IDF Officers to Study Arabic, Islamic Culture

The IDF plans to provide Arabic language courses for civilian security officers in Judea and Samaria, the army announced Sunday.

Yaakov Levi,

IDF in night operation (file)
IDF in night operation (file)
IDF SPokesperson/Flash 90

The IDF plans to provide Arabic language courses for civilian security officers in Judea and Samaria, the army announced Sunday. The purpose of the move, the army said, is to enhance the connection between IDF officers and the local population, in an effort to reduce tensions and misunderstandings.

The first officers to be offered the courses will be those working in the Efraim Brigade, which covers the villages in the Kalkilya area of Samaria. The army will supply professional teachers, and the course will take place at one of several IDF bases in the center of the country.

According to officers, it was the civilian population of Judea and Samaria that came up with the idea for the project. “We believe that a project like this can reduce tensions with the local population,” said the IDF's Yossi Stern, Director of the army's School of Communications. “If this pilot course is successful we will expand the scope of the program, offering courses to security officials in Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria, as well as to army officers. We have always felt that it is problematic that there was a language barrier, as elementary understanding is essential to ensuring proper relations.”

Officers participating in the program will be given “homework” consisting of reading materials, CDs with language lessons, and the like. In addition, participants will be shown videos and films on Arabic culture, Islam, and other aspects of Arab life.




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