Moscow’s efforts to delegitimize Ukrainian independence and national identity are not limited to state propaganda and political pronouncements, but also pervade the Russian school system, according to a new study of Russian and Ukrainian textbooks. Following a review of 12 textbooks from the Russian and Ukrainian national curricula published between 2015-2021 – a period covering most of the Russo-Ukrainian conflict prior to this year’s full-scale invasion – the Jerusalem-based Institute for Monitoring Peace and Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se) concluded that Russian educational materials “are full of unsubstantiated, one-sided statements about the Ukrainian people and their government.” Consistent with Russian messaging since the outbreak of war in 2014, and especially since this February’s invasion, Russian educational messaging portrays President Vladimir Putin and Russia as “saviors of the Ukrainian people,” the report found. Ukrainian nationalism, it added, is frequently “described as being an extension of Western interests, rather than as a legitimate national sentiment” and Russian textbooks “cite Ukraine’s involvement in the Holocaust to claim that Ukrainian nationalism is inextricably linked with Nazism.” “Russia depicts Ukrainians as having a separate identity only as part of the Soviet Union,” IMPACT-se CEO Marcus Sheff told Haaretz. “Russian students are not encouraged to think critically about Ukrainian nationalism. Ukrainian textbooks strive for objectivity but notably, fail to mention atrocities perpetrated by Ukrainians during the Holocaust, including the Babi Yar massacre of Jews and to explain Ukrainian collaboration with the Nazi regime.”
International Policy Digest (Sheila Raviv) — January 3, 2022 School curricula present a double-edged sword in analyses of the complex relationship between education and the processes of radicalization. On the one hand, curricula can be instrumentalized to favor intolerant, hateful ideologies that endanger the prospect of regional normalization in the Middle East. On the other hand, curricula can just as powerfully be used as a means to promote a more peaceful future based on ideals of mutual respect and tolerance. Nobody grasps this truth more than the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se). The research and advocacy group’s pioneering textbook analysis exposes the problem of radicalization in education, while also supporting positive change in line with principles derived from UNESCO. These principles include the promotion of peace and gender equality and underline the importance of respecting the way of life and the culture of others. IMPACT-se is also guided by an abiding belief that curricula should be free of any content that seems to promote or is likely to promote any form of hatred or intolerance. This includes wording or imagery that uses stereotypes, promotes mistrust, or alludes to racial hatred. Such instances would clearly present a problem to prospects of regional normalization of relations in the Middle East. The important work conducted by IMPACT-se thus serves to underline the fact that education can indeed be used as a powerful tool to mitigate and challenge intolerant and extremist influences. By tackling this problem head-on and applying pressure to governments, IMPACT-SE has shown that significant progress can be achieved. Criticism of Saudi Arabia resulted in changes in 2020 that were reported in the Washington Post involving the Kingdom “scrubbing its textbooks of antisemitic and misogynistic passages.” Furthermore, the textbooks no longer endorse the death penalty for homosexuality. In fact, IMPACT-se produced a review of Saudi Arabian textbooks in December 2020 and concluded that there had been notable progress. That said, changing curricula to align with UNESCO will not happen overnight, and serious concerns remain. For example, Saudi Arabian textbooks continue to reflect tensions between the Kingdom and Israel. Textbooks still contain a story about a Jewish boy being saved from hell by his conversion to Islam. Another pertinent case study is Qatari curriculum, with the most recent IMPACT-SE report finding that it is still far from meeting international standards of peace and tolerance but that it is making slow but steady progress.For example, the state of Qatar stopped formally teaching The Protocols of the Elders of Zion after the 2017-18 academic year. The fight for a more tolerant, open-minded, and peaceful world governed by mutual respect requires hard work … The battle against radicalization through education is a textbook case of perseverance.
Eurasia Review (Jay Ruderman) — December 13, 2021 The civil war in Yemen has now raged since 2014 and has centred around the conflict between the Islamist Ansar Allah (“Supporters of God”), known as the Houthis, and the internationally recognised Republic of Yemen Government (ROYG)…. the ideological and geopolitical drivers of Iranian support for the Houthis is unmistakable, with the Iranian constitution requiring Iran’s government to fulfil “the ideological mission of jihad in Allah’s way; that is, extending the sovereignty of Allah’s law throughout the world.” Amidst this deep concern for the fate of Yemen and the importance of its role in a larger campaign by Iran for influence and power, the role of worrying changes to education within Yemen has been explored by IMPACT-se. IMPACT-se is a think tank focused on the role education plays in radicalization and politics in the region. Their most recent work on Yemen, released in 2021 and surveying Houthi educational materials in Yemen from 2015–19 produced worrying results. “The combination of the textbooks’ graphic depiction of deceased children, prevalent hatred, glorification of violence as the only solution for resolving conflicts, the indoctrination of children to sacrifice their lives, and the overall Manichean worldview, run contrary to UNESCO standards of peace and tolerance and are unacceptable in any society.” Not only have the textbooks pushed a worryingly violent and jihadist worldview on many of Yemen’s children, but the report sheds light on what is in reality a much more common occurrence in the many areas where Iranian proxy militias rule. Ultimately, if through education and indoctrination, the Houthi slogan “Allah is the greatest—Death to America—Death to Israel—Curse on the Jews—Victory to Islam” is taught to a generation of children in Yemen and is spread beyond that country’s borders through Iranian networks, intellectuals, and proxy groups, the region is set for a more violent and insecure future. Educational reform must be fought for and challenging Iranian aspirations of political and ideological hegemony must be seen for the vital task it is.
The National Interest — December 1, 2021 Recent reports from The Institute for Monitoring Peace and Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se) have highlighted shifts in a crucial area of the reformist agenda heralded by the Saudi government, that of education policy. The reports, one from 2021 and another from 2020, have focused on Saudi textbooks, finding that a dramatic leap forward has been documented along the moderating path and that, “the trajectory has become … well-defined, encompassing the entire curriculum.” The presence of fundamentalist material that incited violence has long been noted, with the 2020 IMPACT-se study pointing out how in textbooks between 1999 and 2002, “Christians and Jews were denounced as infidels and enemies of Muslims and Islam.” In spite of changes following the 9/11 attacks and the realization that this curriculum may have played a role in the radicalization of many of the Saudi-national hijackers, “the themes of intolerance and hostility remained.” The past few years, however, have seen reforms to curricula grow in pace and depth. IMPACT-se has noted that since December 2020, at least “twenty-two anti-Christian and antisemitic lessons were either removed or altered. The same can be said for five lessons about infidels and polytheists. An entire textbook unit on violent jihad to spread Islam and protect Muslim lands—which had previously detailed circumstances to justify jihad while praising it as an act of piety—was removed.” Passages advocating the death penalty for the “crime of sodomy” and apostasy have also been removed in recent years. These changes cannot be considered outside of the broader vision for Saudi Arabia’s future, in particular, because the kingdom hopes to open up for tourism and to offer itself as an attractive base for Western companies. The link between these economic aims and the cultural changes fomented by education reform has been argued by IMPACT-se. “Rigidity and hate for the other will not serve to unlock the potential of a nation, while respect for others is key to prosperity and security, opening doors of trade and cooperation and allowing the free flow of ideas and resources.” In spite of the economic forces driving this shift, the impact of these reforms and changes to Saudi society should not be underestimated. Indeed, these changes reflect a much broader willingness to engage with groups outside of the narrowly defined spectrum of acceptability by Wahhabi standards. Of course, “problematic content persists in Saudi textbooks in many important areas.” Issues around gender, religious intolerance, and dubious historical claims remain causes for concern. School education is the key to fostering the development of peaceful, tolerant societies. But it’s also where negative influences, like skewed historical narratives, hatreds of the other, gender inequalities, and political violence, take root. For decades, school textbooks in Saudi Arabia incited generations to view outsiders as enemies. A policy of continued textbook improvement can break this cycle and ensure the next generation is educated for peace, coexistence, religious tolerance, and a shared future.
The Washington Post — Jan. 30, 2021 IMPACT-se’s research on the new 2020 Saudi Arabian curriculum is covered, including the removal of an infamous hadith that called for Muslims to fight and kill all Jews on the Day of Judgement and a section that supported capital punishment for homosexual relationships. The article notes that IMPACT-se’s earlier report on the previous Saudi curriculum was highly critical, and was presented to the Royal Court and Saudi Ministry officials with detailed changes that should be made. IMPACT-se CEO Marcus Sheff says in the article that the new 2020 textbooks show Saudi Arabia has demonstrated a concerted effort to make content more moderate. A State Department official told the Post, “We are encouraged by the positive changes in influential textbooks used throughout Saudi Arabia.” ADL’s David Weinberg is quoted as saying, “Finally, after years of unremarkable changes, they’ve finally excised some of the hate and incitement in very real ways [although] there is still a very heavy focus on enmity with Israel and Zionism.” Sheff said that textbooks have an overwhelming influence in the Middle East, where students see their curriculum as communicating messages formulated by the state. “There is an understanding of the direct link between textbooks’ power to radicalize young people. And it works the other way around: Textbooks have this power to act as a barrier to radicalization.”
NYT — January 19, 2021 The New York Times quoted IMPACT-se’s report on the updated Saudi curriculum today as evidence of significant progress in the Kingdom, in a wider piece about the potential relationship between Saudi Arabia and the new US administration. The article suggests the textbook report findings point to Saudi Arabia going through a process of modernization, which might ease tensions with a Saudi-critical President Biden. The report cited the recent review of Saudi textbooks by IMPACT-se, which found that most of the material deemed anti-Semitic had been taken out, as had text praising jihad and saying gays and lesbians should be punished with death and noted many changes since its previous report last year. Marcus Sheff, the group’s chief executive, told the Times in an interview that the Saudis were moving in the right direction, and faster than they had before. “This curriculum is not free from of hate, not free of incitement,”he said, “but Saudi Arabia has clearly made a concerted effort, an institutional effort, to modernize the curriculum.”
The Telegraph — December 16, 2020 Hardline Islamist and anti-Semitic content has been removed from Saudi Arabia’s curriculum, according to a new report, in what researchers say marks a historic shift in attitudes in the Gulf Kingdom. A study of the latest Saudi teaching materials found that official state textbooks – distributed to 30,000 schools in Saudi Arabia and abroad – no longer contained calls for non-believers and gay men to be punished by death, nor the anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that Jews control the world. Marcus Sheff, Chief Executive of IMPACT-SE, which has reviewed official textbooks since 2003, said that in previous years, lessons had been heavily influenced by Wahhabism, a puritanical form of Sunni Islam, including “very radical” content. “The latest textbooks reflect a real leap forward and an institutional effort to remove some references to hate, including anti-Semitism, jihad, and homophobia,” he said. “There is more work to be done, but these revisions are a real cause for optimism.” Note: Telegraph has PaywallComplete Article HERE
Time — December 15, 2020 Students in Saudi Arabia, like so many around the world, have traded in-person classrooms for logging onto an app during the COVID-19 pandemic. But they’re also experiencing other major shifts in Saudi Arabia’s official, country-wide curriculum, with new reforms stripping out lessons of hatred toward the “other”—whether Christian, Jewish, or gay—and dictats to defend the Islamic faith through violence. The Kingdom’s latest batch of textbooks has for the first time removed sections calling for non-believers to be punished by death, and predicting an apocalyptic final battle in which Muslims will kill all Jews, according to a report released Tuesday by a Jerusalem-based think tank that analyzes global curricula for extremist and intolerant views. The “trend line is cause for optimism,” says Marcus Sheff, CEO of the nonprofit Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education, or IMPACT-se. “We do see a significant change … a real institutional effort … at the highest levels to make a change to modernize the curriculum to remove offense.”
Newsweek — September 25, 2020 On September 14th, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his Qatari counterpart signed an accord on cultural exchanges to advance what the State Department lauded as the countries’ “shared ideals of tolerance and diversity.” The Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se) has issued the most extensive study ever on Qatar’s official school curriculum with regard to topics of peace and tolerance, and the results are sobering. Its findings indicate that Qatar’s textbooks are on par with those issued by Iran, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority as the worst in the region, and perhaps the world, with regard to government-published antisemitism and other forms of hate. The results of IMPACT-se’s new study are especially striking when viewed according to the rubric of the Anti-Defamation League’s new toolkit for assessing antisemitic tropes: “Antisemitism Uncovered: A Guide to Old Myths in a New Era.” The Qatari textbooks investigated by IMPACT-se propagate nearly all of the antisemitic tropes identified by ADL’s guide: power, disloyalty, greed, deicide, blood libel, Holocaust denial and anti-Jewish slanders that are framed as critiques of Zionism or Israeli policy.
Al Arabiya — September 13, 2020 The Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se) recently reviewed 238 Qatari textbooks from the last four academic years. It also reviewed textbooks from the UAE’s “Moral Education” curriculum—a government initiative launched in 2016 for public and private schools in the country. The organization found glaring differences between how the two Gulf countries are teaching young people about people of different religions and backgrounds. While IMPACT-se concluded that Qatar’s “curriculum does not meet international standards of peace and tolerance,” it found UAE’s Moral Education curriculum “aligns with UNESCO standards and UN declarations.” “I would describe the Qatar curriculum as falling short of UNESCO standards in school education,” said IMPACT-se CEO Marcus Sheff in an interview with Al Arabiya English, while the Moral Education curriculum introduces UAE students to “the values of tolerance and respect for themselves, and others, both national and global.”
The Jerusalem Post (via JTA) — June 4, 2020 Norway said Thursday that it will withhold half of the year’s funding to the Palestinian Authority’s education system until it stops using textbooks that promote hate and violence. Foreign Affairs Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide made the announcement in response to a parliamentary question on the issue. The European Union commissioned a report by the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research following a report by the NGO IMPACT-se that found incitement to hatred, violence and martyrdom in PA textbooks. said IMPACT-se CEO Marcus Sheff: “In carrying out the declaration of the Norwegian parliament to cut Norwegian aid to Palestinian education until the hate is removed from textbooks, the minister has taken a principled stand, championing the teaching of respect for the Other, tolerance and peacemaking as the way to resolve
EU Reporter — May 18, 2020 The European Parliament passed three resolutions which condemn the Palestinian Authority (PA) for continuing to teach hate and violence in its school textbooks and which oppose European Union aid to the PA being used for this purpose. German MEP Niclas Herbst of the European People’s Party stressed that “EU funds should be spent on peace and mutual understanding. Paying teachers to teach anti-Semitism and incitement to violence through Palestinian schoolbooks should never be subsidized by EU-money. The result of votes today is a strong signal on this regard.” Marcus Sheff, CEO of IMPACT-se noted that EU officials told the group that its [pending] report on Palestinian curriculum will be classified. “There now must be a moment of truth for the European Union. Will it continue to ignore the parliament that oversees its spending? Will the commission now publicly release the freshly- minted report on the Palestinian Authority’s textbooks? Governments, legislators and over a million Palestinian children know what’s in the textbooks. Classifying the report is senseless and frankly, seems highly suspicious,” he said. IMPACT-se Report
The Times of Israel — May 15, 2020 The European Parliament on Thursday passed a resolution condemning the Palestinian Authority for continuing to include hate speech and violent material in school textbooks. The resolution said the European Parliament, the legislative branch of the European Union, “is concerned that problematic material in Palestinian school textbooks has still not been removed and is concerned about the continued failure to act effectively against hate speech and violence in school textbooks.” The Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se), an Israeli watchdog that analyzes Palestinian textbooks, said the European Parliament “is clearly exasperated by the continued payment of massive grants to the Palestinian educational sector, which is then promptly turned into one of the most hate-filled, violent and extreme curricula worldwide.”
Time — February 10, 2020 A recent Time Magazine article published on February 10, under the headline, “Saudi Arabia Rebuffs Trump Administration’s Requests to Stop Teaching Hate Speech in Schools,” lays out IMPACT-se’s main findings in it’s recent report on the Saudi Arabian curriculum, including the persistence of anti-Semitism in the textbooks. IMPACT-se presented the Saudi textbook report and policy recommendations at the White House, National Security Council, State Department, and Congress along with the ADL, a leader in researching Saudi textbooks and presenting policy recommendations to the U.S. Administration. IMPACT-se also presented its report to top European officials.
FDD/LWJ — March 30, 2020 Following up on several recent studies of the Saudi curriculum by ADL, the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Education in School Textbooks (IMPACT-se) just completed a longer, comprehensive review of Saudi textbooks since 2016, using standards for peace and tolerance outlined by UNESCO as a benchmark. The results are eye-opening. In some respects, progress has been made. Yet, on the other hand, the latest Saudi curriculum remains plagued by intolerance. In essence, the latest Saudi curriculum seems to be something of a contradiction. On the one hand, there appears to be a real attempt to move away from jihadism. On the other, deep and destructive prejudices remain, including those that are used by extremists to justify religious violence against people demonized as the Other. Although the kingdom has undertaken rapid reforms in several other areas—such as expanding women’s rights and curtailing the abusive religious police—the kingdom’s rulers have yet to show that they are giving similar priority to the urgent removal of incitement from government-published textbooks.
Aftenposten — November 12, 2019 An article on the new PA curriculum by Norway’s leading newspaper follows a report and visit to Oslo by IMPACT-se last week to meet legislators of every major political party, as well as with senior leaders at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Said IMPACT-se CEO MS: “While Norwegian taxpayers fund the new and radical Palestinian curriculum, their diplomats were on the ground, working with the PA during its creation. It should have been screamingly obvious to the Norwegian diplomats in Ramallah two years ago that they had a problem…” Socialist Party member and leader of “Friends of Palestine in Parliament” MP Petter Eide, while objecting to aid being held back, said, the new curriculum is “problematic” and that it will “make it more difficult for the Palestinians to secure international aid in the future.”
The Algemeiner — November 18, 2019 High school matriculation exams serve to reinforce “hateful content” taught in Palestinian schools, underscoring “the need for an urgent and determined intervention in the Palestinian curriculum,” a Jerusalem-based watchdog has warned. In a report released this month, the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se) found that six of the 26 tawjihi exams for 2019, which are taken by twelfth-grade Palestinian students and are necessary for enrollment in Palestinian and some Arab universities, included “problematic material” that reflects themes taught in Palestinian Authority textbooks and on official preparatory websites.
Belfast Telegraph (Ruth Dudley Edwards Column) — September 23, 2019 In 2010 a new initiative called the Joint Financial Arrangement between the Palestinian Authority and five European member states — Belgium, Finland, Germany, Ireland and Norway — was launched to support the education sector in Palestine. The specific job given to Ireland was to focus on curriculum development and basic education as the lead nation on textbook development. According to a study by IMPACT-se, a non-profit organization that monitors the content of school textbooks worldwide for how they measure up to Unesco and UN standards for peace and tolerance, the extraordinary result is that bad though the old curriculum of the Palestinian Authority was, that introduced between 2016 and 2018 is much worse.
Jewish News (via TOI) — September 15, 2019 A major government review into incitement and anti-Semitism in Palestinian textbooks that was due to have been completed this month has only just begun. Following research on the PA curriculum by IMPACT-se, the Department for International Development (DfID) announced the review with the European Union six months ago, saying it would be complete by September 2019. The reason given for the six-month delay was due to a change in the Palestinian Education Minister and to contractual negotiations between the EU and the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research, tasked with carrying out the work.
The Algemeiner — August 15, 2019 The UN’s Committee to End Racial Discrimination (CERD) grilled the PA’s delegation in Geneva earlier this week over its official incitement, including in schools. Marcus Sheff—CEO of IMPACT-SE, a non-profit organization that monitors the content of school textbooks-—-told The Algemeiner that an informal meeting with the UN committee members on Tuesday was decisive. During that meeting, Sheff showed them textbooks with examples of the antisemitism that is rife in the Palestinian educational system. Selected Examples
The Jerusalem Post (Marcus Sheff) — July 2, 2019 Improving higher education in the Palestinian Authority is important. But it is the school system that passes on the values that shape subsequent generations. Comprehensive research by IMPACT-se has shown that the textbooks and materials being taught to Palestinian students are at complete odds with the values of the Western governments footing the bill for their production.
Al-Akhbar — June 11, 2019 Top Arabic network, Al-Akhbar, has claimed that IMPACT-se is changing curricula across the Middle East, according to a June 11th print and internet think piece (English translation) which covers IMPACT-se’s reports, legislative work in the European Parliament and joint project with Prof. Mohammed Dajani Daoudi’s Wasatia Institute.
EuroNews — May 22, 2019 The European Union will fund a study on Palestinian school textbooks “with a view to identifying possible incitement to hatred and violence and any possible lack of compliance with UNESCO standards of peace and tolerance in education,” EU Commission Vice-President Federica Mogherini told European lawmakers. The announcement follows a damning report by IMPACT-se, a Jerusalem-based watchdog, which reviewed selected examples from the new Palestinian school curriculum for the 2018–19 academic year and concluded the material was “more radical than those previously published.”
World Israel News (IMPACT-se Marcus Sheff i24 Interview — May 17, 2019 The European Union is investigating Palestinian textbooks used to teach 1.3 million children after the expert behind a comprehensive survey, CEO Marcus Sheff, of the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education, concluded there was “no sign of peace” in the curriculum.
Asharq Al-Awsat — May 17, 2019 Following the IMPACT-se publication last month of a 70-page document with hundreds of examples of incitement for hate in the new Palestinian textbooks, The EU has decided to investigate the new Palestinian textbooks to “identify possible incitement to hate and violence and non-compliance with UNESCO standards regarding peace and tolerance in education.”
The Jerusalem Post — May 17, 2019 The EU is planning an “academic study on Palestinian school textbooks” to see whether they are in compliance with “UNESCO standards of peace and tolerance in education,” One organization that has been heavily involved in the issue is IMPACT-se, a research institute based at Hebrew University . Its head, Marcus Sheff said the EU has a responsibility to its taxpayers to ensure that the money is spent to promote the EU’s vision, which is one of peace, tolerance, a negotiated settlement and a two-state solution. IMPACT-se New PA Curriculum Report
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY — May 17, 2019 Federica Mogherini, the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, announced on Wednesday that the EU will examine new Palestinian textbooks for content that “incites hate and violence,” out of concern that EU aid funds are being used to promote hatred. Hebrew-language news outlets reported that the announcement followed after an investigation and campaign by IMPACT-se.
TV7 Israel News — May 16, 2019 European Union Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini has confirmed that the EU will investigate allegations of incitement and hate in the Palestinian curriculum. IMPACT-se’s CEO Marcus Sheff welcomed the development. “EU taxpayer-money and goodwill have been abused for years while whole generations of young Palestinians are systematically radicalized.” He expressed hope that “this study will help put an end to the abuse and finally allow young Palestinians to receive meaningful peace education.” Selected Examples of New PA Curriculum
CBN –May 16, 2019 The European Union said it will begin examining new Palestinian school textbooks after a study by IMPACT-se revealed they are inciting children to violence and discouraging peace with Israel. EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said the commission has already set aside funds for the probe.
JNS — May 16, 2019 The European Union will investigate whether EU funds are going towards Palestinian textbooks teaching incitement to hatred and violence its High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, announced following an investigation by IMPACT-se which found that the new Palestinian textbooks are even more radical than previous editions, with hundreds of examples of extremism encouraging violent jihad demonization, and incitement against Israel and Jews.
The Jewish Express (Jewish Press) — May 15, 2019 European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini confirmed on Wednesday the body will inspect the latest Palestinian Authority school textbooks to determine whether they contain content that promotes incitement to hate and violence. The EU is concerned its foreign aid funds are being used to promote hate in the wake of findings that emerged from an investigation by IMPACT-se.
YNET — May 15, 2019 Foreign Affairs representative Mogherini confirms action to be taken following an investigation and campaign by IMPACT-se that new Palestinian textbooks are even more radical than previous editions, with hundreds of examples of extremism encouraging jihad, violence, demonization and incitement against Israel and Jews.
HAMODIA — May 15, 2019 Following a study conducted by the NGO IMPACT-se, the EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said on Wednesday that they would conducting a review of new Palestinian school textbooks, which have been found to contain even more hatred and incitement than previous ones, despite many years of criticism and sanctions.
Times of Israel — May 15, 2019 The European Union will conduct an examination of new Palestinian school textbooks following a study that found them to be more radical than in the past and containing incitement and rejection of peace with Israel. The EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, confirmed the planned investigation in a statement on the EU website according to IMPACT-se, which last month published a 70-page document with select examples of incitement in new Palestinian textbooks.
the algemeiner — May 15, 2019 The European Union will review whether Palestinian Authority textbooks promote hatred and violence, the bloc’s foreign policy chief said late last month. The PA has faced continued criticism over its educational curriculum, with IMPACT-se, a Jerusalem-based watchdog, campaigning on the issue among European lawmakers. The group’s 2018 report found that grades 1-12 PA textbooks routinely describe Israel as the “Zionist Occupation,” refer to UN-recognized Israeli territory as Palestinian, and in some cases praise acts of Palestinian violence against civilians.
the algemeiner –April 24, 2019 A bipartisan bill, “The Peace and Tolerance in Palestinian Education Act,” committing the State Department to annually review the Palestinian curriculum for content encouraging violence, antisemitism and intolerance was introduced last week. The measure was supported by IMPACT-se, a Jerusalem-based watchdog that backs reforms for the Palestinian curriculum. The bill would require the State Department to submit annual reports reviewing the educational material used by the PA and the UNRWA, which runs 715 schools for some 532,000 Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria. IMPACT-se report
The Jerusalem Post — April 22, 2019 A bipartisan bill has been proposed in Congress that would require the State Department to submit annual reports reviewing the educational material used by PA and UNRWA schools in Palestinian territories. The proposed legislation is the result of a report by IMPACT-se … which “spent a lot of time over the last three years focusing on the new PA curriculum,” CEO Marcus Sheff told The Jerusalem Post. “We were hoping this was going to be an opportunity to improve the standards of peace and tolerance in the textbooks. Unfortunately the opposite was true.”
Times of Israel — April 1, 2019 A wide ranging report covering a spectrum of radical extremism throughout the world, the article also depicts the activities of radicals parading as progressives to fight Israel through “war by other means.” The story includes input from IMPACT-se CEO Marcus Sheff and Wasatia Academic Institute Director Mohammed Dajani Daoudi, who point to the detrimental influence of the current PA curriculum on young Palestinian children, including girls being readied for martyrdom. IMPACT-se Report
TOI Blog (Dame Louise Ellman) — March 20, 2019 “…. As IMPACT-se has suggested, the Palestinian curriculum is ‘more radical than ever, purposefully and strategically encouraging Palestinian children to sacrifice themselves to martyrdom ….’ The [UK] government, currently giving millions of pounds each year to PA schools, first ignored warnings, then promised reviews which never materialised, and then attempted to kick the issue into the long grass by commissioning an international study of the PA’s schoolbooks, despite IMPACT-se already having undertaken an extensive and thoroughly researched investigation….”
the algemeiner — March 14, 2019 IMPACT-se said it will be working with Professor Mohammed Dajani Daoudi of the WASATIA Academic Institute (WAI) to “promote Wasatia education for the Palestinian educational system.” A jointly published booklet identified five “problematic categories” within current Palestinian textbooks: [encouragement] to violence; subliminal violent messaging; demonization of the Other; indoctrination to militancy; and degradation of women. “It is hoped that the Palestinian Authority will revise its curriculum along the lines of the international standards for peace education presented here,” Daoudi wrote.
Mosaic — Feb 26, 2019 Time and again, Palestinian Authority officials, as well as administrators for UNRWA, have promised their Western backers that they will do away with textbooks that encourage violence and anti-Semitism. Yet a study released last fall by IMPACT-se, an organization that monitors the Palestinian curriculum, shows that there has been no progress to speak of.
SonntagsZeitung — Jan. 6, 2019 “School materials that run contrary to the spirit of a two-state solution, which glorify violence, which fuel racism and anti-Semitism or trivialize violations of international law and human rights are not in compliance with the Swiss position on the Middle East,” said a spokeswoman of the [Swiss] Foreign Office (EDA). “Switzerland will examine reports such as those by IMPACT-se and discuss them with other donor nations.” Eng. Translation
Veto Gate (Egypt) — Dec. 19, 2018 Egyptian News outlet Veto Gate reported on a recent German BILD article carried by the Jerusalem Post on the controversy with Angela Merkel’s goverment and the German parliament over Palestinian hate-infused textbooks (from IMPACT-se report) that Germany has been helping to pay for with taxpayer money. English Article Here
The Jerusalem Post — Dec. 17, 2018 Responding to a news article by the major German daily, BILD, that exposed German financing of the Palestinian Authority’s education department, a German member of the federal parliament urged Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration to explain why taxpayer funds are being used to stoke Palestinian hatred and violence in school books. The article was based on extensive research by IMPACT-se.
BILD — Dec. 15, 2018 Following the completion by the Palestinian Authority (PA) of its curricular reform, analysts from the organization “IMPACT-se” have documented dozens of examples of the veneration of terrorists and a martyr cult in the new textbooks for Grades 1-12. But the new texts are apparently even more radical than the old ones, as currently shown by IMPACT’s study. Article in English
The Jewish Chronicle — Dec. 18, 2018 Labour Friends of Israel has called it “shameful” that a review into Palestinian textbooks–that teach children anti-Semitism and are partly funded by British aid money–will also investigate Israeli textbooks. Marcus Sheff, CEO of IMPACT-se, whose report on the PA initiated the review, said: “The Israel curriculum, while not being perfect, meets UNESCO-derived standards of peace and tolerance. It identifies peace as the ultimate goal, depicting it as highly desirable and achievable.”
Jewish News Syndicate — Nov. 19, 2018 Until the Palestinian Authority ends youth incitement in textbooks, summer camps and in its general culture—and until European and other governments whose aid money funds such provocation do something about it—the cycle of anti-Israel, anti-Jewish violence will continue unabated, even while watchdog organizations monitor such actions.
The Jerusalem Post — Sept. 27, 2018 The European Parliament’s budgetary committee voted to freeze more than 15 million euros from the Palestinian Authority if they do not remove incitement from their textbooks after European parliamentarians were made aware of the contents of the PA Textbooks through a recent report by IMPACT-se.
Jewish News Syndicate — Oct. 2, 2018 The European Parliament’s Budgetary Control Committee will vote on whether to freeze more than 15 million euros ($17 million) in aid to the Palestinian Authority unless it removes incitement to violence against Israel in its school textbooks. A call to vote follows a report on the new Palestinian textbooks by IMPACT-se, proving that they “encourage Palestinian children to sacrifice their lives in the name of religion” and “glorified martyrdom and violent resistance.”
the algemeiner (Shiri Moshe) — Sept. 28, 2018 The European Parliament Budgetary Committee on Tuesday approved a bill to withhold some payments to the Palestinian Authority until it commits to reforming its school curriculum, which has been accused of inciting hatred toward Israel and Jews, among others. A report released by the research group IMPACT-se earlier this month accused grade 1–12 PA textbooks of portraying the entirety of Israel as Arab territory, glorifying martyrdom and mass-murderers, and referring to Jews as “sinful and liars.”
i24 (Eylon Levy) — Sept. 27, 2018 “The European Parliament’s Budget Committee has voted to freeze 15 million euros ($17.6 mllion) in aid to the Palestinian Authority till it commits to reform its textbooks … Marcus Sheff, the CEO of IMPACT-Se, whose research influenced the committee, welcomed the news and called on the European Parliament to increase its pressure. ‘Ultimately, the reserve is the best possible method of stopping the hate in textbooks and giving Palestinian children a change of peace education,’ he said.”
Jewish Telegraphic Agency — Sept. 27, 2018 A European Parliament committee voted to freeze more than $17 million in aid to the Palestinian Authority over incitement against Israel, based on analysis from The Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se) of the new Palestinian textbooks aimed to encourage Palestinian children “to sacrifice their lives in the name of religion” and “glorify martyrdom and violent resistance.”
Jewish News (UK) — Sept. 27, 2018 The European Parliament is set to withhold £13.7 million in funding for the Palestinian Authority until it reforms textbooks that currently include “violent depictions and hate speech.” “This is the first time that a reserve on PA funds has been adopted by the committee, until changes to the textbooks are made,” said Marcus Sheff, CEO of IMPACT-se, an Israel-based organization campaigning for reform in Palestinian education. IMPACT Report
TIMES OF NEWS — Sept. 27, 2018 The European Parliament Budgetary Committee voted to freeze over 15 million Euros from the Palestinian Authority if they do not remove incitement from their textbooks in part based on a report by IMPACT-se. IMPACT’s CEO, Marcus Sheff, explained that once European Parliamentarians were made aware of the contents of PA textbooks,”No matter what part you’re in, you don’t want … to be paying to encourage jihad or a one-state solution.”
World Israel News (Staff Reports) — Sept. 27, 2018 If a committee bill passes next month, the EU will withhold over 15 million euros from the PA as long as it continues to incite acts of terror in its textbooks. Marcus Sheff, CEO of IMPACT-se, which brought the curriculum to the attention of the committee said: “We are delighted that our policy recommendations have been taken up and are certain this will help sway the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Education to stop inciting 1.2 million Palestinian children and take hate out of their curriculum.” IMPACT Report
the algemeiner (Shiri Moshe) –Sept. 26, 2018 Palestinian Authority textbooks encourage children to view the entirety of Israel as Arab territory, and teach them to seek the land’s liberation even at the cost of martyrdom, according to a new report by the Jerusalem-based research group, IMPACT-se (Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education).
Haaretz (Fast Forward/Aiden Pink) — Sept. 24, 2018 Textbooks for seemingly innocuous subjects, created as part of the Palestinian Authority’s new K-12 educational curriculum are heavily politicized with violent streaks, teaching Palestinian children that “there can be no compromise” and “indoctrinate for death and martyrdom,” according to an analysis by watchdog group, IMPACT-se.
i24 (Eyton Levy) — Sept. 20, 2018 According to an analysis of textbooks for grades 1-12 by the Jerusalem-based IMPACT-se, the reformed curriculum has the ‘central goal’ of encouraging Palestinian children ‘to sacrifice their lives in the name of religion,’ glorifying martyrdom and violent resistance.
Marcus Sheff (TOI Blog) — Aug. 27, 2018 IMPACT-se—The Institute for Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education, was asked to help create curricula for this unique, inspirational school and its refugee children who survived the treacherous boat crossing from Turkey to Lesbos. It was the least we could do.
the algemeiner — Aug. 27, 2018 The Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se) is partnering with the International School of Peace (ISOP) on the Greek island of Lesbos to develop a peace curriculum for young asylum-seekers. The 400 students–ages 5 to 16– will be taught subjects including English, math, and language skills in their mother tongue, whether Arabic, Persian, or French.
Commentary — July 20, 2018 Article points to waning influence of Iran in Syria and Iraq and cites new Impact-se study on Syrian curriculum—portraying Russia as a close ally while relationship with Iran is seen as “lukewarm, at best.”
