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Saudi Arabia Removes Palestine From School Textbook Maps: Report

IMPACT-se reviewed 371 textbooks for the 2023-24 school year, comparing and contrasting the Saudi curriculum with previous years.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s new school curriculum for the 2023-2024 academic year appears to have removed Palestine’s name from most of the textbook maps.

This is according to a report recently released by pro-Israeli thinktank IMPACT-se, the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education.

IMPACT-se reviewed 371 textbooks for the 2023-24 school year, comparing and contrasting the Saudi curriculum with previous years, Siasat Daily reported.

According to the report, the 2023-2024 social and national studies textbook features a map of Saudi Arabia and its surrounding countries, with Palestine left unnamed, unlike the 2022 textbooks.

The report also outlines the removal of content defining Zionism as racist European movement that aims to expel Palestinians, conspiracy theories blaming Zionism for Arab expansion, and references to Israel as “the Israeli Enemy” and “the Zionist Enemy”.

It also revealed that the current year’s textbooks have removed or altered all existing violent interpretations of jihad.

“Overall, 21 problematic examples were removed, many of which existed in the now abolished “Courses System” textbooks. This includes a Social Studies high school textbook containing an entire chapter on the Palestinian Cause rife with content violating UNESCO standards of peace and tolerance,” the report added.

The changes are believed to be linked to US-mediated talks aimed at normalizing relations between Riyadh and Tel Aviv.

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