New Palestinian Textbooks 'Indoctrinate for Death and Martyrdom,' Report Says

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Screen shot of Palestinian text book taken from the Forward
Screen shot of Palestinian text book taken from the ForwardCredit: Screen shot / The Forward

Textbooks created as part of the Palestinian Authority’s new K-12 educational curriculum “are teaching Palestinian children that there can be no compromise” and “indoctrinat[e] for death and martyrdom,” according to an analysis by a watchdog group.

The report, by the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education, analyzed K-12 textbooks that were published in the past few years during the PA’s first curriculum revamp since 2000. It found that textbooks for seemingly innocuous subjects are heavily politicized with violent streaks.

For example, fourth graders learn addition, and ninth graders learn multiplication, by counting the number of Palestinian “martyrs” killed by Israel over the years. And a physics textbook uses the example of a Palestinian wielding a slingshot against Israeli soldiers to teach Newton’s Second Law of Motion.

The textbooks also use “Jews” and “Zionists” interchangeably when criticizing Israel’s actions, the report continued. The report also found that Israelis are almost never depicted positively and that Israel is almost always referred to as the “Zionist Occupation.”

The report did note a few improvements over past textbooks — they now, for example, mention Palestinian terror attacks and the Arab rejection of the United Nations partition plan in 1947. The textbooks now also encourage economic cooperation with Arab Israelis, and thus not a full boycott of Israel.

But on the whole, researchers found the new textbooks highly troubling. “In sum, the PA elites are teaching Palestinian children that there can be no compromise,” the report states. “Israel is an an occupying colonial power. The conflict will remain alive and violent until such time as a new Arab or Muslim coalition emerges and removes all things Israel and Israeli from the landscape.”

For more stories, go to Sign up for the Forward’s daily newsletter at

Click the alert icon to follow topics: