Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Israel pulls textbook with chapter on Nakba

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Israel/Palestine Donate to DU
 
Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-19-09 05:35 AM
Original message
Israel pulls textbook with chapter on Nakba
The Ministry of Education has taken the unusual step of collecting all copies of the history textbook, "Nationalism: Building a State in the Middle East" which was published about two months ago by the Zalman Shazar Center. They will be returned to the shelves only after corrections are made to the text, particularly with reference to the War of Independence.

The book had already been approved by the ministry.

"Collecting the books from the shops is an unnecessary censorship," said Dr. Tsafrir Goldberg, who wrote the controversial chapter on the war. "The process of approving the text was completed in serious fashion from both the pedagogic and the historic points of view. The fact that the education minister changed does not mean that it is possible to bypass this procedure."

On September 22, Haaretz reported that the textbook, which is meant for 11th and 12th-grades, for the first time presented the Palestinian claim that there had been ethnic cleansing in 1948.

"The Palestinians and the Arab countries contended that most of the refugees were civilians who were attacked and expelled from their homes by armed Jewish forces, which instituted a policy of ethnic cleansing, contrary to the proclamations of peace in the Declaration of Independence," states the text, which presented the Palestinian and the Israeli-Jewish versions side by side.

Criticism about the book was voiced by history teachers.

"Presenting Israel's claims as being equal to those of Arab propagandists is exactly like presenting the claims of the Nazis alongside those of the Jews," one of them said.

On the other hand, another teacher noted that the most important component in studying history is to introduce as many points of view as possible.

http://haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1122006.html
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-19-09 03:35 PM
Response to Original message
1. At last, a statement I can agree with...

"Presenting Israel's claims as being equal to those of Arab propagandists is exactly like presenting the claims of the Nazis alongside those of the Jews," one of them said.


The Nakba was clearly not comparable to the Holocaust, but Nakba denial by Israelis - the heirs of the people responsible for it, who are still profiting from it, and are attempting to make political capital from it - is at least as contemtible, and far more widespread, than holocaust denial among Palestinians - who had nothing to do with the Holocaust, despite repeated desperate attempts by Israel to link them to it.

Every Israeli should be exposed to the fact that the founding of their nation was a crime against humanity on a massive scale.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-19-09 05:22 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Should every American by exposed to the same fact?
Would you agree with the statement that the founding of the United States was a crime against humanity on a massive scale?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ProgressiveMuslim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-19-09 05:31 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I'm sure you're outraged by this move Oberliner, since you're all about students
having access to historical information!

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-19-09 05:46 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Absolutely outraged
Whereas I'm sure this isn't really a big deal for you since you have not appeared to be particularly concerned with students having access to historical information.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-19-09 05:59 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. Doesn't follow at all.
No-one would ever suggest giving any student access to all historical information. I think that the amount of space in the UK curriculum dedicated to 5th century Meso-American dynastic politics can safely be fairly small, for example.

The question is which bits of historical information are important, and how to present them. I think that teaching at least something about the holocaust to Palestinian children *is* important - even if you don't believe (as I do) that it was one of the more important events of the last century, it would give them an idea of "this is why the Israelis are being allowed to get away with so much".

But disagreeing with that is not the same as "not being concerned with students having access to historical information". Not worrying about students being taught that the holocaust didn't happen would be, but not worrying about them not being taught that it did isn't, necessarily (although it's emphatically not a position I share).
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-19-09 06:09 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Could not agree more
Similarly claiming that someone is "all about students having access to historical information!" does not follow logically from someone supporting teaching the Holocaust to Palestinian students.

Thus my rejoinder was a gentle tweak at that initial statement.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-19-09 05:48 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. In a word YES they should be "exposed" to this information
I know my children were.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-19-09 05:53 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. Yes, absolutely 100%.
The same is true of many nations, and very few of them recognise it. Teaching your children to be proud of their nationality is a regrettably universal vice, when pretty much all nations have more to be ashamed of than proud of in their history.

But in the US, the consequences for present day politics of acknowledging or denying/justifying past crimes are far smaller than they are in Israel, or in e.g. Australia or Turkey (those three are almost certainly not the best examples, but they are among the ones I am least badly informed about).

