A precedent was set when Norway recently froze funding to the Palestinian Ministry of Education until the incitement against Jews and Israel is removed from local school curriculums.
A survey of new textbooks has revealed an increase in the radicalization of the content taught to children in Palestinian schools. The decision to freeze funding will directly affect about 84 million shekels (over $24 million) that Norway had pledged to contribute directly to the Palestinian Ministry of Education by the year 2022 for the compilation and printing of children’s schoolbooks.
Addition and subtraction is taught to fourth graders by glorifying terrorists who died while attacking Jews.
Examples of the troubling contents in the books include encouraging violence and glorifying suicide bombers and other terrorists. The Norwegian government views the textbooks as destructive to the peace process and the development of democracy in the region, as well as irresponsible pedagogy. According to the government report, the findings show that the Palestinian educational system promotes harmful values that are incompatible with eligibility for Norwegian aid.
The report also found that for the first time, all agreements and peace talks with Israel since Oslo have been removed from the Palestinian school curriculum. In addition, there was an increase in content that promotes jihad, violence and hatred. For example, the textbooks teach basic math to fourth graders by having them count suicide bombers. Physics is taught with an explanation of the PLO overpowering IDF soldiers with slingshots. Jihad is taught as “the most important thing in life,” and youngsters are told that death is better than life. Statistics and probability studies are taught with mathematical problems that ask students to calculate the probability of shooting a gun and hitting Jews in a passing car.
Newton’s laws of motion are taught in a seventh grade science book through a picture of a Palestinian boy with a slingshot aimed at IDF soldiers and an explanation of the physical forces involved in shooting a stone at his enemies.
Marcus Sheff, CEO of the IMPACT-se organization that studied the textbooks and made the report to the government said: “The Norwegian legislators have reached the only possible conclusion after seeing with their own eyes the extremism of the current Palestinian textbooks. Why would they want their taxpayers to support an entire generation of children being instigated towards violence? It was a big mistake by the Deputy Minister of Palestinian education to lie to Norway about the real content in their textbooks. The content can be examined easily, and these lawmakers do not like to be deliberately deceived.”
The issue has created a media storm in Norway. Results of the research into Palestinian textbooks were published on the front page of the largest and most influential newspaper in the country. The article included an interview with the Palestinian Deputy Minister of Education, who was caught red-handed providing false information to the newspaper. To his surprise, the PA official was then presented with a report revealing the contents he was trying to hide from the reporter.
Norway is not the first to initiate action against the new radical Palestinian textbooks. In the last two years, thanks to a broad IMPACT-se campaign, the new Palestinian textbooks have drawn the attention of countries around the world. Last August, in a precedent-making decision, the UN published a report condemning the textbooks used in the Palestinian education system and demanded that the incitement be removed. In April, the European Union announced there would be a formal investigation to examine the presence of incitement in PA textbooks, and in January of this year, legislation was proposed in the British Parliament against the Palestinian textbooks. Last year, the British Parliament’s Budget Committee recommended Europe freeze funding to the Palestinian Authority over its hate-filled public education. In the United States, bipartisan legislation is moving forward in Congress that would require the government to publish an annual public report on the contents of Palestinian educational materials.