A comprehensive study by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on government-funded textbooks in Saudi Arabia found that, despite the kingdom's claims, the texts still promote hatred and violence against Jews.
US President Donald Trump vowed on Tuesday to remain a "steadfast partner" of Saudi Arabia, despite the recent tensions between the countries after the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Trump said he would keep his alliance with the kingdom in order to promote American and Israeli interests, but the ADL's report shows that the monarchy continues to spread anti-Semitic messages.
The report— titled "Teaching Hate and Violence: Problematic passages from Saudi state textbooks for the 2018-19 school year"—analyzes Saudi Arabia's school textbooks published in the past year.
The report includes dozens of disturbing statements made against Israel. For example, one textbook depicts the goals of Zionism and concludes that "the goal of the global Jewish Government is to control the entire world."
According to the ADL, the textbooks, translated from the original Arabic, "clearly propagate incitement to hatred or violence against Jews, Christians, Shi’ite Muslims, women, homosexual men, and anybody who mocks or converts away from Islam.”
Another example examined in the report is a question posed to Saudi students: "explain how Zionism has used each of the following to reach its goals and achieve its schemes: 1. Money 2. Politics 3. Womankind 4. Drugs 5. The Media."
The CEO of ADL, Jonathan Greenblatt, demanded “greater scrutiny” of the textbooks by Washington. “The US cannot look the other way while Saudi Arabia features anti-Semitic hate speech year after year in the educational material it gives to its children,” Greenbelt said.
Saudi Arabia has promised the US government to eliminate all incitement and intolerant passages from its textbooks until the start of the 2008 school year. A decade later, the ADL is positive these commitments have not yet been met. Last September, Saudi officials told an American audience that their textbooks no longer contain this kind of intolerant references.
“If you go back to around the time of 9/11, virtually every group of people that was demonized in Saudi textbooks then is still demonized in the kingdom’s official textbooks today," The author of the report and ADL's Washington Representative for International Affairs, David Andrew, stated.
"Saudi Arabia has made some undeniably significant social and religious reforms in recent years, but such steps have yet to address the hate-filled invective against Jews, Christians and others that is being taught to the next generation of Saudis,” he explained.
The Saudi curriculum is full of intolerant messages about Jews and Judaism, some of which even encourage violence against Jews. Other passages repeat classic anti-Semitic stereotypes and conspiracy theories about alleged Israeli plots to attack the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. Not only do these conspiracy theories deny the Jewish people's connection to the Temple Mount, they also attribute malicious intent to Israel.
"With the modern Jewish occupation of the State of Palestine, and despite all the international charters which forbid infringing on sanctities and sites of worship, the Jewish occupation… does not stop night and day planning and plotting to destroy the al-Aqsa Mosque and demolish it," a Saudi textbook reads.