Israeli officials attacked the study even before it was officially released, insisting that their textbooks were superior to Palestinians’ and should not be compared in the same study.
In a statement, the Ministry of Education called the research “biased, unprofessional and severely nonobjective. ... The attempt at creating parallels between the Israeli and Palestinian education systems is ungrounded and lacks a realistic basis.”
Jerusalem physician Elihu Richter, who served on the advisory panel for the project, said Monday he withdrew his support for the report because he believed the methodology may have undercounted examples of Palestinian incitement.
Researchers defended their project, calling it the most definitive and balanced study to date on the topic. Wexler, the Yale researcher, criticized Israel’s refusal to participate.
“The Ministry of Education appears to be uninterested in facts about what is in the schoolbooks and unencumbered by facts when describing our project,’’ Wexler said.
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad praised the report for examining the issue without “preconceived notions and stereotypes.” He said Palestinians would use the findings to help improve their curriculum.
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