A teacher instructs his Israeli Arab students
that the Israeli curriculum should "not be considered information"
A researcher of the Tower of David Museum of Jerusalem's History calls
the museum's information "lies"
A guide at the museum prefers to convey "the Arab point of view"
rather than the museum's "deceptions" when guiding Arabic-speaking visitors
Interviews with three Arab employees of official Israeli institutions in Jerusalem, a teacher, a researcher and a guide, were recently broadcast on Palestinian TV. The interviewees revealed that in the course of their work they do not convey to students and visitors the historical information which they are meant to impart - contrary to the guidelines of their Israeli employers, and without their knowledge.
Mustafa Othman, a teacher from the Beit Safafa neighborhood in the western part of Jerusalem, revealed on Palestinian television that he teaches Israeli Arab children that the Israeli state curriculum is "only for the test; you shouldn't consider it as information". The truth, he teaches Israeli Arab youth, is "that [Israel] conquered our land by armed force, robbed it, destroyed the houses, expelled its people from the cities and from the villages."
In another broadcast, two employees of the Tower of David Museum of the History of Jerusalem, a history scholar and an Arabic-language tour guide, were interviewed. Both defined the Israeli historical narrative regarding the Jewish connection with Jerusalem, which they are meant to convey to tourists, as "false," and testified that they teach different information instead. According to one, the museum invents stories for the purpose of "creating a historical right and a historical dimension, claiming that they [the Jews] were here 3,000 years ago and that they had buildings here, and that they had a presence here." The tourist guide in the museum said that the information signs on the walls of the museum are incorrect, while the history scholar reiterated the central Palestinian historical distortion denying the existence of the Temple in Jerusalem, referring to it as the "alleged Temple".
The following is from the interview with the Arab teacher, Mustafa Othman, describing what he teaches Israeli Arab youth in Israeli schools:
"In the [preferred] Jordanian or Palestinian curriculum, if I may say, the material is studied on the basis of them [Israel] having conquered our land militarily, robbed it, destroyed the houses, expelled its people from the cities and from the villages. When I taught the Israeli curriculum I would tell the [Israeli Arab] students that it was only for the test, 'you shouldn't consider it as information.'"
[Al-Filistiniya (Fatah) TV, Sept. 10, 2009]
The following is a transcript of the television interview with the two employees of the Tower of David Museum of the History of Jerusalem:
Abir Zayyad, history scholar, employed by the Tower of David Museum
Rubin Abu Shamsiya, Arabic-language tour guide at the museum
PA TV Host, Khuloud Al-Afifi: "[Speaking about the site known as David's Citadel] So we've spoken about its importance, its location, and its connection to the Christian religion, and that it's an Islamic structure, but what, inside this Citadel... is [related to] the alleged Israeli history, which the Israelis claim? What exactly is inside the Citadel?"
History scholar Abir Zayyad: "... In the hall pertaining to the Bronze Age, which they [the museum] call the [period of the] "First Temple" - and this appellation is not correct - in that period they focus on the issue of Palestine - that the Jews, comprising 12 tribes, entered it, and how Palestine was divided in this period between the 12 tribes, and the process of the conquest of the city of Jerusalem by David, and the construction of the alleged First Temple by Solomon."
[Zayyad goes on to say that the archaeological findings indicate that David and Solomon did not live in Jerusalem or in "Palestine", and that there are no structures in Jerusalem that can be attributed to them.]
Host: "What are they [the Israelis] proving by means of their version? And what is inside the Citadel? What are they trying to create in order to prove this matter and to sell it to the world?"
History scholar Zayyad: "It's the creation of a historical right and a historical dimension, claiming they were here 3,000 years ago, and that they had buildings here, and that they had a presence here, and that all of Palestine was under their rule, as though they created the city of Jerusalem and created all of Palestine."
Host (addressing tour guide Rubin Abu Shamsiya): "Mr. Rubin, when you accompany groups of tourists, how do you treat [the subject] - especially when you see the [museum's] history full of lies, the artificial and alleged history - how do you relate to these groups of [Arabic speaking] tourists in presenting the history that is found there?"
Tour guide Abu Shamsiya: "From my tour-guiding experience in the Tower of David Museum, I see many historical deceptions, which are displayed on the [museum] walls... Obviously, if I try to treat it in a more neutral way, from a historical point of view, I try to show the neutral historical point of view by means of information which I have drawn from a number of [other] historical institutions. I do not rely exclusively on that which is written on the museum's walls and texts. It is more important to me to convey the Arab point of view, but by means of greater historical neutrality."
History scholar Zayyad: "There is a documentary film at the Citadel which they present on the history of Jerusalem. This film is full of historical lies and historical deceptions and their dissemination."
[PA TV (Fatah), Nov. 13, 2009]