Israelis Unhappy with Study of their Textbooks and Palestinians’


palestiniansA State Department-funded study released Monday on how Israelis and Palestinians depict each other in textbooks says both sides are locked into narratives that portray the other side as the enemy and erase it from maps, yet do not dehumanize each other. The study was boycotted by Israel’s Education Ministry, which refused to cooperate. The ministry called the study biased and said it was based on a false comparison between the Israeli and Palestinian school systems. Two Israeli members of a scientific advisory panel also dissented from the study’s conclusions. A State Department spokesman called the findings “independent assessments” that were “not endorsed by the U.S. government.”

Passages related to peace were extremely rare in Palestinian books, present in only 2% of those examined. Such passages were present in 25% of the books used in Israeli public schools. Yossi Kuperwasser, director general of the Israeli Strategic Affairs Ministry, said the study was based on a “distorted” premise. “To compare how each side presents the other is absurd, because we teach peace, and they teach hatred of Israel and perpetuating the conflict,” he said. “It’s a difference of night and day.”

{Andy Newscenter}