Accession Number:

ADA458967

Title:

Palestinian Education and the Debate Over Textbooks

Descriptive Note:

Congressional rept.

Corporate Author:

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2005-05-03

Pagination or Media Count:

21.0

Abstract:

Palestinian education reform is seen to be a key element in the Palestinian- Israeli peace process. Many observers frequently have expressed concern that the Palestinian Authority PA education curriculum incites a younger generation of Palestinians to reject Israel, Judaism, and the achievement of peace in the region. Furthermore, some analysts and policymakers maintain that Palestinian education reform is important not only for Israeli-Palestinian peace, but also for broader U.S. interests in the region. From their perspective, a diverse, balanced curriculum may serve as a benchmark toward greater peace, democratization, and the development of a vibrant civil society in the Palestinian Territories. Concerns over PA textbooks often cite examples of anti-Jewish education materials and a lack of reference to or positive acknowledgment of the state of Israel. Overall, some analysts allege that PA textbooks spread a culture of violence, which prizes martyrdom and jihad or struggle over peace and recognition of Israel. Others contend that, although far from perfect, PA textbooks represent a step forward in the evolution and design of a school curriculum for Palestinians that is essential to the development of a national identity. These commentors assert that PA textbooks do not incite Palestinians toward anti-Jewish violence or constitute a war curriculum. It remains unclear what lasting impact curriculum reform will have in the Palestinian Territories and peace between Palestinians and Israelis. Palestinian curriculum development, however, is relevant to congressional concerns about the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, levels of U.S. assistance to the Palestinians, U.N. reforms in the Palestinian Territories, and the broader U.S. promotion of democracy in the Middle East.

Subject Categories:

  • Humanities and History

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE