5 PA Schools Switch to Israeli Curriculum in Jerusalem

August 29, 2013  

Samir Jibreel, the director of the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Education office in Jerusalem, informed parents of school children that at least five PA schools in Jerusalem will switch to using Israeli education materials, the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency reported Thursday.

The director of education said that Abdullah Bin Al Hussein, Ibn Roshd, and Ibn Khaldoun schools began using the Israeli textbooks for grades seven and eight this scholastic year. Additionally, Sour Baher boys school and girls school are teaching fourth, fifth and sixth graders with the Israeli education materials.

On Thursday, an education official told Ma’an that a meeting took place in Herzliya, assembling Arab and Israeli principals and teachers in order to discuss switching to the Israeli curricula. 

The Jerusalem municipality supposedly offered to increase salaries for teachers and principals who agree to implement the plans in their schools, the official said. The city would add funding of about 2,000 shekels per student enrolled in schools using Israeli curriculum, according to the report.  

However, many Palestinian Authority Arabs are against this proposal. Some argued that using Israeli curricula would be a “violation” and would strip any reference to Arab culture and history. 

These concerns stem from the materials which contain maps of the state of Israel that include Judea and Samaria as part of Israel and identify “Palestinian territory by Jewish Biblical names”. 

“The texts separately identify [Jerusalem] as the capital of Israel despite an international consensus that the city is occupied,” Ma’an wrote.

History lessons about the destruction of a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem and the first and second intifadas will also be taught to the Arab students. Another section of the textbooks supposedly contains a conversation between three Arab students praising Israel’s development of Arab cities, and deciding to sing the Israeli national anthem.

It was mentioned that Israel said the “Palestinian” textbooks make no attempt to educate for peace or coexistence with Israel, rejects Israel’s right to exist, and presents war against Israel as an eternal religious battle for Islam.

The Palestinian Authority denied the Israeli accusations saying that “although its curriculum is not perfect, it teaches tolerance and mutual respect.”

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