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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Educating Fatima

Some of you may have noticed that my posting was sporadic today. The reason is that I was at an economic conference all day. Yes, this economic conference (Hat Tip: Memeorandum). The conference, which was mainly for trusts and estates practitioners, was about the Israeli and 'Palestinian' economies.

As part of the presentation about the Israeli economy, we saw a video in which the chief executive officers of several blue chip American corporations (Microsoft, Intel, IBM, Applied Materials and a gentleman named Warren Buffet whose name I am sure is familiar to most of you) talked about why their companies invested in Israel. In a word, it's our education. It's our universities and schools and our entrepreneurial spirit.

I came home looking to post something quickly so I can go off and research another post (it's about the conference, but I have to do some homework on the background of one of the speakers) and I found a link to this in my inbox from NY Nana. While Israel is educating its youth to be economic success stories, Itamar Marcus is going to tell Canadian parliamentarians in Ottawa this week that the 'Palestinian Authority' - not Hamas but our 'peace partner' - is using school texts that teach their children hatred and anti-Semitism.
In a bipartisan event arranged by Liberal MP and former federal justice minister Irwin Cotler, Marcus will say that PA school books in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip portray the Arab-Israeli conflict as a religious and existential struggle rather than as a territorial one.

In an interview in Toronto last week, Marcus said that the only chance for long-term peace is if the PA presents the conflict strictly in territorial terms.

“Then we can negotiate over borders,” noted Marcus, whose organization monitors the PA’s media and education system.

Marcus, who was invited here by UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, said the PA’s skewed presentation of the Arab-Israeli dispute stands as “the greatest impediment to peace.”

He said he will tell MPs that Canada – a financial contributor to the PA – should not fund “hate education” and thus perpetuate the conflict.

According to Marcus, Palestinian school texts in every grade deny Israel’s right to exist and demonize Israel.

“This creates hatred,” he said. “Why would Palestinians want to make peace with Israel?
The short answer is that the conflict is existential because the 'Palestinians' and the Arab countries who have put them into the situation that they are in will not tolerate a Jewish state of any size, shape or form in this region. The longer answer is that the 'Palestinians' are condemning their children to another generation of religious fanaticism, dependence on international aid and living in 'refugee camps.'

Marcus gives examples.
He cited a sentence in a grade 12 text, Arabic Language, Analysis and Criticism: “Palestine’s war ended with a catastrophe that is unprecedented in history, when the Zionist gangs stole Palestine and expelled its people from their cities, their lands and their homes, and established the State of Israel.”

Marcus also cited a PA educational television program on geography recently that described Eilat, Haifa, Ashkelon and Ashdod as “Palestinian ports,” Mt. Meron as the highest mountain in Palestine and the Sea of Galilee as a Palestinian lake.

Nor is there a map of Israel in any Palestinian school book, he added.

“The PA is building a picture of a world in which Israel does not exist,” charged Marcus, who was appointed in the late 1990s by then-Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to represent Israel at a trilateral forum on incitement that was attended as well by delegates from the PA and the United States.

Accusing the PA of re-packaging anti-Israel messages in its latest batch of school texts, Marcus nonetheless acknowledged that the PA has removed “viciously anti-Semitic” passages from them.

He pointed out that PA texts, which also accuse Israel of inflicting genocide on the Palestinians, are used by the current Hamas government in Gaza.
Read the whole thing.

By the way, the reason I used Fatima in the title is that it's a takeoff on the play and movie Educating Rita. The article about Marcus' report doesn't refer to any differences between boys' and girls' education. My guess is that while there are differences, this isn't where to find them.


At 9:45 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The real crime isn't what the Zionists are doing to the Palestinians. The real crime is what Palestinian leaders are doing to their own children. While Jews educate their kids to be a success and change the world, the Palestinians have educated their kids to be a failure and to destroy the world they live in. What they have done to an entire generation is the real "war crime." But don't hold your breath waiting for Richard Falk to discuss it or for the media to mention the fact that not only are the Palestinians not getting closer to independence they are actually falling further away from what they need to do to prepare for it.

Bibi is well-intentioned I think but what he overlooks is the fact the key to peace is not an issue of material but rather one of moral deprivation. Until the Palestinians grow up and begin to take responsibility for their own lives - any economic aid like he talked about is simply going to be wasted on them.

The day the Palestinians educate Fatima respect others and build a future is the day peace will finally begin to happen. That is not something Israel can provide for them. The Palestinians must do it for themselves if "educating Fatima" is ever to overcome the conflict in which the Palestinians have intentionally entrapped themselves for a century - and for another generation.

At 3:01 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Daniel Pipes has a fascinating account about why the Palestinians have not been entirely against the Zionist enterprise. Palestinian extremism moved some but not all - to support the Jews in founding Israel and that still continues to some extent today.

Lion's Den: Palestinians Who Helped Create Israel

Read it all.


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