Students who open up the Education Ministry's new civics textbook won't find a word about military rule or discrimination against 20 percent of the population. There's a reason for that. By Gil Gertel Education Minister Naftali Bennett has managed to make some changes in Israel's civic education curriculum: it is now more religious and less humanistic. The problem is not with civic education, but rather with the state; civic education reflects reality, not those who mold it. The responsibility for reality does not fall on teachers, but on our elected leadership. Bennett is pushing education to the right It is true…Read More... | 2 Comments
On the backdrop of rising discrimination and violence against Israel's Arab citizens, a new children's book invokes the spirit of friendship between Arabs and Jews, giving us at least one thing to look forward to in 2016. By Yoni Mendel (Translated from Hebrew by Ami Asher) A new children's book, "Sweet Tea with Mint And Other Stories" is being released in a climate of increasing discrimination. With the Education Ministry excluding books from its curriculum out of fear of “miscegenation,” at a time of record low of Arabic proficiency among Jews, and with the images of Jews dancing and stabbing photos of Palestinian…Read More... | 11 Comments
The decision to prevent high schools from teaching a Jewish-Palestinian love story might sound like an innocent attempt at promoting Jewish continuity. In fact, it's the sound of Israel's extreme right going mainstream. Israel's Education Ministry announced Wednesday that it would ban Israeli high schools from teaching a novel about a love affair between a Jewish woman and a Palestinian man. [tmwinpost] The decision was made despite the fact that the book, Dorit Rabinyan's "Gader Haya," was recommended for use in advanced literature classes by numerous bodies — including a professional committee of academics and educators — at the request…Read More... | 40 Comments
When members of the opposition are trying to outflank Netanyahu on the right, even the IDF seems like a saner alternative to Israeli politicians. By Yoni Mendel "A nation in uniform," "an army that has a state," "a democracy of army bases." In academic research of the critical kind, Israel is understood as a militaristic state. This, among other things, is what the sociologist Baruch Kimmerling meant when he said, "whether we want it or not — we are a clearly militaristic society, and this militarism is also a central principle around which Israeli society is organized." Uri Ben Eliezer…Read More... | 2 Comments
The politicians in Israel's government want nothing more than for Palestinians to simply give up on statehood. They're not so clear on what happens next. The man in charge of educating the next generation of Israelis believes that the driving force behind terrorism is hope. Yes. You read that correctly. “Terrorism is not a result of the Palestinians losing hope but rather because they have hope,” Bennett said earlier this week. “A Palestinian state is their hope … If we stop their hope, the motivation for terrorism will drop.” (Hebrew) The idea is composed half of logic and half of delusion. [tmwinpost] The logical…Read More...
While the government claims to take a 'zero tolerance' stance on terrorism — whether Palestinian or Jewish — the reality on the ground paints a very different picture. The phrase “zero tolerance” is doing brisk business in Israel-Palestine. Public figures like to talk tough in violent times and 2015 has been a particularly bloody year here, even by our grim standards. "Zero tolerance" sounds, at first, like an impartial expression of the intent to solve problems, impervious to bias or personal agendas. The term has consequently been jumped on by Israeli politicians and security personnel in an attempt to establish parity…Read More... | 1 Comment
After Oslo, Israel made an attempt to institutionalize education toward peace, but it drowned in bloodshed and violence. A look at the situation today. By Gil Gertel Not a single educator has made a single educational declaration regarding the current situation over the past month. Nothing. Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett keeps repeating that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas “is the head of the serpent of incitement.” In 1994, following Israel’s peace talks with the Palestinians and with Jordan, the school system, too, addressed the subject. It was called “education toward peace.” To quote the newsletter published by the Curriculum Department…Read More...
Former employees of the prime minister's residence are suing the Netanyahus for wife Sara's allegedly abusive and inhumane treatment. On Sunday a former cook recounted some shocking incidents when she testified under subpoena. Sara Netanyahu, the wife of the prime minister, is an alcoholic who drinks champagne from morning to night, terrorizes her employees with verbal and physical abuse and has her husband, the prime minister, so terrified of her rages that he does not dare utter a word that might appear to contradict her. This is according to testimony heard on Sunday in a Jerusalem court from former employees at…Read More... | 5 Comments
All of Israel’s Arabic schools went on strike Monday in solidarity with 47 church-run schools fighting for equal funding from the state in comparison to Jewish religious schools. The discrimination in education is a microcosm of an entire system of inequity. Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett published an op-ed last week marking the start of the new school year. “This is the first time I’ve reached this day with 2.2 million students under my responsibility, besides my own four children,” he wrote, promising to ensure that all schools had the tools “to bring you [the students] and the entire education system to…Read More... | 1 Comment
The response in Israel to an attempted arrest of a minor in the West Bank village has been fierce yet predictable. Wrapped up in outraged reactions to the treatment of the soldier himself, however, is Israel's bruised sense of entitlement. An Israeli soldier's attempted arrest of a Palestinian minor in Nabi Saleh last Friday, and its prevention by the child's family, have generated heated reactions in Israel. Responses have ranged from outrage at the soldier's treatment to calls for increased and harsher powers for Israeli security forces in the West Bank, along with the customary slew of "Pallywood" slurs that…Read More... | 1 Comment
The murder of a Palestinian baby has provoked condemnation from Israeli leaders across the political spectrum. Yet the harsh rhetoric masks a consistent failure by the Israeli establishment to understand the endemic nature of this kind of violence. Friday morning's “price tag” arson attack in the West Bank village of Duma, which killed Palestinian baby Ali Saad Dawabsha and left his parents and brother in critical condition, has been labeled an act of terror by nearly all Israeli and Palestinian politicians alike. [tmwinpost] Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the arson “an act of terrorism in every respect,” and announced that he…Read More... | 9 Comments
Israel keeps millions of people under a system of rules so intricate and outlandish that often the military itself fails to make sense of it. By Itamar Sha’altiel (translated from Hebrew by Noam Rabinovich) Naftali Bennett posted a photo to Facebook on Wednesday of a vase found in an archeological dig in Beit Shemesh, bearing the words “Ishba’al son of Beda.” Bennett’s point, and his conclusion, was that “a nation cannot occupy its own land.” The phrase, “a nation cannot occupy its own land,” is a right-wing slogan that is repeated ad nauseam – by Bennett and others – and it has…Read More... | 6 Comments
Israelis cannot treat the occupation as something that merely affects them in the eyes in the world while their economy keeps paying a heavy price for its continuation. By Shlomo Swirski and Yarom Hoffman Dishon The social-economic cost of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is spoken about far less than the human cost or the price Israel pays on an international level. And when the social-economic costs do get brought up, the leaders of the economy always stress that this is a relatively small price to pay that have a short-term negative effect on the market. This position only lends to the…Read More... | 1 Comment
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