Outrage over school study

By Nathan Jeffay, February 7, 2013

Israel has reacted furiously to a US-funded study that cleared Palestinian textbooks of inciting children against Israel and found that they rarely dehumanise Israelis.

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad expressed “satisfaction” at the report’s main finding, saying that it “confirms that Palestinian textbooks do not contain any form of blatant incitement”.

But Israel’s Ministry of Education said: “The conclusions of this ‘study’ were known in advance, before any professional work was done, and certainly does not accurately reflect the reality.”

The Strategic Affairs Ministry claimed that the report, written by Israeli, Palestinian and American scholars, “omits important examples of incitement and delegitimisation found in official Palestinian Authority textbooks”.

The study criticised both Israeli and Palestinian textbooks for drawing on narratives that present the other as an enemy, failing to present information on the other’s identity, and presenting maps of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza that omit all traces of the existence of the other population.

Last updated: 11:45pm, February 7 2013