Haaretz — July 12, 2018 Research and policy institute IMPACT-se’s latest report on how the Syrian curriculum views Israel and the West; Russia; Iran and Hezbollah; the civil war; minorities; and its own national identity—and which alliances are likely to last long after the war is over. Haaretz Article (pdf)
Al-Akhbar (et al) — July 11, 2018 In response to IMPACT-se’s recent Syria report, the largest pro-Hezbollah Lebanese daily newspaper Al-Akhbar worries about IMPACT’s ability to “interfere and influence the contents of textbooks in the Arab countries.” The article was posted by the Syrian Government and an official Hezbollah website, among other major news sites in the MENA region. English Translation
YNET — July 12, 2018 Interview by IMPACT-se’s CEO Marcus Sheff on the institute’s recent Syria report: “While Syrian children witness the civil war raging around them, their textbooks give no explanation for this war … There is no hope that Syria will moderate its traditional Ba’athist hostility towards Israel even after the end of this terrible civil war,” he said.
Jerusalem Post (Op-ed by IMPACT-se CEO, Marcus Sheff) — July 14, 2018 The Institute for Monitoring Peace and Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se) has obtained and carefully analyzed the current Syrian curriculum. Its newly released report offers a unique insight into the regime’s identity and who it considers its strategic allies, competitors and foes.
YNET Magazine — July 12, 2018 A new study from IMPACT-se provides a glimpse into the Syrian school curriculum, which demonizes Zionism, describes the “Golan heist” and is rife with anti-Semitic content, amidst admiration for Russia.
The Jewish Chronicle (UK) — July 12, 2018 A new study by the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se) of new Syrian textbooks used in the war-stricken state found that they attempt to wipe out any references to the existence of Israel with maps labelled “Palestine” or “Occupied Palestine.”
the algemeiner — July 11, 2018 Recently-released Syrian textbooks introduce Russia as a close ally while presenting Iran and Turkey as regional competitors, suggesting that Damascus’ current alignment with Tehran may be temporary, a new IMPACT-se report claims.
Jerusalem Post –July 11, 2018 A new IMPACT-se report analyzing the Syrian curriculum in schools controlled by the regime found many references of hatred of other nations, and of Israel in particular, and did not meet UNESCO’s standards for peace and tolerance.
The Sunday Times — April 1, 2018 More than £20m of British aid money has been spent on Palestinian schools in the past year, despite ministers knowing the official new Palestinian curriculum could incite pupils to become martyrs and jihadists, according to a report by the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se). Article (pdf)
THE JEWISH CHRONICLE (UK) — Dec. 12, 2017 Analysis of the new PA curriculum by the influential Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education group (IMPACT-se) concludes that it encourages “young Palestinians to acts of violence in a more extensive and sophisticated manner” and expanding from” demonization of Israel to providing a rationale for war.” In response to the report, John Woodcock MP, vice-chair of Labour Friends of Israel (LFI), has written to Secretary of State for International Development Penny Mordaunt expressing “deep concern” that the curriculum breaches an agreement between her department and the Palestinian Authority relating to PA funding.
Fast Forward — Dec. 4, 2017 According to an analysis by a watchdog group, the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se), new textbooks issued by the Palestinian Authority for grades 5-11 encourage violence against Israelis and the PA curriculum “exerts pressure over young Palestinians to acts of violence in a more extensive and sophisticated manner.”
the algemeiner — Dec. 3, 2017 Palestinian Authority textbooks issued for the new academic year are “significantly more radical” than their predecessors, routinely erasing Israel and glorifying “martyrdom,” the watchdog group, IMPACT-se has warned. In its initial review of the recently reformed grades 1-11 curriculum, the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se) found that Palestinian textbooks “groom young Palestinians to sacrifice themselves to martyrdom,” promote the idea of a mass “return” to Israel, and “feature a radical Islamist worldview.”
Süddeutsche Zeitung (via WORLDCRUNCH) — Dec. 1, 2017 “Turkish schools are taking steps to cultivate a “pious generation” by rewriting history and placing a greater emphasis on religion.” The article cites a recent study by IMPACT-se, which found that content taught at Turkish schools began to change after 2012, emphasizing the “compatibility of Islam and democracy, of religion and science,” while representing the Turks as “custodians of Islam.”
Johannes Kahrs in Jüdische Allgemeine (General Jewish Interest) — Nov. 17, 2017 “Those who wish to be credible in the peace process in the Middle East cannot encourage teaching children … hatred and violence.” Citing IMPACT-se’s recent report on the PA curriculum, Johannes Kahrs, a German Social Democratic Party (SPD) leader, advocates political initiatives at the national and European level that links financial support for Palestinian education to concrete conditions under a continuous monitoring process. English Translation
EU Reporter Interview — Nov. 6, 2017 “EU Reporter spoke to Marcus Sheff, CEO of IMPACT-se, evaluating Palestinian Authority educational materials with a focus on the new Grades 5-11 textbooks. The first full reform of Palestinian textbooks since 2000 was recently completed. The IMPACT-se assessment found that radicalization is pervasive across this new curriculum, to a greater extent than before…”
Miriam Elman — Legal Insurrection — Nov. 12, 2017 Like earlier textbooks that were used to teach “over one million impressionable children,” a new report finds that the new textbooks—recently released as part of the PA’s first full reform of the educational curriculum since 2000—are still promoting the demonization of Israel. The study, by the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se), documents how kids in Palestinian Authority-controlled areas are being further indoctrinated to hate through their schoolbooks…
La Libre (Belgium) — Nov. 8, 2017 Generalized radicalization, call to martyrdom, promotion of hatred and jihad … The latest official Palestinian textbooks make up a picture that can not be more black. This is at least the portrait of the Israeli research institute IMPACT-se, after having scrutinized the manuals published since last year by the Palestinian Authority. These concern some 1.2 million primary and secondary students in all Palestinian territories (West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem)… La Libre Article
The New York Times — September 18, 2017 Following a report last year by Impact-se, which analyzed 117 school textbooks in Turkey and concluded that the curriculum taught human rights, was open to Darwin, gender equality, the protection of the environment, compassion toward AIDS patients and various lifestyles, critics have now challenged the overhaul of more than 170 curriculum topics by the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, “representing a frontal assault on the country’s already fragile tradition of secularism.” The author of the IMPACT-se report, Dr. Hay Yanarocak, said the new changes showed, “Turkey is changing its direction and is no longer, by default, a Western state.”
