Feb 18 2016
EGYPT: For the first time, Muslim students will be encouraged to see Israel in a positive light in their textbooks
Thanks to a courageous and groundbreaking move in the Middle East by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, new textbooks in Egyptian schools will cover the historic peace deal between Egypt and Israel.
Times of Israel (h/t Mike F) The peace treaty signed between Israel and Egypt in 1979 will for the first time be taught in Egyptian schools, Army Radio reported Tuesday. The station said a reporter had read the new schoolbook on Egypt’s modern history, which includes a chapter dealing with the Camp David agreement.
The peace deal is described in a matter-of-fact way, without bias or any attempt to present Israel in a negative light, the report said.
The authors of the Egyptian schoolbook, intended for the ninth grade, detail eight clauses from the agreement, which are reproduced in the book verbatim. These include phrases on Israel and Egypt“ending the state of war” and on “each side respecting the sovereignty and independence of the other side.”
The paragraphs describing the subsequent murder of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat, who signed the treaty and made a historic speech at the Israeli Knesset, do not mention that he was murdered by activists who objected to the peace accord.
The authors note that Sadat and then-Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin won the Nobel Peace Prize for signing the treaty. “The reason they won was the great effort they invested in reaching peace in the Middle East,” the book says.
The new inclusion of the peace treaty is part of an overarching change in the contents of schoolbooks for all grades announced by the Egyptian Education Ministry two years ago. Content in some 1,300 different books was changed and in some instances the changes were decisively political, said Army Radio.
Additionally, some content added to books during the short presidency of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi (2012-2013) was removed. These additions preached a return to radical Islamic values in line with the Brotherhood’s Islamic ideology. Morsi was deposed in 2013 by then-army chief and current President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, and his movement was banned.