to exist, and describes it as a "catastrophe that is unprecedented in history."


"This is compounded by the presentation of the conflict as a religious conflict to defend Islamic land, and leaves no latitude or religious option for students to have positive -- or even neutral -- attitudes towards Israel," the report added.


The US and the West are also portrayed "in negative terms," and are said to be on the other side of a "clash of civilizations."


"The Grade 12 texts analyzed in the PMW report are the most recent books to be written by the Palestinian Curriculum Development Center.


The director of the curriculum committee, Dr. Naim Abu Al-Humos, is a long-time member of the Fatah party and was appointed PA Minister of Higher Education in 2002, under Yasser Arafat, and continued after PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's election," the PMW said.


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