Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Fast Forward

ADL Report On Hate-Filled Saudi Textbooks Buzzkill For New Pal Israel

Saudi school textbooks for the 2018-19 academic year instigate hatred or violence against Jews, Christians, women and homosexual men, according to an analysis by the Anti-Defamation League.

Newly released textbooks were translated, and several passages were documented in the ADL’s “Teaching Hate and Violence: Problematic Passages from Saudi State Textbooks for the 2018–19 School Year.” Groups that don’t align with Islam were targeted in the books, which are also used in countries in Africa, Europe and other parts of Asia, the ADL found.

The curriculum included hateful sentiments about Jews and Judaism, with some calling for violence.

“Among the most prominent effects of Zionism on the Islamic World are … the spread of drugs and sexual and other diseases in many Islamic countries,” one passage read.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman recently said in an April interview that he recognizes Israel’s right to exist, BBC reported. Both countries are involved in U.S. relations, in the quest to create a Middle East peace plan. Israel didn’t criticize Saudi Arabia following the Saudi-orchestrated murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of the country’s government who was killed in its embassy in Istanbul.

The country had told the U.S. government that it would clear its textbooks of problematic lessons by the 2008 school year, according to the ADL.

Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.