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Textbook Study Debunks Myth of Palestinian Incitement

A major study of Israeli and Palestinian schoolbooks found that Palestinian children are not incited to hate, contrary to popular belief, reports Dalia Hatuqa.
Palestinian first-graders sit with their schoolbooks during class in the West Bank city of Ramallah February 4, 2013. Israelis and Palestinians depict each other in schoolbooks as an enemy and largely deny their adversary's history and existence, according to a U.S. government-funded study published on Monday. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman (WEST BANK - Tags: EDUCATION POLITICS) - RTR3DCHK

For years, the Israeli government, backed by “watchdogs” — such as Palwatch, IMPACT-SE (Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education) and MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute) — has accused Palestinians of inciting hatred against Israelis through the content in schoolbooks. This allegation has been perpetuated for so long that it has almost become conventional wisdom that Palestinian children are being taught to hate and instigate violence against Israelis.

Last week, however, "Victims of Our Own Narratives? Portrayal of the 'Other' in Israeli and Palestinian School Books" — the largest report to examine textbooks on either side of the Green Line — formally debunked some of these myths, noting that there is scant evidence of “dehumanizing” and “demonizing” in Palestinian and Israeli textbooks despite the presence of examples of omissions of each other’s points of view and flaws in mapping.

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