As Israel moves to meet the requirements laid out for it under the so-called “roadmap” to peace, it does so alone. Other key players, namely the Palestinian Authority and the United Nations, are up to their old tricks.
Two recent events clearly illustrate the real obstacles to peace: a just-released report on the new textbooks used in Palestinian schools and the latest shenanigans of the UN Human Rights Commission under the leadership of a Libyan “judge.” In each instance, Israel is demonized just as it was before the much-publicized efforts for “peace.”
Palestinian schoolchildren are still learning that Israelis are brutal oppressors responsible for Palestinian suffering, according to a new study authored by the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace (CMIP). Because the Palestinian Authority (PA) has replaced roughly half of its textbooks since 2000, CMIP examined the new materials to determine how much change has actually occurred. The answer: very little.
The Jordanian and Egyptian texts that were replaced were infamous for their extreme anti-Semitism and glorification of violence. The new textbooks, though, follow in their predecessors’ footsteps. There continues to be no recognition of Israel’s legitimacy or right to exist. The Oslo peace accords are still ignored. And the current intifada--whose primary purpose has been the murder of innocent Israelis--is portrayed as the struggle for Palestinian “liberation.”
Lest anyone dismiss CMIP’s findings as those produced by an organization with an axe to grind, the group has in past reports gone to great lengths to highlight positive changes in Palestinian educational materials. After reporting encouraging patterns in 2001, CMIP wrote the following in its subsequent study that year about Palestinian textbooks: “The positive trends noted in the earlier report have, if anything, been strengthened.”
Despite proclamations by new PA Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas that his side is making strides for peace, the textbooks clearly show otherwise. The new materials were introduced in November 2002 and February 2003, months after President Bush’s June 24, 2002 speech that supposedly served as the basis of the “roadmap.” If the leaders of the PA had any real intention of peacefully living side-by-side with a Jewish state of Israel, the indoctrination of Palestinian children would stop. Immediately. But it hasn’t.
Joel Mowbray, who got his start with Townhall.com, is an award-winning investigative journalist, nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security.
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