AIPAC (Near East Report) — July 13, 2017 According to a new study published by the Jerusalem-based Institute for Monitoring Peace and Tolerance in School Textbooks, the trend toward glorified violence against Jews and Israelis in Palestinian Authority textbooks is worsening. Joining Near East Report to discuss increased radicalization in PA textbooks is IMPACT-se’s Chief Executive Officer, Marcus Sheff.
YNET (Hebrew) — June 28, 2017 An IMPACT-se study has surveyed dozens of textbooks from the ultra-Orthodox educational system, and the findings show attitudes toward the various sectors inhabited by the Jewish people—and outside it.
Kikar Hashabbat (Hebrew) — June 28, 2017 A study that examined dozens of books studied in the ultra-Orthodox school system revealed that Sephardic institutions are almost completely oblivious to the Sephardi tradition and cultural experience.
Voice of Israel (English) — June 26, 2017 “The Institute for Monitoring Peace and Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se) has issued a report, which for the first time evaluates Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) textbooks in Israel.” (Begins @18:02)
Marcus Sheff’s TOI Blog — June 20, 2017 IMPACT-se CEO Marcus Sheff’s response to Times of Israel Interview with Sabri Saidam, who gave assurances about significant improvements in the PA curriculum despite having “no room for standards of peace and tolerance” in his proposed educational technology revolution. IMPACT-se Report
The Meir Amit Intelligence & Terrorism Information Center – June 6, 2017 Study cites recent IMPACT-se report on PA Curriculum to support the idea that Palestinian hostility toward Israel is ingrained through education.
The Jerusalem Post — June 3, 2017 Contrary to Abbas’s claim to President Trump that Palestinians were raising their children and grandchildren on a culture of peace, a report last month by the NGO, IMPACT-se, found an “alarming deterioration in the PA’s textbooks, which continue to demonize Israel and glorify martyrdom.”
Times of Israel — June 1, 2017 Article points to IMPACT-se’s 2017 report on PA curriculum, citing an “alarming deterioration” in content since the group’s previous study by further “demonizing Israel and glorifying ‘martyrdom.’”
The Jewish Chronicle (UK) — May 30, 2017 Curricula were found to oppose modernity, instead promoting “a separate cultural identity,” which ignores trends in general society, according to a new survey by Israel-based IMPACT-se.
The Meir Amit Intelligence & Terrorism Information Center — May 16, 2017 Despite numerous reports (including recent IMPACT-se study) citing PA’s education of violence and struggle against Israel, UNRWA leadership caves to Palestinian pressure.
Marcus Sheff’s TOI Blog — May 14, 2017 “As IMPACT-se researchers worked through the Haredi curricula, a pattern emerged of a society that at every teachable moment, reinforces the barricades of separation, advocates the community’s exceptionalism and re-creates a milieu of pre-Shoah Europe and 1950s Israel.” The full report an be found here.
i24NEWS — May 12, 2017 A study by IMPACT-se, a Jerusalem-based organization that monitors school curricula, revealed that textbooks used in Haredi Orthodox schools in Israel, despite promoting insularity, were also encouraging of peaceful conduct and coexistence within Israeli society.
Jewish Telegraphic Agency — May 11, 2017 Textbooks used in Haredi Orthodox schools in Israel promote the community’s insularity as well as peaceful conduct and coexistence, according to a study by education watchdog IMPACT-se, which studied 93 textbooks for grades 1–12.
The Jerusalem Post — May 9, 2017 A comprehensive study by the education watchdog organization IMPACT-se of textbooks used in Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) schools has found that they teach a worldview that is isolationist, contemptuous of secular society and instills hatred of Reform Jews.
Newsweek — May 3, 2017 “A new study of Palestinian textbooks finds that Palestinian children are being taught to glorify and value terrorism and violence. The study, called ‘Palestinian Elementary School Curriculum 2016–17: Radicalization and Revival of the PLO Program,’ was conducted by the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (in Jerusalem) and can be found here.”
Council on Foreign Relations (Elliot Abrams ) — May 1, 2017 Citing the violence and hatred taught to Palestinian children from a recent IMPACT-se report on the PA’s Curriculum, Elliot Abrams, Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, said, “That is not the way to prepare children for peace.”
Commentary — May 1, 2017 Both the PA and Hamas “indoctrinate their children to believe that Israelis are evil people with no connection to the land and no rights to a state.” To quote the textbook monitoring organization IMPACT-se, Palestinian textbooks promote the “demonization of Israel and Jews, including the characterization of Israel as an evil entity that should be annihilated.” 2017 Report
The Times of Israel — April 13, 2017 Proposed changes to textbooks by the UN agency, with schools teaching the PA curriculum to over 312,000 students, was welcomed by Israel and reportedly includes revised maps, a “balanced representation of Jerusalem,” and excision of messages seen as incitement. Cited is IMPACT-se’s latest report on the PA curriculum.
The Times of Israel — April 3, 2017 Citing “alarming deterioration” since a previous study, an IMPACT-se report published Sunday says PA’s elementary school textbooks deny Israel’s existence and urge a “return” to an exclusively Palestinian homeland.The new textbooks for grades 1-4 demonize Israel and glorify “martyrdom.”
The Jerusalem Post — April 3, 2017 — The latest Palestinian Authority elementary school textbooks are even more radical than previous editions, according to a report just issued by the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se).
Hurriyet Daily News-– Jan. 26, 2017 The Education Ministry’s draft for changes in the Turkish curriculum for the coming 2017-18 academic year, is set to reverse positive observations and conclusions found by IMPACT-se (report), in favor of enhanced Islamic education.