Arab teachers' association:
"We teach that Palestine - from north to south,
from the [Jordan] River
to the [Mediterranean] Sea -
is Islamic Palestinian Arab"
by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
Official Palestinian Authority television regularly educates children to see the destruction of Israel as a goal and PA leaders often present all of Israel as part of "Palestine," "occupied land" that will be "liberated" or "returned to" Palestinians. This worldview constitutes a basic tenet of Palestinian education and ideology, as documented by Palestinian Media Watch for years. Now, the Chairman of the Jerusalem Teachers' Association, Issa Salman, has stated that this is likewise the educational message in Arab schools in Jerusalem.
Speaking on PA TV, the teacher said:
"In our schools, we teach what our religion and conscience dictate: That Jerusalem is Arab and that Palestine - from north to south, from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea - is Islamic Palestinian Arab, and will remain so in spite of the damned occupier."
[Official PA TV, Nov. 15, 2014]
The teacher's argument that Islam "dictates" that "Palestine" is Islamic and that it includes all of Israeli land, follows a statement by Mahmoud Abbas' advisor on religious affairs, Mahmoud Al-Habbash, who recently prohibited accepting Israel's existence in the name of Islam:
"Al-Habbash emphasized that according to Islamic Shari'ah law, the entire land of Palestine is waqf (i.e., an inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law) and is blessed land, and that it is prohibited to sell, bestow ownership or facilitate the occupation of even a millimeter of it."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 22, 2014]
Recently, PA leaders have been using the term Ribat - religious conflict/war to defend or reconquer land defined as Islamic - more frequently when referring to the conflict with Israel and particularly to the ongoing conflict in Jerusalem.
Public Arab schools in Jerusalem are under the authority of the Education Administration of Jerusalem, which is part of the Jerusalem Municipality and supervised by the Israeli Ministry of Education.
In October, PA TV taught children that all of Israel, including Haifa, Jaffa, and Acre, is "occupied Palestine" that is destined to "return" to Palestinians, meaning that Israel would cease to exist.
"Haifa, Jaffa, Acre (i.e., Israeli cities). These are our occupied lands, the 1948 lands that Israel occupied in 1948... Allah willing, they will return to us some day and will not be under the rule of the occupation."
[Official PA TV, Oct. 4, 2014]
Fatah Central Committee member Tawfiq Tirawi has openly stated that "the two-state solution is over," and advocated that Palestinians must "return to the option of one Palestine from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea"- a phrase he has used more than once.
Jibril Rajoub has similarly claimed that the area "from the river to the sea" is "all occupied."
Songs on PA TV misrepresent Israeli cities as "Palestinian" and numerous maps are used by the PA - in school books, in ministerial offices, on logos etc. - that label the PA areas and all of Israel together as one unit called "Palestine."
Private Palestinian organizations also reject Israel's right to exist. Thus, Chairman of the EU-funded Palestinian Bar Association, Hussein Shabaneh, advocated for a "Palestine from the river to the sea."