While Israelis from the right and left of the political spectrum argue over the future of Jerusalem, Palestinian leaders say the eastern half of the holy city is already in their hands.
In his weekly radio address last week, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad announced that his government would soon resume administrative duties in eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods.
Fayyad noted that the PA had already allocated half-a-million dollars to altering the curriculum in Arab schools in Jerusalem, and that it would also bolster health and judicial services.
The move is a direct violation of the Palestinians' signed agreements with Israel, which prohibit Palestinian administrative activity in Jerusalem. It is seen as part of the new Palestinian Authority strategy of unilaterally seizing control of the lands it claims and winning international backing for sovereignty over them.
Of special concern are the changes to the curriculum in Arab schools. The new textbooks that Fayyad's government is bringing in deny the Jews' right to live in Israel and even contain excerpts of the infamous Czarist blood libel The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
Fayyad claimed that with eastern Jerusalem in Palestinians hands, the city would become a symbol of peace and coexistence, but the schoolbook changes in particular show that the Palestinians are only interested in sowing the seeds of hate and continued conflict.
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