The study, commissioned by the Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land, and funded and reviewed by the US state department, examined 3,000 texts, illustrations and maps in books used in Palestinian, Israeli state and Israeli ultra-Orthodox schools. All data was sent to Yale for analysis. The study was “transparent, open, collaborative, rigorous and scientific,” said Wexler, and produced four main findings:
• Dehumanising or demonising is rare in both Palestinian and Israeli books.
• Both Israeli and Palestinian books present “unilateral national narratives” that show the other as an enemy.
• Information about the other’s religions, culture, economic and daily activities is inadequate or absent.
• Negative bias in presentation of the other is significantly more pronounced in Israeli ultra-Orthodox and Palestinian school books than Israeli state books.
More than 90% of Palestinian children study textbooks produced by the Palestinian Authority. Among Israeli Jewish children, a majority attend state secular or state religious schools, with a significant minority attending ultra-Orthodox schools, which produce their own textbooks. Arabic books used in Israeli Arab schools, which are produced by the Israeli ministry of education, were not included in the study.”