RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Do Palestinian school textbooks "teach terrorism," as Newt Gingrich claimed in a recent debate among U.S. Republican presidential hopefuls?
His example — that Palestinians "have text books that say, 'If there are 13 Jews and nine Jews are killed, how many Jews are left?'" — is not in any of the texts, researchers say.
As for Gingrich's broader claim, the textbooks don't directly encourage anti-Israeli violence, but they also don't really teach peace, studies say.
A review of some texts by The AP, as well as several studies by Israeli, Palestinian and international researchers, found no direct calls for violence against Israel. However, the books lack material about the historic Jewish presence in the region and scarcely mention Israel and then mostly in a negative way. Peace with Israel rarely comes up. Texts for religious schools are harder-core, openly glorifying martyrdom.
Researchers disagree sharply in their interpretation of the material.