Peace Begins with Education: Open Letter to the Prime Minister of Israel

With the election campaign to the Knesset behind us and  before forming a  new government, while anticipating resumption of   negotiations with the Palestinian Authority,  I would like to raise an important point:  without which no progress in any  negotiations can be achieved.

That important point is  education.

 The Center for Near East Policy Research, has taken upon itself to examine attitudes to peace which appear  in the Palestinian Authority schoolbooks, ever since the PA first issued its new school books in the August  2000, when we met the PA minister of Education and received the first set of new PA school books for our perusal.

 Ever since, we have received and examined all new PA school books and have access to all school books of the entire PA curriculum in our office, the same books which are taught in UNRWA schools.

 We have shared these books with  Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center . located at the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC). We have posted comprehensive reports on the PA/UNRWA curriculum on on our websites,in English at and in Hebrew. 

We delegated the study of   PA/UNRWA school books  to Dr.  Arnon Groiss, who worked as a Journalist who worked for 42 years at the Voice of Israel Arabic Language Service Dr. Groiss is a scholar of Middle Eastern studies who holds a Ph.D. degree in Islamic Studies from Princeton University, as well as an MPA degree from Harvard University,

 Dr. Groiss has been studying the attitude to peace in the Palestinian Authority and the curricula of various Middle Eastern nations curricula since 2000, and has presented his findings at the UN, the US  Congress, the European Parliament, the British, French, Canadian and Swedish parliaments, as well as  the Israeli Knesset

 Over the last 19 years  Dr. Groiss  has focused on schoolbooks of the Palestinian Authority and has compared them to their Israeli counterparts.

 Dr. Groiss has recently translated the 364 schoolbooks of the Palestinian Authority for grades 1-12 that were published in the years 2013-2018 which he has thoroughly checked and  found to be devoid of any education for peace and co-existence with Israel.

 Instead,  a  new element has introduced into PA school books: The call for  armed struggle for the liberation of the whole of Palestine, including Israel’s  pre-1967 territory, as a theme that pervades all the PA school books.

PA Textbook for grade 3 features a poem that mentions the necessity of exterminating the foreigners and the “ scattered remnants”, namely, the country’s Jewish inhabitants, following the removal of Israel (the “ usurper” is the terminology used for Israel in PA textbooks ).

 Another book, for grade 5, presents the terrorist Dalal al- Mughrabi, as a role model for the students

In March 1978, Dalal al- Mughrabi commanded a boat of terrorists who landed on a beach north of Tel Aviv, murdered an American photographer, Gail Rubin, and proceeded to commandeer a bus and kill 38 people, including 13 chidren.


 These two new texts books were published in 2017. Both schoolbools are used in all Palestinian schools today, including all schools of UNRWA.

 This kind of education is  war indoctrination and should be changed if any semblance of  peace between the two peoples will ever be achieved.

 Today,  PA and UNRWA school books are characterized by de-legitimization of Israel and the very presence of Jews in the country, including the denial of the existence of Jewish holy places which the PA school books claims should be abolished, in the context of the PA demonization of both Jews and Israel.

 Therefore, it is necessary to incorporate education  into the political negotiations that are now set to resume. 

We, on our part, will be glad to be at your service and provide you, or anyone else you would deem appropriate, all of the raw material that we have accumulated over the past 19 years, accompanied by pictures and scanned pieces from the books, as well as the school books themselves.

About the Author
David Bedein, who grew up in Philadelphia and moved to Israel in 1970 at the age of 20, is an MSW community organizer by profession and an expereinced investigative journalist. In 1987 he established the Israel Resource News Agency, with offices at the Beit Agron Int’l Press Center in Jerusalem, where he also serves as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research. In 1991, Bedein was the special CNN middle east radio correspondent. Since 2001, Bedein has contributed features to the newspaper Makor Rishon. In 2006, Bedein became the foreign correspondent for the Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. He is the author of " The Genesis of the Palestinian Authority" and "ROADBLOCK TO PEACE- How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict: UNRWA policies reconsidered"and the director and producer of the numerous short films about UNRWA policy which can be located at: