53 years of military occupation: incitement and Palestinian school textbooks

What is more likely to incite violence?

  1. Military occupation for 53 years.
  2. Over 650,000 Israelis in illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian West Bank, including East Jerusalem
  3. 12,000 new settler housing units approved by the Israeli Government in 2020, plus 2,500 approved this January
  4. Demolitions of Palestinian homes at an unprecedented high. Schools are also targeted.
  5. Settler violence with impunity
  6. Military detention of 10,000 Palestinian children in last 20 years: “We found that Israel was violating numerous provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, from the use of shackles in court to imprisonment with adults” (Sir Stephen Sedley)
  7. The election to the Knesset of MPs from a racist, Kahanist Party – Otzma Yehudit – including Mr Itamar Ben Gvir, who encourages settler violence
  8. Palestinian school textbooks.

Let’s keep a sense of proportion.

The Palestinian Education Minister has undertaken to implement any recommendations stemming from a current EU study of the curriculum.

Criticism, specifically from the NGO IMPACT – se, was found to be “not objective, and lacking methodological rigour”  – Middle East Minister Alistair Burt, Hansard, 7 September 2018.

Criticising textbooks only on one side of the conflict is biased and wrong. Earlier international studies, eg a thorough US Government-funded study of both Israeli and Palestinian textbooks in 2013, found similar levels of bias and selective narratives in both, though very little incitement to hatred in either.

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