Dr Saleh An-Naami

Dr Saleh An-Naami

  • The occupation has deliberately adopted two malicious working mechanisms in an attempt to influence Palestinian educational curricula.
  • Zionists are aware that the more the level of the youth's absorption of the Palestinian narrative declines, the less motivated they will be to engage in resistance work.

As part of its plan to resolve the conflict with the Palestinian people, the Zionist government is working to establish clear standards to ensure the completion of the task of resolution in every arena of this conflict.

The arena of Jerusalem enjoys great Zionist attention, as the efforts of "Tel Aviv" aimed at resolving the conflict over the city converge, not only at the level of the holy sites, specifically the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Palestinian presence in it, but the matter has gone beyond that to an attempt to Israelize the collective consciousness of the Palestinian youth in Jerusalem through the adoption of multiple and complex working mechanisms.

Mechanisms of influence

The Zionist government has realized that the most important mechanisms to ensure the impact on the consciousness of the Holy City youth is to influence the educational curricula adopted in Palestinian schools in the city, on the grounds that the educational curricula and extra-curricular activities followed in schools shape the students' awareness and influence the formation of their future orientations towards the conflict and towards the Zionist entity.

The Zionist entity has resorted to adopting two malicious mechanisms in an attempt to influence the Palestinian educational curricula in Jerusalem with the aim of "Israelizing" the collective consciousness of the Holy City youth; one of them is represented in the policies followed by the occupation municipality, while the other is represented in the decisions taken by the government and the parliament.

Moshe Lion, Mayor of Jerusalem, Attempts to Influence Palestinian Education

Moshe Lion, the Likud mayor of Jerusalem, is leading a clear policy aimed at attempting to influence Palestinian education in Jerusalem by linking the financial assistance that the municipality provides to Palestinian schools in East Jerusalem to the extent to which they are willing to adopt some of the contents of the Israeli educational curricula. The municipality offers schools relatively large financial assistance in exchange for adopting some of the contents of the Israeli educational curricula, especially in light of the financial crisis that these schools are experiencing.

Although the occupation municipality has not achieved any significant success in its quest to entice Palestinian schools to adopt some of the components of the Zionist curriculum, it continues its strenuous efforts to achieve valuable results in this context.

However, the efforts aimed at "Israelizing" the consciousness of the Jerusalem youth are not limited to the occupation municipality, but the Netanyahu government and the Knesset also play a central role in trying to achieve this goal. The rise of the Jewish religious parties, specifically the "Jewish Power" movement led by Minister of National Security Itamar Ben Gvir, and the "Religious Zionism" movement led by Minister of Finance Psatel Smotrich, to power alongside Likud, has marked a turning point in this context.

Unlike the occupation municipality, which is trying to influence the orientations of Palestinian schools in Jerusalem through means of persuasion based on the carrot and stick policy, the representatives of the Jewish religious parties in the government have resorted to using the Knesset to pass a law that prevents financial assistance to Palestinian schools in Jerusalem if they implement the Palestinian curriculum, on the grounds that it incites "terrorism and violence."

The representatives of the Jewish religious parties in the government and the Knesset are not only demanding the adoption of components from the Zionist curriculum, but they are also demanding that Palestinian schools in Jerusalem stop teaching the Palestinian curriculum.

  Israelization of the Collective Consciousness of the Holy City Youth

The Israeli government, Knesset, and municipality are working to Israelize the collective consciousness of the Holy City youth to achieve dangerous and interconnected goals.

At the top of these goals is to dim the Palestinian narrative of the conflict in the minds of the Holy City youth, and to promote the Zionist narrative in contrast, with all that this entails of a radical change in the perceptions that these young people have about the conflict.

Even before the nature of the materials and courses that the Israeli entity is trying to target in the Palestinian curriculum is revealed, it can be said with confidence: it includes four main subjects, namely: religious education, geography, history, and national education.

Because the Zionists are aware of the status of the Holy Quran and the Prophet's Sunnah and their role in shaping the Palestinian consciousness that resists occupation, the Israeli entity, relying on its experts and orientalists, will try to filter the material of religious education from the Quranic texts and the Prophet's hadiths that represent the backbone of the Palestinian narrative that defends the Islamic and Arab identity of Palestine.

The subjects of geography and history are also at the center of Israeli targeting because the Palestinian curriculum deals with historical Palestine as the homeland of the Palestinian people, and that it is the exclusive right of this people, in addition to the fact that studying the geography of Palestine, in general, gives credibility to the Palestinian national narrative in the minds of the Holy City youth.

The Zionists look at the subject of history in the Palestinian curriculum with great sensitivity, as it confirms the historical reality of the Palestinians as Arabs and Muslims through the teaching of Islamic conquests and the connection of Arab Islamic civilization in the land of Palestine. As for the subject of national education, it raises a great deal of Zionist rejection because it raises a system of national values, especially the praise of resistance against the occupation as a legitimate right and duty against the occupation.

The Israeli entity is hostile to the Palestinian curriculum and is so careful to "Israelize" the consciousness of the Palestinian youth and to try to shake the foundations of the Palestinian national narrative; because it sees that this narrative has helped to promote the environment of resistance against occupation in Jerusalem.

The Zionists are well aware that the lower the level of the Palestinian youth's absorption of the national narrative and the accompanying religious and intellectual stimuli, the lower the motivation to engage in resistance work against the occupation.

Because of the integration of the young people of Jerusalem with the Jews in Jerusalem and their close interaction with them and the freedom of movement they enjoy that qualifies them to enter the Israeli entity compared to the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the Israeli ruling institution in its political and military aspects shows a great desire to weaken the incentives that encourage resistance work, and in particular the absorption of the youth of Jerusalem with the Palestinian national narrative.

Hence, the Israeli internal intelligence service (Shin Bet) is working intensively to monitor educational institutions in East Jerusalem and intervening to prevent the promotion of teachers who show striking orientations on the national religious level.

Shin Bet's surveillance of Palestinian schools in occupied Jerusalem has increased after the shooting operation carried out by teacher Fadi Abu Shakheidm (42 years old) two years ago in the vicinity of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which resulted in the killing of a settler and the injury of two others, where Abu Shakheidm also worked as a preacher in the mosque of Shaafat camp surrounding Jerusalem.


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