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November 16, 2016

Where’s the Coverage? Incitement in Palestinian Textbooks

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Since the “knife intifada,” as it’s become known, began in the fall of 2015, we’ve been hearing the narrative that says that “Palestinian despair” or “Palestinian frustration” over Israel’s military administration of the West Bank is the cause. As CAMERA and CAMERA’s affiliate BBC Watch have noted before, this is a PLO-endorsed talking point. Yet, it’s been adopted by the mainstream American media.

Last month, for example, at the Washington Post, William Booth wrote that “the year-long wave of Palestinian violence against Israeli soldiers and civilians has been carried out mostly by teenagers armed with knives or adults who use their families' cars to ram into pedestrians. Palestinians are frustrated by the almost 50-year military occupation and motivated by personal, religious and nationalist reasons to attack Israelis.”

In July, after two deadly attacks in the West Bank – the stabbing to death of Hallel Yaffa Ariel and the shooting of Rabbi Michael Mark – the New York Times wrote, “the recent attacks by Palestinians have been fueled in part by incendiary posts on social media and by militant groups urging more violence. But they also reflect growing despair by young Palestinians in particular over lives constrained by Israel’s decades-long military occupation and their own rudderless leadership.” Although the article did quote Israeli government officials blaming incitement, this sentence was in the reporter’s voice.

The month prior, after a shooting at a Tel Aviv café killed four Israelis, Rory Jones at the Wall Street Journal wrote, “The shooting reflected the despair young Palestinians feel over the lack of concrete steps toward establishing a Palestinian state, relatives of the men said.”

So fixated on this myth are they, that when actual evidence is uncovered to contradict this version of events, the media can’t even see it.

Last week David Bedein of the Israel Resource News Agency discussed the results of a review of 240 Palestinian children’s textbooks used in 400 UNRWA schools, including in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, as well as in Gaza. According to the Jerusalem Post, he found that the books “prepar[e] … children for war.”

The Post reported that Bedein found, for example, “a math word problem asking students to use variables, including the number of Jews killed during the first and second intifadas,” as well as this poem:

Hearing [weapons] clash is pleasant to my ear
And the flow of blood gladdens my soul
As well as a body thrown upon the ground
Skirmished over by the desert predator
By your life! This is the death of men
And whoever asks for a noble death – this is it!”

These books, moreover, have been approved by the US government.

“In all the books you have right of return and armed struggle being taught. Even in math books,” the Jerusalem Post quoted Bedein saying. Another scholar who worked on the study, Dr. Arnon Groiss, told the Post that the books, including books on history, geography, Islamic education, and language exercises, “encourage violent struggle for the liberation of Palestine, which they consider all of Israel – including Haifa and Jaffa – and the right of return….”

None of the above-mentioned news outlets have seen fit to prominently cover Bedein’s findings -- findings that undermine their narrative. Is it any wonder that the media finds itself in crisis of late?

Posted by kabe at November 16, 2016 01:14 PM

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