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Arab Schools In J'lem: No to Israeli Textbooks

Arab educators in East Jerusalem are pressing parents and students to reject Israeli textbooks even if it means foregoing subsidies.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 3/24/2011, 7:40 PM / Last Update: 3/25/2011, 1:17 AM

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East Jerusalem Education Bureau Director Samir Jibril has called on the city's Arab schools to reject the circular distributed by the Jerusalem Municipality's Education Department, which requires schools it provides funds for to only purchase approved textbooks.

Jibril insists Arab schools should cleave to the 'Palestinian curriculum,' even if it means losing funding, and described the Israeli curriculum as being intended to "strengthen the occupation of the city and Judaize Arab students," which he says is accomplished by removing the Arab narrative of the Israeli War of Independence and Six Day War, which he respectively termed the 'War of Liberation' and 'Catastrophe.'

The Head of the Palestinian Teachers Association, Muhammad Cwane, claimed that since 1967 Arab teachers "struggle against Israeli the academic program in order to maintain the 'Jordanian Palestinian' program."

"Israel has failed to impose its plan for the Palestinian teachers' strike," Cwane added. "Or the refusal [of Arab] parents enroll their children in the schools of the municipality and the Ministry of Education."

Meanwhile, Muhammad Hussein, the Mufti of Jerusalem, railed against the Jerusalem Marathon. "One way to Judaize Jerusalem is having a marathon in the city."

In his Thursday communique the Mufti said the Jerusalem Municipality uses the sport as a tool to determine political facts on the ground.