Press Release

Analysis of Hezbollah Textbooks Shows Lengths Group Will Go to Indoctrinate Hate Against Jews

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ADL calls for new sanctions in response to terrorist indoctrination and ‘shocking’ antisemitic content in schools

New York, NY, June 18, 2020 … School textbooks used in Lebanon by the terrorist group Hezbollah to teach history and other core subjects to children are filled with systematic and egregious incitement to antisemitism and support for terrorism, according to a new report from ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) issued today.

The report, “Teaching Antisemitism and Terrorism in Hezbollah Schools” shows the extent to which the teaching of anti-Jewish violence is deeply entrenched in certain private schools, scouting groups, and other educational institutions linked to Hezbollah. As part of the report ADL obtained school textbooks used in these schools, showing for the first time how antisemitism is used to teach hate to young schoolchildren.

“It is shocking that children from kindergarten on up are being spoon-fed a diet of antisemitism, drawing on pernicious canards such as Jews are satanic, the Jews killed Christ, and the Jews are trying to undermine other religions to control the world,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “These hate-filled ‘lessons’ have no place in any school, but are especially dangerous in Lebanon, where Hezbollah grooms young people to become terrorist ‘martyrs.’”

The report’s policy recommendations call on the United States and other nations to consider implementing new counterterrorism sanctions against the terrorist group and its complementary network of educational institutions inside Lebanon.

ADL obtained and closely examined two elementary school textbooks published by Mustafa Generation Publishing House, the publishing arm of a national network of schools linked to the terrorist group. The 6th grade textbooks, “Islam is our Message” and “Us and History,” provide a consistently hateful depiction of the Jewish people stretching from ancient times to the present.

“While we have long known that Hezbollah uses dehumanizing propaganda to justify violence against Jews, our analysis of these school textbooks shows just how far Hezbollah’s leaders will go to teach children to hate,” said David Weinberg, ADL’s Washington Director for International Affairs, who authored the report. “As this report has extensively documented, there is horrific and systematic indoctrination taking place in many of these institutions, poisoning young minds to sacrifice themselves in service of a violent, fanatical, and Jew-hating agenda.”

Some examples from the textbooks and school websites include:

  • From Us and History: “Judaism is a religion confined to the Jews, the masters of the world and the emperors of the universe, which nobody is entitled to belong to, no matter his station.  And this is what made them hated and outcast, and perhaps what intensified people’s aversion to them: their unjustness, their arrogance, their greed, and their monopolizing.”
  • From Islam is our Message, in a lesson about 7th century Mizrachi Jews: “Let us take the lesson and the instruction. For the Zionists are the enemies of humanity in the past, present, and future because of their attributes: deceit, treason, treachery, and breaking pacts.”
  • Kindergarteners from Lebanon’s Mahdi schools pledging to follow in the footsteps of Hezbollah’s late terror master Imad Mughniyeh, particularly against “the Zionist enemy”

Policy Recommendations

Because of their role aiding Hezbollah’s comprehensive system for youth indoctrination and recruitment, some of the antisemitic educational institutions examined by this report also appear to be vulnerable to U.S. counterterrorism sanctions. Such sanctions can help constrain the capabilities of these dangerous institutions, deterring outside actors from enabling them, particularly thanks to Congressional sanctions legislation passed into law in 2018 with ADL’s support.

Sanctions by the U.S. and other governments would have another important effect: they would expose and condemn the role of these schools in fueling hatred and violence, making clear that the antisemitic myths that Hezbollah teaches to children are wrong, both factually and morally. And they would help emphasize to the international community that even Hezbollah’s so-called social service activities are intimately used in the ultimate service of terrorism.

ADL therefore calls on the United States and other national governments around the world – particularly those countries in Europe, Latin America, East and South Asia, and West Africa where Hezbollah’s logistical or recruitment networks are strongest– to swiftly assess which of these educational institutions are indeed complicit in sanctionable activity involving Hezbollah.