There are a few countries which seem to be doing a decent job of acknowledging past crimes in their history - Germany is one, Australia seems to be getting better at it for another, the US is far from the worst - but Israel is right up there with Turkey among the ones doing their best to deny the indefensible, I think.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-19-09 06:32 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. The US is far from the worst?
Edited on Mon Oct-19-09 06:33 PM by oberliner
I wholeheartedly disagree.

Things may have improved of late, but the majority of history books in the United States do not present the genocide of the Native American people as a crime against humanity. Certainly the Native American perspective regarding the founding of the United States was generally not presented side by side with the more commonly taught perspective. At least not when I was in school.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
shaayecanaan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-19-09 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #2
8. Yes. Emphatically Yes. (nt)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-19-09 07:56 PM
Response to Reply #2
11. Of course theyshould be
Are you supporting the removal of content from this Israeli textbook?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
aranthus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-19-09 11:27 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Depends what the books actually say.
I haven't read them, and I suspect that neither have you. All I have is what is in the article. It suggests that the books state that the Arab countries and the Palestinians contend that there was ethnic cleansing. That's certainly true; they do contend that. I see no reason why that shouldn't be left in the book. Was there some actual ethnic cleansing? Almost certainly, and that should be in there as well. Where the train runs off the tracks is if they argue that the Palestinians were mere innocent victims, and that all or almost all of the refugees were ethnically cleansed. That's utter falsehood that shouldn't be taught anywhere. Is that in the books? I don't know. I don't think that people who have not read the books can give a reasoned answer to the question.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-20-09 04:51 AM
Response to Reply #12
15. It looks like the book was giving alternate perspectives...
The Zionist and Arab perspectives were given side by side. It's a shame that the side by side narratives aren't done in both Israeli and Palestinian history textbooks so that the kids understand why the *other* mob feels the way they do - after all, it's really bad that Israeli kids don't get to learn of the dispossession of the Palestinians and that Palestinian kids don't get to learn the context around the founding of Israel as a Jewish state. Understanding how the *other* feels would hopefully go some way to doing away with some of the more extreme views on either side of the conflict....

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
aranthus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-21-09 08:01 PM
Response to Reply #15
30. I don't have a problem with teaching that the Palestinians have a different perspective.
Where I have a problem is teaching that the Palestinian perspective is true in its full telling.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Ken Burch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-20-09 06:32 AM
Response to Reply #2
16. Yes, and Americans SHOULD be exposed to that information.
Do you actually expect anyone here to disagree?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-20-09 08:02 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. Do American textbooks do a good job of that?
In my opinion, they do not.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Ken Burch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-20-09 03:41 PM
Response to Reply #17
26. They could do better, I'll agree
That doesn't mean that what the OP discusses is no big deal.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
LeftishBrit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-20-09 08:12 AM
Response to Reply #16
18. There was a thread not long ago on GD about whether Columbus should be seen as a villain rather than
hero.

Opinions were by no means unanimous.

As regards the UK, I think that we've been exposed for a fairly long time to the fact that significant numbers of people didn't and don't consider its establishment as a Good Thing (there is a lot of popular literature, songs, films, etc. that presents the side of Scottish, Welsh and Irish fighters against England). Bit it is only relatively recently that school history has moved away from a focus on How Great Britain is Great and Won All the Glorious Wars.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-26-09 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #2
32. Absolutely NT
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
proteus_lives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-20-09 12:38 AM
Response to Original message
13. Israel shouldn't ban discussion of the "Nakba" they should be challenging it in historical debate.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-20-09 09:47 AM
Response to Reply #13
19. No, they should be admitting, apologising and atoning for perpetrating it. N.T.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
proteus_lives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-20-09 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #19
21. Wrong, the Arab states that attacked in '48 should apologize....
For causing so much misery to both the Jews and the Palestinians.

While they are do that they should apologize and atone for expelling Jews from their homes across the Middle East.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-21-09 01:18 AM
Response to Reply #21
27. And Israel doesn't have to apologise for anything?
That doesn't seem right. Israel expelled Palestinians from their homes in what is now Israel, so why shouldn't they be expected to apologise aqnd atone for that?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
proteus_lives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-21-09 02:24 AM
Response to Reply #27
28. I never said that.
I have a problem with thinking that that the events in '48 were black and white. I would think it would be appropriate for Israel to apologize for displaced people. But it's not as simple as "The evil Israelis stole everyone's homes."

Take the OP for example, I'd agree totally if they were saying that both sides should admit and apologize for wrong-doing but that's not what they think or want. They just want Israel to be the only nation wearing a Scarlet Letter.

How about all parties apologize?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-21-09 02:54 AM
Response to Reply #28
29. When it comes to apologies, it has to be all-sided...
I totally agree with you in that regard. There's never going to be any real resolution to the conflict if there's not acknowledgements and apologies for past wrongs included....

When it comes to the subject of the OP, which is what's in history textbooks, what the book was doing was laying out two different perspectives side by side, and not making any editorial comment on either perspective being the right one or getting into who should be sorry etc....
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
LeftishBrit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-20-09 02:49 AM
Response to Original message
14. This is wrong. Pupils should not be protected from alternative viewpoints
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-20-09 10:15 AM
Response to Reply #14
20. I'm not sure that's the issue here.
I think that pupils should be taught the truth and not lies. The Nakba is a matter of historical record. It's not a matter of two valid viewpoints; Nakba denial is just like denying the Holocaust or the Armenian genocide, except it's more widely accepted. Children *do* need to be protected from the "viewpoint" that the Nakba didn't happen, or that it wasn't as massive crime by Israel against the Palestinians, because that viewpoint is simply untrue.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-20-09 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #20
22. You truly have no idea what you are talking about
There are numerous different ways to tell the story of the founding of the State of Israel, just as there are numerous different ways to tell the story of the founding of the United States.

The idea that there was a "massive crime" committed by Israel (which did not actually exist yet) against the Palestinians is your opinion.

There are many viewpoints regarding the events of 1947-1948 and even the history of the region prior to that point. A variety of different "heroes" and "villains" emerge and the story can be told from any of several different points of view.

In American history, there are very few textbooks that present George Washington as a villainous criminal who oversaw the near total annihilation of the Iroquois people, however that would certainly be a valid perspective.

The idea that there is simply one "true" way to present history is just ridiculous.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-20-09 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. There are multiple "narratives" about the Holocaust and the Armenian genocide, too.
Edited on Tue Oct-20-09 12:02 PM by Donald Ian Rankin
But that prior to the Nakba, the majority of the population of what is now Israel and the occupied territories were Palestinians, and that they were ethnically cleansed through violence and terror to make way for the founding of Israel, is not an opinion, it's a fact.

I suppose that technically the belief that that was a bad thing is an opinion...

And my use of the word "crime", was, on reflection, simply wrong - I'm guilty of confusing "moral" and "legal", something I often pull other people up for. The only body of law I know of relevant to international conflicts is that of the UN, which sanctioned the Nakba, so crime isn't really accurate (although "atrocity" is, but again the idea that the murder of large numbers of innocent civilians and the forcible displacement of millions more is an atrocity even when the perpetrators are Jewish and the victims Muslim - which I do think is the reason that Israel gets away with so much, and so many people either refuse to condemn it or equivocate when doing so - is only an opinion, not a fact). Although, "crime against humanity" is an idiom slightly distinct from "crime" in the legal sense, and the Nakba clearly qualifies as that.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-20-09 12:41 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. There sure are
No argument here.

The rest of your so-called facts, specifically the ones in your first paragraph, are simply not facts.

I would encourage you to expand your reading list on the subject.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
shira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-20-09 11:43 AM
Response to Reply #20
23. wow...you really are incapable of distinguishing between fact and fiction
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
aranthus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-21-09 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #14
31. Of course they should. Just not this one.
"Protect" isn't the word I would use. Schools should teach truth, and where the truth is in question, legitimate disagreeing viewpoints should be on the curriculum. That doesn't mean that all viewpoints should be taught or that all viewpoints are equally valid. As an example, most general science courses teach that at one time large numbers of people thought that the world was flat. They don't teach that the world is flat, even though there may be some people today who believe it. What's true in this case is that a majority of Palestinians and Arabs believe the Nakba narrative. I see no reason to hide that, or hide from it. There are also reasons why they believe the Nakba narrative, even though it is largely untrue. Like every other country, Israel has some dark patches in its past. That should be taught as well.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Tue Sep 16th 2014, 04:43 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Israel/Palestine Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC