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Narrative

  • 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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  • Israelis and Palestinians are living in different worlds

    There is something about the way that Israelis and Palestinians are discussing the violent events of recent weeks that suggests a new, particularly worrying dissonance between the two societies. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has always included a full-fledged war of narratives. From biblical and historical land claims, to the creation of the Palestinian refugee problem, to who started the 1967 war, to whether it’s a security fence or an apartheid wall, common ground is often nowhere to be found. And yet, there is something about the way that Israelis and Palestinians are discussing the violent events of recent weeks that suggests…

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  • Israel's grip on the Palestinian tourism industry

    Through a regime of permits, licenses and visas, Israel controls who guides most tourists to the Holy Land, what they are told and where they spend their money. Can Palestinians use tourism to take back the discourse on occupation? By Amjad Alqasis (See correction below.) Israel’s occupation and colonization of Palestine is not limited to its military elements — the occupation is also manifested in Israel’s use of tourism as a political tool. Tourism is used to strengthen Israel’s position as occupying power, to maintain its domination over Palestinian land and people, but also as an instrument for the dissemination…

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  • Truth is the first casualty when war is declared

    The recurring elements in the manipulation of public opinion and discourse in wartime also appeared during ‘Protective Edge.’ Shaked Spier brings you the Ten Truths, Ten Commandments and Ten Lies of war. By Shaked Spier The truth Several truths dominated the hegemonic discourse in Israel during and since “Protective Edge”: 1. Israel doesn't want war, we only defend ourselves 2. Hamas was solely responsible for this war 3. The Hamas leadership is evil and looks evil 4. Israel is defending a noble cause, not special interests 5. Hamas carries out intentional atrocities; we only make mistakes (“collateral damage”) 6. Hamas…

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  • Happy Independence Day wishes from a Palestinian

    I published this article last year at the Jerusalem post; I thought today is an appropriate occasion to repost it. It might be hard to believe that a Palestinian would wish an Israeli Jew a happy Independence Day, but I am only following in the footsteps of another Palestinian I know, Ibrahim from Hebron. Three years ago, I was cohosting a bilingual (Arabic and Hebrew) radio show at Radio All for Peace in Jerusalem with my Israeli cohost, Sharon Misheiker. Our weekly show happened to air on Israeli Independence Day, and on that day we invited Ibrahim, a peace activist,…

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