Arab Group: Let Us Teach History 'Our Way'
While Israel has made numerous – so far unsuccessful – attempts to persuade the Palestinian Authority to temper its anti-Israel school curriculum, which essentially denies Israel's right to exist and considers the entire existence of the state as “the occupation,” Israeli Arab children are set to learn similar ideas in the schools they attend. A new guidance document from the Arab Pedagogic Council – which is made up of schools in Israeli Arab towns and villages and is supported financially by schools which draw their budgets from the government, seeks to implement a vicious anti-Israel curriculum in schools, telling the story of “Palestine” from the same perspective that the PA does.
The document, titled “Purposes of Education and Teacher Guidance for the Palestinian Minority in Israel,” was published this week with the backing and approval of Arab political leaders, including Knesset members.
In the document's introduction, the authors set the agenda by describing the “historical facts” which the Council recommends as setting the basis for all history and civics lessons in schools. “Like the rest of the nations of the world,” the document says, “Palestinians progressed in the development of Palestinian cities and towns, and of agriculture. Then came the 'Nakba,'” the document continues, using the Arab term for “destruction” that is used to describe the establishment of Israel, “which we are still in the midst of.
“Among the tools the Zionists used in setting up a national home for Jewish people were violence and racism, fear-mongering, destruction, uprooting of homes and communities, theft, and ethnic cleansing,” the document says. “These things caused a destruction for the Palestinian people. But these events also caused a sharpening of the Palestinian identity both in the diaspora and in the homeland.”
The Council says it released the guidelines to counter what it says was Israel's restrictions on Arab education systems, which are not permitted to present “the facts of history.” It recommends that history and civics be treated like religion – with all curriculum and materials provided by an expert committee with expertise in the area.
The Education Ministry said that the document was not official and and not been approved for use as a guideline.