It is clear that however well-meaning the sponsors and researchers of the textbook study may have been, the lack of sufficient historical, social and geopolitical context distort the findings and render this study counterproductive.
Pursuant to promoting development of a culture of peace and mutual respect in the Holy Land, the Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land commissioned this study of how Israeli and Palestinian school books portray each other, the three Abrahamic faiths and themes related to conflict and peace. A joint Israeli/Palestinian research team developed and applied a standardized, manualized and multi-rater research method to maximize objectivity. Study methods and findings were reviewed by a Scientific Advisory Panel of international experts in text book analysis and leading Israeli and Palestinian academics.
Israeli books were from the State Secular and Religious Tracts and from independent Ultra-Orthodox schools. Palestinian books were nearly all from the Ministry of Education’s text books, but a small number of books from the few independent religious schools (Al-Waqf) were included when relevant to study themes. Israeli books were on average 2.5 times as long as Palestinian books and included more photographs and illustrations. Israelis have produced their own school books for over 60 years, and they have gone through repeated cycles of review and revision. Palestinians began producing their own books for the first time only in 2000 and completed the full set of books for grades 1-12 in 2006. Several of the first-produced books are now in a second or third edition.
There were four main findings of the study. First, dehumanizing and demonizing characterizations of the other as seen in textbooks elsewhere and of concern to the general public are rare in both Israeli and Palestinian books. Second, both Israeli and Palestinian books present unilateral national narratives that present the other as enemy, chronicle negative actions by the other directed at the self-community, and present the self-community in positive terms with actions aimed at self-protection and goals of peace. Descriptions of the other as enemy in Israeli books were generally related to violent attacks against Israelis, and Israeli books more often described Palestinians as aiming to destroy than to dominate Israel. Descriptions of the other as enemy in Palestinian books were generally related to the Jews being given (by international powers) or Israel appropriating Palestinian land and resources (e.g., water), and Palestinian books more often described Israelis as seeking to dominate than to destroy Palestinians. Historical events, while not false or fabricated, are selectively presented to reinforce each community’s national narrative. Third, there is a lack of information about the religions, culture, economic and daily activities of the other, or even of the existence of the other on maps. The absence of this kind of information about the other serves to deny the legitimate presence of the other. This important problem can be addressed by the addition of information about the culture, religions, and everyday activities of the other. Fourth, while present and problematic in all three school systems, the negative bias in presentation of the other, the positive bias in presentation of the self, and the absence of images and information about the other are all statistically significantly more pronounced in the Israeli Ultra-Orthodox and Palestinian books than in the Israeli State books. Israeli State books provide some more information about the other, less negative overall characterization of the other, and multiple examples of actions by Israelis against Palestinians that were criticized as wrong by Israeli citizens and leaders. The Israeli Ultra-Orthodox and Palestinian books do not differ significantly from each other in these regards. Within the two tracks of the Israeli State schools, self-critical presentations were significantly more common in the secular than in the religious track books; books from the religious track included some self-critical examples but overall were similar in presentation of the self-community to the Israeli Ultra-Orthodox and Palestinian books.
This general profile of portrayals of the “other” is typical of school books of societies in conflict. Each society creates a national narrative based on repeated descriptions of the other and its acts in negative terms, recounting of historical events from the perspective of the self- community’s legitimate struggles for self-preservation in relation to threats of destruction or domination by the other, and the absence of information that legitimizes the presence and humanizes the other. These narratives help sustain the community as it deals with the violence, losses and deprivations of the conflict. However, they can also be obstacles to peace as they engender fear, mistrust, misunderstanding and dehumanization of the other. Social scientists have described steps through which conflict-related national narratives can be modified, and some governments have taken these steps in deliberate efforts to reduce conflict and promote peace.
It is recommended that the Israeli and Palestinian Ministries of Education each establish a committee of Ministry staff and community experts to review current and future books in light of the study findings and prepare a plan of action based upon the review. Additional steps will be necessary to facilitate similar processes regarding the books of the Israeli Ultra-Orthodox communities.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues over self-determination, territory, natural resources, holy places and security. Contradictory goals and interests in different domains have to be addressed in conflict resolution. Resolution of these disagreements is made more difficult by powerful socio-psychological forces which fuel distrust and hostility. These forces include beliefs, perceptions, images, myths or attitudes about the rival, the collective self and the conflict. Such beliefs and images are often part of each society’s national narrative, and these narratives can be important as societies continue to marshal human and material resources demanded by the conflict. The narratives are propagated through many years by various channels of communication and various institutions in each involved society, including the education system. However, these collective narratives often leave little room for acknowledgement of the historical past, culture, and future aspirations of the other collective. Thus, while these narratives help sustain societies during conflicts, they can stand as a major obstacle to any peace-making process and later processes of reconciliation. The narratives may need to be modified in order to facilitate building a new reality of peace. In this endeavor there can be a need to modify school textbooks which may serve as one agent among others in socializing new generations.
The current study analyzed descriptions of the other side and the conflict in general that appear in the school textbooks of the Israeli and Palestinian educational systems. The Israeli- Palestinian conflict is long standing, and multiple observers have commented that negative stereotypic and dehumanizing views of the “other” create fear, hatred and enmity, contribute to mistrust, and obstruct diplomatic efforts to resolve conflict. Explicit attempts to address these issues have been made, especially after the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993. But the national narratives have strong roots due to the long duration of the conflict. Moreover, accusations by each side about the current content of the other’s school books add to the mistrust and animosity.
Peace negotiations have included efforts to deal with this aspect of the conflict. In the Taba Agreement (Oslo 2, signed in 1995) under chapter four, Cooperation, article 22 says each side:
…shall accordingly abstain from incitement, including hostile propaganda, against each other…that their respective educational systems contribute to the peace between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples and to peace in the entire region, and will refrain from the introduction of any motifs that could adversely affect the process of reconciliation
Similarly, the Wye River Memorandum (signed in 1998) includes in Section A (Security Actions) an explicit statement about incitement and called for a committee with education specialists (Point 3 Prevention of Incitement):
(a) The Palestinian side would issue a decree prohibiting all forms of incitement to violence or terror, and establishing mechanisms for acting systematically against all expressions or threats of violence or terror. This decree would be comparable to the existing Israeli legislation which deals with the same subject. (b) A U.S.-Palestinian- Israeli committee would meet on a regular basis to monitor cases of possible incitement to violence or terror and to make recommendations and reports on how to prevent such incitement. The Israeli, Palestinian and U.S. sides would each appoint a media specialist, a law enforcement representative, an educational specialist and a current or former elected official to the committee.
School textbooks figure prominently in these discussions for two reasons. First, beliefs and attitudes about the other among the young generation are in part shaped by school textbooks and discussions based upon them. Second, the content of textbooks are public statements by the elders, leaders and governments of how they view one another and the conflict. While the effects on children can sustain fear and aggression across generations, the effects of such public depictions of the other can impact trust between those currently charged with ending the conflict.
Israelis and Palestinians make at least six primary charges and countercharges about the role of textbooks in preserving the negative and inappropriate representation of the other and the conflict. The first is that each side as a nation, society, community, or religion is unfavorably and/or inaccurately depicted in the textbooks of the other and even its legitimacy is disregarded. The second is that the textbooks misrepresent the description of the conflict by omitting, marginalizing or magnifying certain events or processes in order to present them in line with the society’s own national narrative. The third is that the textbooks neglect to teach the history, culture, religion and tradition of the other, and therefore miss the opportunity to recognize the humanity of the other (PRIME project: 2001-2009). The fourth is that both sides school textbooks fail to include examples of the peaceful periods of coexistence between the two sides and especially do not portray fairly the nature of relationship between Jews and Arabs through the years of a long history (Firer and Adwan:2004). The fifth claim is that the shared beliefs of the three Abrahamic faiths that could promote trust and familiarity are rarely covered in textbooks, including the fact that each community’s own scriptural sources include passages that emphasize the equality of all people under God/Allah, and the value of treating all people accordingly. The sixth claim is that the textbooks do not prepare their own students to live in peace through active peace education.
The present project employs a new methodology to produce a transparent, simultaneous, comprehensive, and scientifically rigorous analysis of both current Israeli and current Palestinian school books. The research team consists of researchers fluent in Arabic and Hebrew, led jointly by senior Israeli and Palestinian researchers widely acknowledged for their expertise in text book analysis, and supported by an international advisory panel of leading Israeli and Palestinian academics and experts in school book analysis from Europe and the United States (Appendix A).
Key Features of the Study
1- The research team is a joint Israeli/Palestinian team led by an Israeli professor (Daniel Bar- Tal) and a Palestinian professor (Sami Adwan), both internationally recognized for their expertise in text book analysis, and includes Israeli and Palestinian research assistants fluent in Arabic, Hebrew and English.
2- Development and use of a standardized, manualized and multi-rater research method to maximize objectivity.
3- Simultaneous evaluation of both Israeli and Palestinian books by the same research team using the same methods for both sets of books.
4- Demonstrated inter-rater reliability: Israeli-Israeli, Palestinian-Palestinian, and Israeli- Palestinian.
5- Remote data entry to a database at Yale so that no one on the research team knows how the data are adding up as the study progresses (e.g., no one sees how the results are looking after the first 10 books are entered and then has that knowledge influence, consciously or unconsciously, how they analyze subsequent books).
6- Creation of an international scientific advisory panel of world experts in textbook analysis (see Appendix A) who met in Jerusalem with the research team to review all study methods before data acquisition began, monitored subsequent work including data analytic methods, reviewed study findings, and reconvened in Jerusalem to meet with the research team to help interpret study findings.
7- Direct communication with the Israeli and Palestinian Ministries of Education to inform them of the study, invite discussion of planned study methods, and encourage their future participation in modifying the curriculum if study findings suggest modifications are desirable
Overview of the School Systems Israeli School System.
Israel’s educational system consists of Jewish schools (study language is Hebrew)
and Arab schools (study language is Arabic). Hebrew education is divided into three tracks: State- secular, State-religious and Independent Ultra-Orthodox. The Arabic books used in schools for Arab children in Israel were not included in the study since they do not provide information about how each community portrays the other; the other in this case is the Israeli Jew but the books are prepared and approved by the Israeli Ministry of Education and not by the Arab community in Israel. State-secular schools provide non-religious education with curriculum approved and supervised by the Ministry of Education. State-religious schools are similarly supervised but offer religious education with intensive Jewish studies for children of the Orthodox Jewish sector. The Ultra-Orthodox schools, in contrast, operate independently and their books are not subject to approval by the Ministry of Education. Some UO schools formally adhere to at least a portion of the core curriculum determined by the Ministry of Education as part of a variety of different funding relationships with the government (funding of the Ultra- Orthodox schools range from 55-100% of that provided per student in the State schools).
The law outlines the objectives of State education with regard to teaching universal values; the values of the State of Israel as both Jewish and democratic; history and heritage of the land of Israel and of the Jewish people; remembrance of the Holocaust and heroism; development of the child’s personality, creativity, talents and intellectual competencies; and acquaintance with the culture and heritage of the Arabs and of other minorities in Israel.
The total number of pupils who attended institutions in the Israeli educational system in the 2010/11 school year was 1,917,893. The number of schools in the Israeli educational system in 2010/11 was 4,385 (preschool and higher education not included), of which 2,399 were State- secular schools, 724 State-religious schools and 1,262 Ultra-Orthodox. State education consisted of 1,530 schools of Hebrew education and 869 schools of Arab Education (Ministry of Education, 2012).
The Ultra-Orthodox education system reflects the complex make-up of the Ultra-Orthodox community. Each sect, and even sub-group has its own education system. Hence, there are more than 1,200 schools in the system and the number keeps growing, though the number of pupils in each school can be small. In 2000, 19.2% out of all students in Israel were recorded as being part of the Ultra-Orthodox system, whilst in 2004 that number had increased to 26.2% (approximately 500,000 children).
Palestinian School System
After the 1948 war and until 1967, Palestinian education in the West Bank and Gaza Strip was under the auspice of Jordon and Egypt respectively. Palestinian children used textbooks that were produced according to Jordanian and Egyptian education philosophies and ideologies, and objectives and goals, teaching and learning methods, as well as teachers’ qualification and training were all in accordance with these ideologies. After the 1967 war, the Israeli Military Authority assumed control over the Palestinian education system. The same Jordanian and Egyptian textbooks continued to be used in Palestinian schools but were censored by the Israeli Military Education Commander. Specific passages were blackened out or deleted, and some books banned (e.g., the “Palestinian Cause” textbook for grade 12 was banned from use in mid 70’s). School development and teacher training were very limited, and textbooks became outdated.
The Palestinians assumed control of their own education system in 1994. The Palestinian Ministry of Education (PMoE) was one of the first four ministries to be established after the signing of the Oslo Accords. PMoE inherited a collapsed educational system and started a comprehensive plan to improve its quality and standards. The plan focused on structuring of the Ministry of Education itself and on forming the Palestinian education regulations and laws. It also included building new schools, unifying the education systems of Gaza Strip and the West Bank, producing Palestinian school textbooks, and upgrading teachers’ and school principals’ skills and knowledge through in-service training.
The stated overall aims of the Palestinian education system are to: prepare Palestinian children professionally and scientifically; enhance Palestinians understanding of their history, culture, heritages, aspirations and identity; emphasize human values such as freedom, justice, and equality; develop children’s technological and communicative abilities; and finally, to widen their global understanding and willingness to live in the world.
There are three kinds of Palestinian schools, according to supervising authority: Public (governmental), UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Work Agency) and Private. Governmental schools are submitted to direct supervision of the PMoE through Directorates of Education at the district level. This supervision applies both to schools in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and all use the same books and take the same formal Tawjihee examinations (Jehad Zakarneh, Assistant Deputy Head of the Curriculum Center, Palestinian National Authority). UNRWA’s schools and post-secondary institutions were opened in the 1950’s mainly for Palestinian refugees, up to grade nine. More than half of the schools in Gaza Strip where most refugee camps are located, are run by UNRWA. By law, UNRWA schools use the textbooks approved by the Palestinian Ministry of Education. UNRWA also provides supplemental teaching materials that include units on human rights and official UN maps. Private schools are located mainly in the major cities, and supervised by religious affiliations, private individuals or societies.
In year 2012,there were 2707 Palestinian schools in West Bank and Gaza Strip. Of these, 2005 (74%) are governmental schools are under the direct supervision of the Ministry of education through the 22 Educational Directorate offices (16 in the West Bank and 6 in the Gaza Strip). UNRWA schools are mainly open for the children of Palestinian refugees. According to the agreement signed between host countries and UN in early 1950s, UNRWA schools are obliged to use the school books produced by the host countries and only offer teaching for the compulsory period (grade 1-9). The number of UNRWA schools is 343 forming about 13% of the school system. Students in Governmental and UNRWA schools do not pay any fees/tuitions and school textbooks are given free of charge to their students. The number of Private schools is 359 forming about 13%. Students have to pay fees/tuition to enroll in these schools and pay for their textbooks. Pupils who study in this type of school are mostly from families in the middle and high socio-economic classes. There are 8 Palestinian schools with an Islamic Religious curriculum; 2 schools located in Gaza Strip and 6 schools located in the West Bank. Three schools are for female pupils (one school in Gaza Strip and two schools in West Bank) and 5 for male pupils (one in Gaza Strip and 4 in West Bank). About 800 students are enrolled in these schools. In addition to other subjects, they study Islamic religious schoolbooks developed by the Jordanian Ministry of Religious and Endowment beginning in the 7th grade. At the end of the 12th grade they sit for the Tawjihee exam as any other student. The same schoolbooks are used in all schools in the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) regardless of their supervising authorities, but different English textbooks are used in private schools and different books on religion are used in the very small number of schools with Islamic religious curriculum as just described. The total number of Palestinian students in Gaza and West Bank is 1,129,538. About 760,891(70%) are in Public schools, 253,116(23%) are in UNRWA schools, 7811(7%) are in Private schools, and 800 (0.1%) attend the schools with Islamic Religious curriculum. Within Gaza, approximately 67% of students are in UNRWA schools. The total number of Palestinian teachers is 52172, 36553( 70 %) teach in public schools, 9908 (19 %) in UNRWA schools and 5872 (11 %) in Private schools ( Palestinian Census Center, 2012).
The present study aimed to document the ways Palestinians and Israelis and the conflict between them are portrayed in each other’s school textbooks. The study began with the goal of compiling a comprehensive list of books currently used in the Israeli and Palestinian school systems. While all of the Palestinian books were identified, this goal could not be fully attained for the Israeli books because of diversity and complexities in the Israeli Ultra-Orthodox schools.
With regard to the state educational system in Israel, the decision was taken to analyze only the Ministry of Education approved school textbooks.
Once appropriate books were obtained, those rich in content related to study themes were identified. Then a large enough number of passages from a large enough sample of books across disciplines and grade levels were content analyzed to produce a highly reliable characterization of content related to study themes. The study evaluated six thematic areas: 1) the “Other” Group; 2) One’s Own Group; 3) Religion; 4) Peace; 5) the Conflict; and 6) Values;. Photographs, maps, illustrations, tables and figures, and student activities were considered as well as written text.
Selection of the books
All books approved by the Israeli and Palestinian Ministries of Education for the year 2009, and books purchased from school bookstores in the Ultra-Orthodox communities, constituted the initial book list. From these lists, books in the following subject areas were considered for study: Literature, History, Languages (Arabic and Hebrew), Geography, Social studies, Civic/national education, Religion. In religion, the scriptures themselves were not included. Religious textbooks that use religious prophets’ Hadith and religious codes were included. Natural sciences textbooks which include biology, math, physics, chemistry, geology, etc. were not included. Language textbooks were not included, except Arabic language books in the Jewish Israeli educational system (there were no comparable Hebrew language books in the Palestinian system). The official list of books from the Israeli Ministry of Education was revised during the course of the study in 2011, with 69 books of the relevant subject matters dropped from the list and 214 added. Of these new books, 8 were relevant to study themes and entered into the analysis. The official 2009 list of books from the Palestinian Ministry of Education was reviewed for changes in 2011 (numbers of words and lines, study questions), and the few noted were not relevant to study themes. These considerations led to a potential study list of 381 Israeli and 142 Palestinian books from the two Ministries of Education.
Books from the Ultra-Orthodox schools in appropriate topic areas were purchased directly from book stores, with 55 books used by the school system of Agudat Israel schools and 66 used by the school system of Maayan (Shas party). Together there were 492 Israeli books. Twenty-four books used in the Palestinian religious schools were also obtained, with only six proving relevant to study themes. This created a total of 148 Palestinian books.
Study methods proceeded in two phases. The first phase reviewed the books to determine the level of relevancy of each for the study, identify the relevant pages and accompanying additional material. The second phase was a standardized content analysis relevant to study themes.
Determining the Unit of Analysis and Analytical Procedures
The Unit of the Analysis was a literary piece (LP) that provides a holistic presentation
of the topic in a book. Literary piece can be a poem, story, chapter, essay, part of a book, etc. The unit can differ in the number of pages. In the case of readers, the unit can be very short – even few sentences, while in the case of a history books, the unit can be a chapter containing dozens of pages.
Phase I: Identification of Books for In-depth Content Analysis
The analysis of each book began with counting the number of pages devoted to the general themes of the study in comparison to all the pages of the book, and in relation to the number of chapters or pieces in the book (for example, a number of pieces in readers). All books were listed, identifying authors, year of publication, number of chapters and pages relevant to the study questions, and including a very short description indicating which study themes were present.
The books were classified to five levels of relevancy:
Level 0- Books that did not have any pages devoted to the themes of the study;
Level 1- books that had up to 10% of the pages devoted to the themes of the study;
Level 2- books that had between 11% up to 30% of the pages devoted to the themes of the study; Level 3- books that had between 31% up to 50% of the pages devoted to the themes of the study; Level 4- books that had between 51% up to 70% of the pages devoted to the themes of the study; Level 5- books that had over 70% of the pages devoted to the themes of the study.
Relevancy Ratings of Israeli and Palestinian Books: Total Books and Analyzed Books
Palestinian Books: Total
Palestinian Books: Analyzed
Israeli Books: Total
Israeli Books: Analyzed
49 (6 Waqf)
A total of 74 Israeli books and 94 Palestinian books were analyzed, yielding 2188 LPs from Israeli books and 960 from Palestinian books. Nearly all the Palestinian books were analyzed. Given the greater length of the Israeli books, focus was placed on books with highest relevancy (levels 3-5) and then some books from levels 1 and 2 were randomly selected for analysis. This produced large enough numbers of LPs from both Israeli and Palestinian books to ensure a very high level of reliability in the analysis. Among Israeli books, 21 were used in State Secular schools, 20 in State Religious schools, 18 in both State Secular and Religious schools and 15 in Ultra-Orthodox schools. Israeli research assistants analyzed approximately 1/3 of the Palestinian and 2/3 of the Israeli books. Palestinian research assistants analyzed approximately 1/3 of the Israeli and 2/3 of the Palestinian books.
Phase II: Content Analysis of the Textbooks
Highly specific sets of evaluation questions related to each study theme and an accompanying implementation manual were used to structure and standardize evaluations of the LPs. The six study themes were decided upon in a method development and review meeting of the leaders of the Scientific Research Team (SRT) and the Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) in Jerusalem At the same time SAP members suggested specific questions to answer in evaluating passages relevant to each of the thematic areas of study. Professors Adwan and Bar-Tal then created initial rating forms with the specific evaluation questions and the instruction manual that accompanies them. The rating forms were created in English which is the common scientific language for Professors Adwan, Bar-Tal and Wexler, and the SAP. The forms were then translated into Arabic and Hebrew by the bilingual research team. The research team met together several times to practice using the forms and the manual, and evaluated LPs together to identify areas needing further clarification and modification. Over the same period, the forms and manual went through additional cycles of review and modification by the SAP before being finalized for use.
Initial questions provide a general description and context of the literary piece. These questions ask about the historical period and geographic location, the general Nature of the events (War; Violent confrontation/resistance; Occupation; Nonviolent Conflict; Neutral; Cooperation; Peaceful context), the relationship portrayed between the two groups (Very Violent; Violent; Competitive without violence; Neutral; Cooperative; Peaceful), whether there is reference to previous events or whether this is an isolated case, and whether larger political/societal processes and other parties are involved.
The next set of questions evaluates the ways in which the “other” is portrayed. In the Palestinian books, the other refers to the Jews in general, Jews in Israel, Israelis, Zionists, and Jews in other countries. In the Israeli books the other refers to Arabs in general, Muslims, Christians and Palestinians. Evaluation of material related to this primary study theme was structured by a series of specific queries. Who is described, how are they characterized and what are they doing? Are they individual(s), leader(s), group(s), nation? Do they have names or other identifying features? What is their gender and socioeconomic status? Are they characterized in terms of de-legitimization (of which dehumanization is one type), negative stereotyping, neutral presentation, positive presentation or very positive presentation? Are their acts described as evil, negative, neutral or positive? (This evaluation of every literary piece that contained the description of the other allowed later quantitative analysis). What is the purported intention of their acts and are they represented as victims, perpetrators or bystanders?
In order to provide an internal comparison or reference, all the queries about passages portraying the other were also asked regarding passages portraying the self-group. Since the purpose of this section was to provide a general comparison profile, and because LPs describing the self-collective were quite common, this section was completed on approximately the first half of the books analyzed only. In the Palestinian books presentation of the self-group refers to Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, and Arab Christians. In the Israeli books presentation of the self- group refers to Jews, Israelis, and Zionists.
The next section evaluated LPs related to Christianity and Islam in Israeli books and Christianity and Judaism in Palestinian books. The general characterization from negative to positive as well as the degree of information provided about the beliefs, religious leaders, holidays and holy places of each religion were noted. The section on religions was followed by a section evaluating LPs about the conflict, with specific questions about the basis of the conflict. The next thematic category includes descriptions of peace, peace-making, conflict resolution and reconciliation. Specific queries include the possibility of peace, bases for peace, role of external entities and the nature of the possible peace (warm/cold, temporary/lasting). Research assistants were next asked to identify explicit references to values of the other community and of the self-community, including such things as respect for life, respect for the other, critical thinking, jihad, martyrdom, human rights, security, freedom, dignity and non-violence. The final sections of the analysis evaluate photographs, illustrations and maps.
Analysis was done in the language of the analyzed textbooks; i.e., using the form in the language of the book being analyzed independent of whether the rater was Israeli or Palestinian since the raters were fluent in both languages. Researchers entered quotes from the LPs to illustrate the basis of their rating of a LP. Quotes were then translated into English and Arabic or Hebrew as appropriate. The full set of quotes in three languages is provided in a separate document. Selected quotes are included in the body of this report to illustrate how the quantitative ratings were obtained and provide a qualitative aspect to the study report.
Phase II: Data Entry and Management
Research assistants entered their evaluations of LPs from their own work locations via the internet directly into a data base managed at Yale University by Professor Wexler and the data analysis team. The data base and entry system was developed for this project by American IT Solutions and can be interactively viewed by following the instructions at http://americanitsolutions.com/text-book-analysis.
