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 hat Recht – Bildung kann aufhetzen

Audiatur, translation from English

Mahmud Abbas hat Recht – Bildung kann aufhetzen. In diesem Fall sollte er einen genaueren Blick darauf werfen, was palästinensische Kinder in ihren Klassenräumen lernen.

In seiner jüngsten Rede vor der UN verwies Mahmud Abbas auf den aufhetzenden Charakter israelischer Schulbücher, die die neuste Welle von Gewalt israelischer Siedler gegen palästinensische Bürger förderten. View full post…

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Abbas is right – Education can incite

Mahmoud Abbas is right – education can incite. In which case, he may want to take a closer look at what Palestinian children are learning in their classrooms

(The Commentator)

Mahmoud Abbas’s recent speech in the UN included a reference to the inciting Israeli books that encouraged the latest surge of violence committed by Jewish settlers aimed at hurting Palestinian citizens.

This violence “is the inherent byproduct of the racist climate” claimed Abbas, “fueled by a culture of incitement in the Israeli curriculum and extremist declarations, which are rife with hatred and are rooted in a series of discriminatory laws created and enacted over the years against the Palestinian people”. View full post…

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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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