Report: Majority of virulent antisemitic material removed from Saudi schoolbooks
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Report: Majority of virulent antisemitic material removed from Saudi schoolbooks

On the eve of a visit to Saudi Arabia by Deborah Lipstadt, America’s special envoy for combating antisemitism, a new report on the country’s schools records a marked improvement.

Jenni Frazer is a freelance journalist

Deborah Lipstadt
Deborah Lipstadt

On the eve of a visit to Saudi Arabia by Deborah Lipstadt, America’s new special envoy for monitoring and combating antisemitism, a new report on the country’s school textbooks has recorded a marked improvement.

Since 2020, according to the Israel-based research group IMPACT-se, “the great majority of virulent antisemitic material” has been removed from Saudi educational material, together with “violent Jihadi, anti-Christian and homophobic content”.

There is further work to be done, the IMPACT-se report concludes. “A few examples of antisemitism remain. Jews and Christians in pre-Islamic times are presented as wrongdoers. Israel remains omitted from maps; and Zionism still described as racist”.

Nevertheless, there is “a continuing overall trend of improvement” in the presentation of what Saudi children learn about present-day Jews. References to Jews being “disobedient” have been removed from textbooks, as have Qur’anic verses describing Jews being turned into monkeys, and the antisemitic myth that one of the goals of Zionism is a “global Jewish government”.

Lessons instructing students to write down attempts by “the Jews” to destroy or Judaise the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem, as well as that Jewish connections to the Temple Mount were fabricated by rabbis, were removed as well.

The IMPACT-se report was shared with the Saudi Ministry of Education.

Professor Lipstadt has said that she sees her visit as “an opportunity to reach out to a nation that has a large influence on Muslim education worldwide”, due to Saudi Arabia’s holy status in Islam, and widespread distribution of its textbooks to the greater Muslim community.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments