I am compelled to write to you today in response to recent fabricated statements made by the new representative of Israel, the occupying Power, Danny Danon, on 16 October 2015, at the United Nations at the Security Council stakeout. Not surprisingly, the statements made, particularly with regard to the State of Palestine’s school curriculum, were completely and utterly false. Danon’s statements about Palestine’s curriculum and textbooks and outright racist accusation that Palestinian children are “being taught to hate” are false and must be rejected.
At his very first UN media stakeout documented on the UN Webcast, Danon stated that “when he [referring to a Palestinian child] opens a textbook to do his homework he doesn’t learn about math and science, he’s being taught to hate.” He then picks up an image of what appears to be a photoshopped human anatomy image with the parts of the human body labeled and then images of knives placed on top along with the title “How to Stab a Jew”. Danon then has the audacity to state “This picture is being taught in middle schools, in high schools, in elementary schools”.
Contrary to his false rhetoric, there have been reports that images, such as the one described above, are floating around social media platforms via personal accounts. Whether the accounts are genuine or fake is unknown, however it appears the alleged postings are no longer accessible. In either case, one thing is abundantly clear, the fictional story Danny Danon told to the media at the stakeout was a flat out lie. Danon seems to be living up to his reputation, which has been reported as hawkish, racist and inciteful. However, I do agree with Danon on one thing, in his very own words “when someone presents a lie, I will stand up and expose it”.
The image shown by Danon at the media stakeout is not in the Palestinian school curriculum. It is not taught to Palestinian children and youth at any level. We welcome any genuine requests to review our school curriculum and textbooks. In fact, the State of Palestine’s school curriculum and textbooks are reviewed by UNESCO and are in large part funded by the international community.
We reject the absurd and unacceptable assertions made by Danon and the offensive claim that the Palestinian people teach their children to hate. This is typical racist rhetoric by Israeli officials, reflecting the occupying Power’s relentless policy to dehumanize the Palestinian people suffering under its belligerent foreign military occupation and to distort our people’s rejection of this illegal and cruel occupation as they continue to seek their freedom and inalienable rights. Rather, it is Israel that is harming our children, women and men in every aspect and every single day through countless violations of international law and affronts to their human security and human dignity. For all of these violations and crimes the occupying Power must be held fully accountable.
This letter is in follow-up to our 560 previous letters regarding the ongoing crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, which constitutes the territory of the State of Palestine. These letters, dated from 29 September 2000 (A/55/432-S/2000/921) to 19 October 2015 (A/ES-/10/xxx- S/2015/xxx) constitute a basic record of the crimes being committed by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian people since September 2000. For all of these war crimes, acts of State terrorism and systematic human rights violations being committed against the Palestinian people, Israel, the occupying Power, must be held accountable and the perpetrators must be brought to justice. I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of the present letter distributed as a document of the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 5, and of the Security Council. Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.
I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of the present letter distributed as a document of the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 5, and of the Security Council.
Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.
Dr. Riyad Mansour
Ambassador, Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations