MEDIA RELEASE: Palestinians in Scotland condemn school materials labelling them “terrorists”

FOR IMMEDIATE USE

Wednesday 4 March 2014

The Association of Palestinian Communities in Scotland today condemned inflammatory teaching materials given to young children in a North Lanarkshire school which seeks to demonise Palestinians.

Children as young as 11 at New Stevenson Primary school, were given homework which described Palestine as Israel, and labelled all Palestinians seeking to end the occupation as “separatist terrorists”.

Pupils were asked if “Palestinians feel they have the RIGHT to use terrorism against the Israeli.”

Dr Essam Hijjawi, chair of the Association of Palestinian Communities in Scotland said “The “Separatists” case study given to children as homework demonstrates a fundamentally flawed reading of history and geography, flying in the face of countless UN resolutions and shows an ignorance which beggars belief.

“No one other than the State of Israel regards the Occupied Palestinian Territories as forming part of Israel, and no one regards the struggle of the Palestinian people as a separatist struggle. The United Nations consistently supports the right of the Palestinian people to self determination and governments across the world including the UK and Scottish governments call for the end to the occupation.

“In July and August of last year, more than 500 Palestinian children were killed by the Israeli Occupation Forces and schools were razed to the ground by bombing raids and missile attacks.

“Unlike the children of Israeli settlers, Palestinian children are subject to military law. This means they can be detained without the knowledge of their parents, detained and held in adult prisons without charge and appear before military courts.

“Children in North Lanarkshire should be not be taught to demonise Palestinians, they should be learning how children of the same age are beaten and shot by Israeli soldiers.

“We are calling for the immediate withdrawal of all such materials from Scottish schools, a public apology to the Palestinian community in Scotland and a meeting with education department officials in North Lanarkshire with the leader of the council and Scotland’s Minister for Education.

We ask that all materials used in schools relating to the teaching of the history of Palestine is discussed between Education Scotland and the Palestinian community.

“At a time when Muslims are being demonised for the actions of a tiny minority, our children need to gain a proper understanding of the occupation of Palestine and learn compassion and not fear and hatred.”

Ends

Notes

1. For further information and interview contact

Dr Essam Hijjawi 07402 623443

Chair of the Association of Palestinian Communities in Scotland

2. The Association of Palestinian Communities in Scotland (APCS) is a society for all Palestinians residing in Scotland.

3. Case study – extract from material produced by North Lanarkshire Council

“Another example of separatist terrorism is in Israel, Palestinians who live in Israel believe that its THEIR land which is being occupied by the Israelis. Wars between Israel and Palestinians over this always ended in their defeat and so they have turned to terrorist methods for over 30 years. In 1972 Palestinian terrorists held nine Israeli athletes hostage at the Olympic Games in Munich. All of the hostages were killed. Most recently, terrorist have carried out many SUICIDE BOMBINGS on buses and public places. They are respected by their own community as MARTYRS. A solution this extremism is hard to find.”

“Palestinians feel they have the RIGHT to use terrorism against the Israeli.”

“Give TWO reasons why they feel this.”

(THEIR EMPHASIS)

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