“Naqba” to be taught in Israeli schools

Labour still vying for Arab vote

(IsraelNN.com) Arab schoolchildren in Israel will be taught next year that the founding of the State of Israel was a tragedy (Nakba in Arabic) in accordance with a widespread Arab view of the event.

The Education Ministry, headed by Prof.Yuli Tamir (Labor), has approved adding the Arab version to the curriculum in response to calls by Arab nationalists who requested the “Nakba” version be taught in their schools.

The new directive approves a Grade 3 textbook “Living Together in Israel,” which was written by Arabs who left their homes during the 1948 War of Independence and claim that Israel took their land. The textbook evenhandedly points out that the Arab nations refused to accept the United Nations partition plan creating the Jewish State and a new Trans-Jordan country.

“The Arab narrative deserves to be told in Israel,” Tamir explained. Arab MKs congratulated her for her decision, though immediately raised new demands. Arab MK Hana Sweid said Tamir should now incorporate Arab poetry into Jewish school curricula, while MK Jamal Zechalke called for “Arab cultural autonomy” under which Arabs would solely determine Israeli-Arab schools’ curricula regarding Arab history and culture.

Other Responses
Reactions from the right were very sharp. MK Meir Porush (United Torah Judaism) said that Prime Minister Olmert, as part of his gestures to PA chairman Abu Mazen, might as well propose that PA officials run Israel’s Education Ministry. Porush said that Tamir’s decision was shameful and should be retracted.

Former Education Minister Limor Livnat (Likud) declared that teaching Arab children the “Nakba” version of Israel’s creation will encourage them to later work against the nation.

MK Zevulun Orlev (NRP), a former Director-General of the Education Ministry, called upon Prime Minister Olmert to fire Tamir for making an

    “anti-Zionist decision that erases Jewish history and denies the State of Israel as a Jewish state. The Education Minister gives Arabs the legitimacy not to recognize Israel as the State of the Jewish people. This decision marks the “Nakba” of Israel’s education network.”

Strategic Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman slammed Tamir as

    “expressing not only post-Zionism but also political masochism… The Israel left always complicates itself trying to justify the other side without understanding that there is nothing to justify.”

Moshe Feiglin, running for Likud Party Chairman on behalf of the party’s Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) faction, said,

    “If it is OK to teach Israeli[-Arab] schoolchildren that the Jewish victory in the War for Independence and the establishment of the Jewish State are actually a catastrophe, this means that the State of Israel is an illegitimate and temporary body… Yuli Tamir hereby reveals that she does not identify with the Jewish claim over the Land more than with the Arab claim. If we do not hurry and give Israel a leadership that truly believes in the justness of our existence, Israel will be erased from the map.”

Tamir’s History
Teaching the “Nakba” to Arabs is the latest in a number of dramatic moves by Tamir, a left-wing professor and Peace Now founder who has campaigned against subsidies for Jewish religious education while backing Arab nationalist programs.

Last year, she ordered that maps of Israel show the 1949 Armistice Line, also known as the Green Line, which draws the borders of Israel as it existed before the Six-Day War in 1967.

July 22, 2007 | 3 Comments »

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3 Comments / 3 Comments

  1. I think we all understand the Arabs very well. The “Arab Nation” was the accepted catchword that supposedly served to unite Arabs under a common fellowship. The “Arab Unmma” was God giving land never to be trespassed by infidels. Not just Jews, mind you; but anyone who is not an Arab.

    They may acknowledge :”We may be poor. We may be backward. We may be ruled by rich evil men but we have conquered the world, albeit in the past, only because “The West “, sad to say, got to the industrial revolution first . But, by golly, we’re Arab. We speak Arabic! So we are a unique people and culture as are the Jews or anyone one else for that matter.” They have an honor to maintain.

    [ N.B. Just think of what they would be if they had no oil! ]

    I think there may be a professional social anthropologist who could explain this bond of unity much better than I and in “technical” terms, of course, befitting a professional. In fact, a sense of a “bond” is a normal reaction when strangers meet in a foreign land and pleasantly discover they speak the same language. So let us grant the Arabs have a position.

    But what sticks in the Arabs craw is Al Nabka–the “disaster”, the “catastrophe”. What is at the heart of this disaster is not–repeat not– the sheer incomprehensibility of Jews — Jews!– trashing not one but 5 Arab Nations and announcing the birth of a State for the Jews. Wait–let’s pursue this a step further. It was not–repeat not—even the military loss that constitutes the “catastrophe,” not the even the loss of their military arms, or their air force, not even the loss of their expendable soldiers. The “catastrophe” was –pay attention–primarily the abject humiliation suffered by the “Arab Mind”,the mortification of the “Arab soul”, the snickering in the halls of power of other nations, the visible loss of their respect and honor–their Honor!! That is the Al Nakba. The Arabs say May 15 , 1948 –the fact of the establishment of the State of Israel —defines the disaster– but don’t believe that for a moment. Their mortification is the catastrophe.

    Now that Hamas has come to power, they are holding parades and speeches to buttress their position that it is only the eradication of the State of Israel that will restore the Arab Honor.They do not fear Israel.

    Their mind is already made up. So long as Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States have financial power, the conflict will continue. Even Bush touting a 2-state solution is , I feel, a sop to the Arabs. Creating a 23rd Arab State in the region will be creating a basket case. Creating another Arab State will only compound the problem of having allowed the creation of the State of Israel in the first place. Yet, never in the history of the world has an indigenous population readily welcomed a permanent intrusion of massive foreign bodies without conflict. Never! In time it will be resolved. It always is, and never in the favor of the indigenous population. Never!

    In terms of today’s realpolitic, we have passed a point of no return in regard to the creation of the State of Israel–it will be there, constant Arab belligerence notwithstanding. The only solution is –and has been for the past 60 years–Israeli annexation of the West Bank, one state, from the river to the sea.

    But now Gaza , amputated from Israeli control, becomes “the Palestinian State”. At long last. The Palestinians have a state. I predict the Egyptians may eventually annex it. It is too late for the sort of states previously wishfully dreamed of by the uninformed.

    Once the West bank is annexed, there may be one state in which Arabs and Jews can live peacefully, but with this proviso–it is a Jewish State–only Jews are to be citizens for political and governmental purposes–others shall be “guest workers,” if they wish to reside in Israel, without any show of beligerence or Islamic acrimony otherwise they can be gently or forcefully encouraged, as the case may be, to emigrate to another Arab State elsewhere where the culture may me more accomodating. I doubt the majority of the Palestinian households in the West Bank today want to move. Transfer may be impossible and unwise to undertake. In fact I think a typical Palestinian family would love to live in Israel, even as a “guest” they would live better than they would live anywhere else in the Middle East. As they say, “Better the “occupation” of Israel then the “freedom of Gaza”

    In fact, according to recent Polling done by the Palestinian Opinion Poling Center only 26% of the Palestinians feel Israel is their major problem, Hamas notwithstanding!

    Martin Kessler

  2. Spot on keelie.

    The BBC website is already running with this story on the front page of their ME section; I can just see the glee on the faces of their editors.

    Perhaps for Tamir’s next official act, she can order insertion of a “balanced” discussion of Germany’s view in the 1930s that the Jews were aliens in the land, wielded too much power and influence, and controlled the world’s newspapers and banks.

  3. “PROFESSOR” Tamir!!!!!!!! It seems that the more educated (and I say that very loosely) one is, the more stupidity affects one’s mind.

    Looks like the Arabs only have to sit and wait; we’ll tear ourselves apart on our own, just like we did in 70 AD. The Jews were so busy killing each other in Jerusalem at that time, that the Romans just had to wait, then go in and “mop up.”

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