How Israel trains its children to hate and kill Palestinians

The Guardian reports:

Nurit Peled-Elhanan, an Israeli academic, mother and political radical, summons up an image of rows of Jewish schoolchildren, bent over their books, learning about their neighbours, the Palestinians. But, she says, they are never referred to as Palestinians unless the context is terrorism.

They are called Arabs. “The Arab with a camel, in an Ali Baba dress. They describe them as vile and deviant and criminal, people who don’t pay taxes, people who live off the state, people who don’t want to develop,” she says. “The only representation is as refugees, primitive farmers and terrorists. You never see a Palestinian child or doctor or teacher or engineer or modern farmer.”

Peled-Elhanan, a professor of language and education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has studied the content of Israeli school books for the past five years, and her account, Palestine in Israeli School Books: Ideology and Propaganda in Education, is to be published in the UK this month. She describes what she found as racism– but, more than that, a racism that prepares young Israelis for their compulsory military service.

“People don’t really know what their children are reading in textbooks,” she said. “One question that bothers many people is how do you explain the cruel behaviour of Israeli soldiers towards Palestinians, an indifference to human suffering, the inflicting of suffering. People ask how can these nice Jewish boys and girls become monsters once they put on a uniform. I think the major reason for that is education. So I wanted to see how school books represent Palestinians.”

In “hundreds and hundreds” of books, she claims she did not find one photograph that depicted an Arab as a “normal person”. The most important finding in the books she studied – all authorised by the ministry of education – concerned the historical narrative of events in 1948, the year in which Israel fought a war to establish itself as an independent state, and hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled the ensuing conflict.

The killing of Palestinians is depicted as something that was necessary for the survival of the nascent Jewish state, she claims. “It’s not that the massacres are denied, they are represented in Israeli school books as something that in the long run was good for the Jewish state. For example, Deir Yassin [a pre-1948 Palestinian village close to Jerusalem] was a terrible slaughter by Israeli soldiers. In school books they tell you that this massacre initiated the massive flight of Arabs from Israel and enabled the establishment of a Jewish state with a Jewish majority. So it was for the best. Maybe it was unfortunate, but in the long run the consequences for us were good.”

Children, she says, grow up to serve in the army and internalise the message that Palestinians are “people whose life is dispensable with impunity. And not only that, but people whose number has to be diminished.”

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  1. No where is there any hate shown in Israeli text books. In the Arab world they are trained from birth to want to kill Westerners and and all non-Muslims. It is in the Holy Quran. Read the book in it’s entirety than you can see for yourselves.

  2. Mark Tongberg says

    True bravery : When one dares to tell the truth about ones own tribe.

  3. AngryMan9000 says

    Remember Israel is the first Jewish state. That means it represents the Jews true nature.

  4. I’m almost hesitant to say this, but, as more becomes public, it seems that this has been played out before, in the 20th century, perhaps numerous times. Of course, there are those who would/will take offense to this kind of logic, but when facts present themselves in the manner that they are appearing, it becomes inescapable not to draw such conclusions. The World is living in trying times today, much like a huge power keg with a short fuse. Whether the fuse turns out to be snuff proof, is another matter all together. Not sure we have the time to find out whether or not we’re doomed or Superman will rescue us all.

  5. rosemerry says

    I have often wondered about this. The film “Defamation” showed clearly how lovely young Israeli teenagers taken on a school trip to concentration camps in Poland were reinforced by their minders with the idea that everyone hates Jews, that the cruelty of the Holocaust is typical, that the people there (ie Poles speaking Polish) were saying “I hate you”. They are given no idea about anyone but their own group. The film showed how upset they were, and I feel that this sort of education is no help to becoming a normal person.

  6. >>Saladin

    You surely have not read the Quran, as the Quran says to kill NON-MUSLIMS ONLY WHEN ISLAM is targeted by the NON-Muslim (in the name of religion). It also states that people who are neutral and are not the enemies of Islam should be protected.

    I suggests people to read Quran before coming up to conclusions, since there many anti-Muslim propagandists posting lies about Islam. If westerner think Islam is barbaric, i suggests them to read their own history. Middle-East countries are being thrown back into the stone age by these Westerners and the Israelites.