Textbook ‘incitement’ debate not over yet

israel palestine schoolbooks

Palestinian texts promote discord, not peace

 

“Victims of Our Own Narratives” was the title of a recent handout given to journalists filling two rooms — one in Jerusalem and the other at the Press Club in Washington, DC. Headlines were quick to follow stating that the problem of incitement in Israeli and Palestinian school textbooks is over. However, wishful thinking aside, it is not.

The “textbook incitement debate” deals with the claims that textbooks in both Israeli and Palestinian societies undermine the peace process and fail to encourage the struggling nations to find common ground. Putting this simply, it is about books that foster hate and struggle rather than tolerance and peace.

Recently – following three years of work – a new report by an Israeli-Palestinian research team claimed to have settled that debate. The self-proclaimed “definitive” report, commissioned by the Council of Religious Institutions in the Holy Land and headed by YaleProfessor Bruce Wexler, studied Israeli and Palestinian textbooks and stated that there is no actual dehumanization or incitement in either curriculum and concluded that both sides need to improve their attitudes toward the other. View full post…

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Abbas har rett i at utdanning kan brukes til hat

PA-president Mahmoud Abbas. (Foto: UN Photo)

Da PA-president Mahmoud Abbas talte for FNs generalforsamling forrige måned, hevdet han at israelske bøker som oppfordret til hat mot palestinerne er skyld i bosettervolden på Vestbredden. Han har rett i at utdanning kan brukes til å skape hat, mener fredsforskerne Yael Teff Seker og Nir Boms.

Abbas har forstått at bøker, utdanning og undervisning kan brukes til å oppfordre mennesker til å hate andre, hevder de to lederne ved Instituttet for fredsovervåking og kulturell toleranse i skoleutdanning (IMPACT-SE) i en kommentarartikkel for The Commentator.

– Volden er et nødvendig biprodukt av det rasistiske klimaet, som blir oppflammet av en undergravingskultur i det israelske samfunnet og ekstremistiske uttalelser, som er fylt med hat og som har sine røtter i en rekke diskriminerende lover opprettet ned gjennom årenes løp mot palestinerne, påsto PA-lederen foran FNs generalforsamling.

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Incitement or peace education?

PA report claims that “Israeli textbooks foster hate” and that “Israeli schools te

A new report published by the office of Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad claims that “Israeli textbooks foster hate” and that “Israeli schools teach [from] racist textbooks.”

The report, associated with the “Palestinian Incitement Index ” aims at monitoring anti-Palestinian rhetoric and follows the Israeli “Incitement Index,” which was developed last year to measure changes in Palestinian discourse toward Israel. While studying the issue of incitement with the aim of decreasing it on both sides is a worthwhile undertaking, a closer look at such discourse is also due.

The Palestinian report cites four examples, three of which are taken from the book Geography of the Land of Israel (2002), which has since been taken off the Education Ministry’s approved reading list.

The only legitimately problematic quote presented by the report is an illustration of an Arab in traditional attire holding a camel’s reins, which is indeed somewhat stereotypical – probably one of the reasons for taking the book off the approved reading list.

However, other examples given by the report did not actually contain any incitement, or even prejudice.

For instance, the report objects to the use of the name “Judea and Samaria,” and the reluctance of Israeli textbooks to present Jerusalem as Palestinian territory.

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Bücher, Aufhetzung und Berichte zur Aufhetzung

 

von Nir Boms und Yael Teff-Seker

Palästinensische Schüler in Ost-Jerusalem Foto: © istock/Joel Carillet

Das Thema Aufhetzung war schon immer Quelle hitziger Debatte zwischen Israel und der Palästinensischen Autonomiebehörde PA. Israel hat einen „Aufhetzungsindex“ mit dem Ziel erstellt, Veränderungen in der anti-israelischen Rhetorik zu beobachten. Die Palästinenser folgten diesem Beispiel und erstellten ihren eigenen Bericht, dessen zweite Ausgabe in der letzten Woche erschien. Die Untersuchung und Analyse des Themas Aufhetzung, um diese auf beiden Seiten zu reduzieren, ist ein lohnendes Vorhaben, doch eine nähere Betrachtung des Diskurses ist ebenso fällig.

„Israelische Schulbücher fördern Hass“ verkündet der Titel des palästinensischen Berichts, der besagt, dass „es Beweise gibt, dass israelische Schulen rassistische Schulbücher lehren“. Der „Beweis“ wird in Form von vier Beispielen für solche „Aufhetzung“ erbracht. Drei davon sind einem Erdkundebuch über das Land Israel (2002) entnommen, welches bereits seit 2002 von der vom israelischen Bildungsministerium genehmigten Leseliste genommen ist. Die gezeigten Bilder u.a. eines Arabers in traditioneller Kleidung, der ein Kamel an der Leine führt, sind tatsächlich etwas klischeehaft (doch kaum aufhetzend) und waren wahrscheinlich der Grund dafür, warum das Buch von der genehmigten Leseliste gestrichen wurde.

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