New Independent Report on Palestinian Textbooks - Fact from Fiction
Professor Nathan Brown of The George Washington University has recently issued an independent report on Palestinian textbooks entitled "Democracy, History, and the Contest Over the Palestinian Curriculum." Professor Brown's report debunks many of the myths surrounding Palestinian textbooks and their alleged incitement to hatred and violence.
A copy of the report, its executive summary and other materials on Palestinian textbooks can now be located on the website of the PLO Negotiations Affairs Department:
Among Professor Brown's conclusions:
1. On incitement:
". . . virtually every discussion in English on Palestinian education repeats the charge that Palestinian textbooks incite students against Jews and Israel. It may therefore come as a surprise to readers that the books authored under the PNA are largely innocent of these charges." (p.2)
2. On the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace, the Israeli organization responsible for allegations that the PNA textbooks promote violence and hatred:
"Critics charge that the Center's real purpose is to launch attacks on the Palestinian National Authority, and it would be difficult to contest such a conclusion." (p.3)
"It is difficult to escape the conclusion that the Center was far more interested in criticizing the PNA than in an honest assessment of the changes produced in Palestinian education by the Oslo Accords." (p.4)
3. On the politicization of the textbooks:
"The Palestinian textbooks were such a politically attractive target that even those who were better informed as to their content criticized them. Hillary Clinton, running for the US Senate, criticized Palestinian textbooks in a way that buried her acknowledgement that the new first and sixth grade books, authored by the PNA itself, were different."
Legal & Communications Advisor
Negotiations Support Unit
Negotiations Affairs Department
Palestine Liberation Organization
© 2005 Palestinian American Council