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naftali bennett

  • The Zionist educator we should have listened to

    At a time when Israel's education minister sees only Jews as moral, it is worth remembering a prominent Zionist educator who taught us that things could have turned out differently. By Gil Gertel This past week marked "Land Day," in which we commemorate and decry the dispossession of Israel's Arab citizens of their land. Fate also had it that on that very same week, the Israeli public found itself a new national hero, who took the slogan "death to Arabs" and made it a reality. On the day following the Hebron shooting, Education Minister Naftali Bennett attacked those who hurried…

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  • What would we say about the Hebron shooter were he Ashkenazi?

    The story of the Hebron shooting is a classic case of the lowly soldier syndrome — mostly Ashkenazi political leaders give the order, yet only those at the bottom of the ladder must pay the price.  By Adi Mazor and Tom Mehager What is the difference between the Israeli soldier who shot 22-year-old Palestinian Abed al-Fatah Sharif in Hebron last week after a stabbing attack, and the soldiers from elite unites who shoot and kill Palestinian suspects? The difference is that the elite soldiers do behind the scenes — when no one is there to capture it on camera. [tmwinpost] Since the…

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  • Political persecution won't stop us from breaking our silence

    The orchestrated onslaught against Israeli anti-occupation groups have led to death threats and physical attacks. But we will not be scared — we are determined to save our country from the same messianic, nationalistic, and racist forces that harm it. By Yuli Novak Over the last few months, as the Israeli government is less helpless in the face of terror and our foreign relations are at an unprecedented low — we have experienced, for the first time, what political persecution feels like. The ongoing campaign against Breaking the Silence is not intended to criticize or argue over political opinions. The…

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  • No room for occupation in Israel's civics curriculum

    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…

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  • New children's book revives legacy of Jewish-Muslim coexistence

    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…

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  • The uncomfortable context of Israel's book ban

    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…

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  • What does it say when the IDF is the sanest voice in Israel?

    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…

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  • Why Israel’s education minister thinks hope is dangerous

    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…

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  • There is no reason to trust Israel's 'zero tolerance' policy

    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…

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  • Educating toward peace: Two narratives for two peoples

    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…

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  • Prime minister's wife accused in court of abusing staff

    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…

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  • Arab school strike highlights Israel's discriminatory education policies

    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…

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  • In Nabi Saleh, an occupier's sense of entitlement

    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…

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