Egyptian schools, in first, to teach 1979 peace accord with Israel

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President Abdul Fatah Sisi’s overhaul of Egypt’s education system will include, for the first time, fact-based instruction on the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.

A report by Army Radio on Feb. 17 said the new curriculum pushed by Sisi “does not stray into the aggressive, biased characterizations of Israel as a criminal or evil entity.”

Begin (R) and Sadat (L) in famous post-treaty handshake. /Tal Shabtai/Wikimedia Commons
Begin, right, and Sadat, left, in famous post-treaty handshake. /Tal Shabtai/Wikimedia Commons

The new curriculum outlines the eight points of the historic treaty verbatim, including Clause 2 – “to end the state of war between Egypt and Israel and to solve all disputes in a peaceful fashion” and Clause 3 – that “all sides should respect the sovereignty and independence of the other side.”

The new text, designed for ninth grade students, also notes that then-Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin received the Nobel Peace Prize for “the great effort they invested in reaching peace in the Middle East.”

Sisi’s overhaul also called for the deletion of portions of the curriculum inserted by the Islamist regime of Mohammed Morsi, which included Muslim Brotherhood ideology and tracts stressing the need for Egyptians to “return to Islamic values.”

The new curriculum also sidelines the role played by former President Hosni Mubarak – who was ousted in a 2011 coup – as a general in the 1973 Yom Kippur War.