Phase II: Inter-rater Reliability
Over 670 LPs in Stage Two were analyzed by two research assistants. The second rater evaluated the LPs identified by page numbers for analysis by the first rater, but had no idea what thematic areas had been identified as present in the LPs specified by the first rater or how the LP had been rated as per specific evaluation questions by the first rater. There was 93% agreement between raters on the decisions of which thematic areas were related to each LP. To evaluate overall inter-rater agreement on the ratings of individual LPs with ordered categorical answer choices along the numeric rating scales (e.g., very negative portrayal of the other, negative, neutral, positive, very positive; or characterization of the nature of an imagined peace as cold, neutral or positive), counts were done of the number of instances of complete agreement, the number of instances of the two raters providing adjacent ratings on the scale (e.g., very negative and negative) and the number of instances where ratings were more disparate. Overall, 63% of the time the two raters were in complete agreement, and 91% of the time they were in complete agreement or only one step apart (Figure 1). Figure 2 shows plots of each individual rater’s scores compared to all others with whom that individual co-rated LPs. Inter-rater reliability was similar for all members of the research team; none of the individual research assistants were outlier raters or different from all the others. A complete description of statistical methods and results of assessing inter-rater reliability is provided in Appendix E. The distribution of agreement scores for Israelis rating Israeli books compared to the ratings of Palestinians rating the same books, and vice versa, are presented in Figures 7 and 8 in Appendix E. Israelis tended to rate both sets of book very slightly more negatively than did Palestinians. There was also a very slight tendency for each group to rate their own books more positively than the “other’s” books. Both of these differences are so small that they could be due to chance alone and have no meaningful impact on the overall assessments.
Phase II: Data Presentation and Analysis
Data are first presented quantitatively, indicating the number and proportions of LPs assigned to each of the rating options in each thematic area. The quantitative data pertain to two questions. The first and primary questions of the study evaluate how study themes are presented. For example: When the “other” is presented, how is the other characterized? To answer this question, all LPs that describe the “other” were identified and rated on a 1 (most negative) to 5 (most positive) scale. Differences among the school systems were then evaluated for statistical significance using the Kolmogorov-Smirnoff test for difference in center, shape, or both shape and center of the two distributions along the 1 to 5 rating options axis. Statistical significance is reported both with and without Bonferronni correction for multiple comparisons when correction affects whether the difference is significant. Obtained p values were multiplied by 3 for correction. This distribution is also represented in tables in the Results section that show the percentage of LPs that received each of the possible 1 to 5 or negative to positive ratings. The scores for the 1 to 5 ratings for all the LPs from each system are also averaged to produce a number from 1 to 5 for descriptive numeric comparison of how the different systems characterize the “other.” These numbers are presented in the text. The second quantitative questions are how many LPs are there relevant to each study theme? The tables in the results section also present the number of LPs from each system that received each rating from negative to positive. Since the total number of pages analyzed from the different school systems differed, the how many questions are also expressed in terms of frequency, e.g., number of very negative
characterizations of the “other” per page of text. The how many questions are important for two reasons. First, they provide an index of how much attention is directed to study themes in each set of books, e.g, is the “other” ignored or attended to. Second, they are an aid in interpreting the statistical significance tests since if the total number of LPs is small the power to detect statistical significance is low. For this reason there are instances where the differences among the systems may look large with regard to percentages of responses of different types but the small number of total responses limits the reliability of the percentages and prevents statistical significance. Finally, a small number of quotes are presented in the paper as illustrations and a much larger number are available in a separate document.
Since nearly half of the books used in the Israeli State secular schools were also used in the State religious school, the two components of the Israeli State system do not constitute independent samples for comparison with Israeli Ultra-Orthodox and Palestinian schoolbooks. Consequently initial quantitative and statistical analyses compared the Israeli State school books as a whole to the Israeli Ultra-Orthodox and Palestinian books. Subsequent analyses then looked specifically at the two components of the Israeli State system, comparing books used exclusively in each system to one another, including the books used by both.
The Structure of the Books for Each of the School Systems: Israeli books were approximately 2.5times longer than Palestinian books and had many more photographs, illustrations and maps. The average lengths of books were: Israeli State schools 267 -/+ 110pages; Israeli Ultra- Orthodox schools 231 -/+ 98pages; and Palestinian 106 -/+ 48pages. Putting together the number of books from each system with their length, the total pages reviewed were: Israeli State schools 15,753pages; Israeli Ultra-Orthodox 3,465pages; and Palestinian 9,964pages.
I. A Common Strength: Absence of Dehumanization
Dehumanizing and demonizing characterizations of the other were very rare in both Israeli and Palestinian books. This is a significant strength. The upper table in Figure 3shows the counts of LPs from each of three school systems that were rated as Very Negative, Negative, Neutral, Positive or Very Positive. The lower table looks specifically at those rated as Very Negative and identifies them further with reference to the types of dehumanizing statements of concern in the general literature on incitement: sub-humanization; demonization; extreme negative trait comparisons; and extreme negative group comparisons. The great majority of Extreme Negative Characterizations of the other were as the “Enemy” and were not these types of dehumanizing and demonizing statements apparent in books elsewhere and of great concern to the general public. The total numbers of the extreme negative characterizations other than as the “Enemy”, and the numbers per page of text analyzed were: Israeli State schools 20total and 001. per page; Israeli Ultra-Orthodox 7total and 002.per page; and Palestinian only 6total and 0006. per page.
When rated by the researchers as present, the dehumanizing, demonizing and extreme negative group comparisons were extensions of the primary national narratives described below, and not as extreme or as common as has been seen in textbooks elsewhere. For example, Israeli books described an Israeli settlement as established upon the ruins of an Arab village that “had always been a nest of murderers” (Ultra-Orthodox schools, The Good Country [ ספר הטובה:הארץ הארץ לידיעת ,]למודGrade ,4Part ,2 ,1991p.126, LP167), or referred to “masses of the wild nation” (State religious schools, Open the Gate: Anthology for 6th Grade [ מקראה השער: אתפתחו ו ,]לכיתהGrade ,6p.130, LP1215) or “a convoy of bloodthirsty Arabs” (Ultra-Orthodox schools, Country and Its Inhabitants: Israel Studies ישראל[ ארץ למודי ויושביה: ,]ארץGrade ,2Part ,1p. ,192 LP1280). Palestinian books referred to extreme inhuman actions by Israelis: “I was in ‘the slaughterhouse’ for 13days (‘the slaughterhouse’ is the interrogation place, and the prisoners gave the place this nickname due to the brutality of the interrogators)” (Palestinian schools, Our Beautiful Language الجميلة[ ,]لغتناGrade ,6Part ,1p.93, LP349), and “It (Israel) also destroyed large sections of the water utilities, such as by demolishing wells, and destroyed irrigation networks, water storage facilities, and water pipes, …[and] threatens to not supply a number of Palestinian cities with water” (Palestinian schools, History of the Arabs and the World: in the Twentieth Century العشرين[ القرن في والعالم العرب ,]تاريخGrade ,12p.139, LP844). In other words, there were only six LPs in the 9,964pages of Palestinian books reviewed that were rated as portraying the other in extreme negative ways other than as the enemy, and none of these six were general dehumanizing characterizations of personal traits of Jews or Israelis.
II. A Major Common Problem: Consistent Negative Portrayal of the “Other” in Unilateral National Narratives
Books from Israeli State, Israeli Ultra-Orthodox and Palestinian schools present history and the current situation from a unilateral perspective that provides many more negative than positive descriptions of the other, and provides little information about the religions, culture and life of the other. The self-community, in contrast, is characterized in generally positive terms, as a victim needing to defend itself against the acts and negative intentions of the other, and wanting nothing but peace. The books of each community delegitimize the other’s presence by the combination of negative descriptions and lack of information about the other’s history, religions, culture and sufferings. For the most part, this delegitimization of the other’s presence is not the result of historically false statements, but results from selection of the aspects and events of history that are reported, and the omission of information that humanizes and legitimizes the other’s presence.
A. Descriptions of the Other:
Characterization in Negative Terms: When characterizations of the other as very negative or negative are added together, 49%of LPs in Israeli State, 73%in Israeli Ultra-Orthodox and 84% in Palestinian books describe the other in these ways (see Figure ,3the upper table and the bar graph). Total number and per page rates of the very negative and negative characterizations were: Israeli State schools 196total and 012.per page; Israeli Ultra-Orthodox 45total and 013. per page; and Palestinian 57total and 006.per page (the lower frequency per page in the Palestinian books despite the higher percentage of characterizations of the other that were negative is due to the fact that, overall, characterizations of the other in general are less common in Palestinian than in Israeli books).
Examples from Israeli books:
“Since its establishment, the State of Israel sought to make peace with its neighbors, the Arab countries, through Israeli-Arab negotiations. Its efforts, however, have failed in the first thirty years of Israel’s existence, because of the refusal of Arab countries and nations to recognize the right of existence of Israel as a sovereign Jewish state. In order to harm Israel, to weaken it and destroy it, the Arab countries have initiated terror attacks, infiltrations into the territory of the State of Israel and harming the civilian population. The Arab countries have accumulated weapons and ammunition and strengthened their armies to wage a total war against Israel” (State and state religious schools, Being Citizens in Israel- in a Jewish and Democratic State [ יהודית במדינה בישראל: אזרחיםלהיות ,]ודמוקרטיתGrade ,11p.332, LP3275).
“Long ago, we were forbidden to leave the yard and especially not to go for walks. The Arabs would snipe on the roads. To bring the milk, two drivers would come in a convoy of trucks. But once the Arabs shot at the car bringing the milk and hit Uri the driver. Uri’s grave was dug at night since the kibbutz cemetery was too close to the Arab village, near the yard of Abu Salah. In the yard, Arab “gangs” were based who would go out from time to time to attack traffic on the roads” (State religious schools, Open the Gate: Anthology for 6th Grade ו[ לכיתה מקראה השער: את ,]פתחוGrade ,6p.305, LP1254).
“Ever since ,1964the year the PLO was founded, Palestinian terrorist gangs penetrated (to Israel)… The PLO took advantage of the military defeat of Arab countries to increase its terrorist activity against Israel” (State secular schools, National World -Building a State in the Middle East [ בונים – ב’ לאומיעולם התיכון במזרח ,]מדינהGrade ,10Part ,2p.186, LP1027).
“Israel is a young country and surrounded by enemies: Syria, Egypt, Jordan. And on every side ]…[enemy states are hatching plots that are only waiting for the right time to be carried out. Like a little lamb in a sea of seventy wolves is Israel among the Arab states, which, ever since she was established to this day have not come to terms with the fact of her existence even after they have threatened to destroy all the inhabitants…” (Ultra-Orthodox schools, Country and Its Inhabitants: Israel Studies ישראל[ ארץ למודי ויושביה: ,]ארץGrade ,4Part ,3,2008 p.118, LP1333).
“The Arab states ogled the lands of Israel, claiming that Jewish Israel is a foreign plant in the very heart of the Arab states. The Palestinian pact states that they must wage holy war, Jihad, and liberate Israel-Palestine from the Jews. Not only do the states bordering on Israel work against her, but also all the other Arab states. In almost all the wars Israel has had with her neighbors, Iraqis have sent soldiers to fight Israel. Iraq has also helped the terrorists living in Lebanon. In the Gulf War, Iraq sent missiles at Israel. Even now, Iraq still utters threats to destroy Israel. It’s enough to glance at newspapers and see that Iran is constantly uttering threats against Israel. Syria is the harshest enemy Israel has on her borders. In Lebanon, the main problem is the terrorists who live there. A peace treaty has been signed with Egypt, and also Jordan. But the citizens of those ‘friendly’ states are hostile to Israel” (Ultra-Orthodox schools, The Near East הקרוב[ ,]המזרח ,1998p. ,39LP49).
Examples from Palestinian books:
“The conference reaffirmed again that the Zionist occupation and its usurpation of Palestine and its people’s rights comprise the core of the conflict in the Middle East” (Palestinian schools, History of the Arabs and the World: in the Twentieth Century العشرين[ القرن في والعالم العرب ,]تاريخGrade ,12p.74, LP799).
“Palestine’s ancient history saw the entry of the children of Israel led by Joshua son of Nun in the 12th century BC, and they fought the Palestinian Canaanites. In the last third of the 11th century BC, Saul son of Kish (Talut) became leader of the children of Israel, and fought the Palestinians, who were led by Goliath, who were able to kill him and his sons. At the end of the 11th century BC, after his death, the prophet David son of Jesse became leader of the children of Israel, and continued fighting the Palestinians and the Canaanites, founding the kingdom on part of the Palestinians’ land under his leadership…” (Palestinian schools, History of Palestine: Modern and Contemporary [ الحديث فلسطينتاريخ ,]والمعاصرGrade ,11Part ,1 ,2008p.9, LP1004).
“Britain sought the Jews’ help to achieve their imperialist aspirations, and so the Jews began migrating to Palestine… but as calls intensified in Europe to settle the Jews in Palestine, some Jewish organizations began to appear in support of colonizing the Holy Land…” (Palestinian schools, History of Palestine: Modern and Contemporary والمعاصر[ الحديث فلسطين ,]تاريخGrade ,11Part ,1 ,2008p. ,58 LP1023).
“The incident happened on a Friday, which is the day off from school. With the hum of bullets and the roar of artillery, life was raced into an ambulance stretcher…
The enemy turned to the deserted houses, looting and carrying off all they could from the village that had become grave upon grave” (Palestinian schools, Our Beautiful Language الجميلة[ ,]لغتناGrade ,7Part ,1p.78, LP357).
Characterization of the Other in Positive Terms: The other is characterized in positive terms in 11% of LPs in the Israeli State school books, 7% in LPs in Israeli Ultra-Orthodox books and 1% in LPs in Palestinian books. Total number and per page rates of positive characterizations of the other were: Israeli State schools 44 total and .003 per page; Israeli Ultra-Orthodox 4 total and .001 per page; and Palestinian 1 total and .0001 per page.
Overview of Characterization of the Other: Books from Israeli State schools had more characterizations of Palestinians and Arabs in total (397) and per page (.025) than did Israeli Ultra-Orthodox books (61 total and .018 per page). Both sets of Israeli books had more passages characterizing Palestinians and Arabs than did Palestinian books characterizing Israelis and Jews (68 total and .007 per page). With regard to total number of characterizations of the other, Israeli books had more negative, more neutral and more positive characterizations of the other than did Palestinian books. When the distribution or balance of positive, neutral and negative characterizations are compared, the Israeli State school books have a significantly less negative overall balance in characterization of the other than the do the Israeli Ultra-Orthodox (difference significant at p=.004) and the Palestinian books (p<.0001). The difference between Israeli Ultra- Orthodox and Palestinian books was not significant (p=.416). The average ratings on the scale of 1 = very negative, 2= negative, 3 = neutral, 4 = positive and 5 = very positive, were 2.36 in the Israeli State books, 1.98 in the Israeli Ultra-Orthodox books and 1.68 in the Palestinian books.
B. Characterization of the Acts of the Other: LPs describing acts of the other were more common in books from Israeli State (total = 532 and per page = .034) and Ultra-Orthodox 17
schools (total = 90and per page = )026.than in books from Palestinian schools (total = 86and per page =.)009.
Approximately 30%(total number = 24or 007.per page) of LPs in Israeli Ultra- Orthodox books describe the acts of the other as extremely negative. This is true of 18%(total number = 98or 006.per page) of LPs in books from Israeli State schools and 23%(total number = 20or )002.of LPs in Palestinian books (Figure .)4When the two negative categories (extremely negative and negative) are added together, it is seen that approximately 87%(total number = 75or 008.per page) of LPs in Palestinian books, 70%(total number = 56or 02.per page) of LPs in Israeli Ultra-Orthodox books and 51%(total number = 276or 02.per page) in Israeli State schools describe negative acts of the other. Israeli State books describe the acts of the other as positive or very positive in 14%(total number = 73or 005.per page) of LPs, while this is true of only 5%(total number = 4or 001.per page) of LPs in Israeli Ultra-Orthodox and 3%(total number = 3or 0003.per page) in Palestinian books. When the distribution or balance of positive, neutral and negative characterizations of the acts are compared, the Israeli State school books have a significantly less negative overall balance in characterization of the acts of the other than the do the Israeli Ultra-Orthodox (difference significant at p=.02 without correction and is very close to significant with correction at p=.06) and the Palestinian books (p<.0001). The difference between Israeli Ultra-Orthodox and Palestinian books was not significant (p=.17). The average ratings on the scale of 1 =very negative, =2negative, 3= neutral, 4 =positive and 5 =very positive, were 2.44in the Israeli State books, 2.05in the Israeli Ultra-Orthodox books and 1.93in the Palestinian books. Here again then, there are more LPs describing the other in Israeli than in Palestinian books, including more negative, neutral and positive acts. In all systems the portrayals of negative acts exceed by far the portrayals of positive acts, but the balance of negative and positive is statistically significantly more positive in books from Israeli State schools than in books from Israeli Ultra-Orthodox or Palestinian schools.
Examples of negative descriptions of the acts of the other: Examples from Israeli books:
Referring to a 1941pogrom in Iraq: “On the holiday of Shavuot, Arabs attacked Jews and murdered them, including women and children…. The slaughter of the Jews of Bagdad continued for two days without interruption” (State secular schools, National World 2 -Building a State in the Middle East התיכון[ במזרח מדינה בונים – ב’ לאומי ,]עולםGrade ,10Part ,2p.160, LP918).
Or “Israel’s response to the acts of terror and murder was ‘retaliatory activity’ across the border (State and state religious schools, Nationality in Israel and in the Nations: Building a State in the Middle East [ ובעמים: בישראלהלאומיות התיכון במזרח מדינה ,]בוניםGrade ,11p.204, LP1632)” and “could not forget for a moment the hatred of the Arabs who were watching for an opportunity to attack the inhabitants of the Land and kill them mercilessly…” (Ultra-Orthodox schools, Country and Its Inhabitants: Israel Studies ישראל[ ארץ למודי ויושביה: ,]ארץGrade ,4 Part ,3 ,2008p.140, LP1359).
“In the past, Arabs lived in Jaffa. When masses of Jews began to immigrate to the Land through the port of Jaffa, many of them chose to settle in the city. But the Arabs who lived there, along with the ancient hatred, were envious of the Jewish rule of the place they thought was their home. Therefore they persecuted them whenever they could and caused them damage and misery. The Jews were not allowed to work in the port which gave the Arabs a comfortable livelihood, and they also suffered from repeated pogroms. In time, when the pogroms increased they had to leave their houses near the Arabs, and concentrate in only Jewish neighborhoods in the city. Moreover, bloody incidents were not prevented, and the Jews had no choice. They decided to leave Jaffa” (Ultra-Orthodox schools, Country and Its Inhabitants: Israel Studies [ ויושביה:ארץ ישראל ארץ ,]למודיGrade ,3Part ,2 ,2008p.113, LP515).
“On the 11th of Adar 1920…masses of armed Arabs surrounded the courtyard of Tel Hai and wanted to enter by cunning…hundreds of incited Arabs burst into Jerusalem in early April (p.28)”. “Masses of incited villagers streamed to Jerusalem and burst into the streets of the city,” “The rioters went from house to house and murdered 60Jews…” (p.30). “An incited Arab mob attacked Jewish passersby in Jaffa and killed nine of them… the gangs burned down houses and their contents, and set fire to forests and fields and uprooted citrus groves” (State secular schools, National World 2 -Building a State in the Middle East [ לאומיעולם התיכון במזרח מדינה בונים – ,]ב’Grade ,10Part ,2p.32, LP345).
“The PLO took advantage of the military defeat of Arab countries to increase its terrorist activity against Israel. It set its bases in Jordan… In ,1970a military struggle began between the terrorists and Jordan, until Jordan finally drove out all the terrorist organizations out of its territory… Since ,1970southern Lebanon has served as a base for terrorists (‘Fatahland’). Terrorist activities are staged against Israel from there” (State secular schools, National World 2- Building a State in the Middle East התיכון[ במזרח מדינה בונים – ב’ לאומי ,]עולםGrade ,10Part ,2p.197, LP1027).
“After the war, the ‘Palestinian Pact,’ which was composed by the National Council of the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) in 1964was reformulated. In the spirit of the Palestinian Pact, PLO organizations began a harsh terrorist war against Israel and Jewish institutions. Planes were hijacked, Israelis were murdered in the streets of the Land and in the world, and dozens of letter bombs were sent. Terror struck again and again, and reached a climax in the period after the war with the murders of 13students and teachers from Moshav Avivim on their way to school (May )1970and 11athletes at the Munich Olympics (September )1972 –Israel was forced to cope with a new kind of war that had no decision” (State and state religious schools, Nationality in Israel and in the Nations: Building a State in the Middle East [ בונים ובעמים: בישראלהלאומיות התיכון במזרח ,]מדינהGrade ,11pp.237-238, LP1692).
Examples from Palestinian books:
“…facilitating Jewish migration to Palestine to turn it into a Jewish state after evacuating or exterminating its people, and before this Zionist, imperialist plan… The struggle with the Mandate government and Zionism continued until the Nakba (Catastrophe) took place in …1948The Palestine war ended with a disaster of which history had not seen the like, and Zionist gangs usurped Palestine and displaced its people from their cities, villages, land, and houses, and founded the state of Israel… The tragedy was exacerbated with the Zionist entity’s occupation of what remains of Palestine… most Palestinians are still living under the yoke of the Occupation, and others are living lives of displacement and loss…” (Palestinian schools, Arabic language: Reading, Literature, and Analysis والنقد[ واالدب المطالعة العربية: ,]اللغةGrade ,12 ,2008pp.97-98, LP886).
“After the Zionist movement failed to obtain the agreement of Germany and the Ottoman Empire in Palestine, it turned its attention towards Britain as the largest imperialist state, which could help the Zionist movement in achieving its Goals, and the convergence between British imperialist interests and the Zionist movement’s interests had a large impact on this movement’s success, and the British Foreign Office issued the Balfour Declaration on November ,2 1917as a letter from Arthur Balfour, the British Minister of Foreign Affairs, to Edmund Rothschild, a wealthy Jew…” (Palestinian books, History of Palestine: Modern and Contemporary والمعاصر[ الحديث فلسطين ,]تاريخGrade ,11Part ,1 ,2008p.78, LP1334).
“Then there was the catastrophe of Haifa… I will not forget that evening… they knew about the battles that were happening in Haifa. They also knew that the Mandate authorities had secretly allowed the Jews from the fortified centers… terror poured down from Mount Carmel on the Arabs living on the slopes, and the authorities paved the way for the state of panic with a war of rumors while opening the port, and launching its boats carrying anyone who wanted to leave, so they crowded in the boats with fire spitting terror on them from the mountain. The boats discharged them on the coast of Akka… human masses…” (Palestinian schools, Arabic Language: Reading, Literature, and Analysis والنقد[ واالدب المطالعة العربية: ,]اللغةGrade ,12 ,2008pp. ,132-133LP2420).
“From afar, the Jews saw her rescuing an Arab youth, and turned their fire on her, and a fatal bullet struck her, and she fell as one of the martyrs of Deir Yassin” (Palestinian schools, Our Beautiful Language الجميلة[ ,]لغتناGrade ,7Part ,1p.78, LP357).
“The naksa (setback) of June ,5 :1967On June ,5 ,1967Israel waged war on Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, and occupied the Syrian Golan Heights and other Arab lands, and the Security Council issued Resolution 242stipulating Israeli withdrawal from the Arab lands it occupied, but Israel refused to implement the resolution” (Palestinian schools, Modern Arabic History [ الحديث العرب,]تاريخ Grade ,9 ,2009p.56, LP2712).
“Zionism: is a colonialist political movement founded by the Jews of Europe in the second half of the 19th century, with the goal of bringing together the Jews of different nationalities from all across the world, and amass them in Palestine and neighboring Arab countries through migration and displacing the Palestinian people in Palestine from their land in order to found the state of Israel” (Palestinian schools, Modern Arabic History الحديث[[ العرب ,]تاريخGrade ,9,2009 p.82, LP2722).
“It erupted on September ,28 .2000The direct cause for it was the visit of Ariel Sharon -the head of the Israeli Likud Party -to the courtyard of Al-Aqsa Mosque, whereas there were many indirect causes. Most prominent was the failure of the 2nd Camp David summit held by American president Bill Clinton between Palestinian National Authority president Yassir Arafat and Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak to outline the final solution for the Palestinian issue, Israeli foot-dragging in implementing the agreements signed with the Palestinian leadership, and its attempt to impose a fait accompli through Zionist settlement of the West Bank and Gaza Strip” (Palestinian schools, Modern Arabic History [تاريخ الحديث ,]العرب Grade ,9 ,2009p.76, LP2722).
“Israel consumes 86.5%of the total Palestinian water, and throughout its occupation of the Palestinian territories did not work on developing water utilities. It also destroyed large sections of the water utilities, such as by demolishing wells, and destroyed irrigation networks, water storage facilities, and water pipes, during the acts of demolition which it undertook after the outbreak of the Al-Aqsa Intifada in September …2000Israel threatens to not supply a number of Palestinian cities with water” (Palestinian schools, History of the Arabs and the World: in the Twentieth Century العشرين[ القرن في والعالم العرب ,]تاريخGrade ,12 p.139, LP844).
“Israel built huge water storage facilities on the southern outskirts of the town of Aita al-Shaab, to store the water of the Litani, and distribute it across the settlements in the upper Galilee, and began transferring the waters of the Litani into Lake Tiberias using huge pipes…Israel took control of the waters of the Hasbani River after its invasion of Lebanese lands in …1982It should be noted that Israel still controls the strategically important Shebaa Farms, which makes it overlook the course of the Litani and Wazzani Rivers, making it reluctant to give up this site, and found settlements on it” (Palestinian schools, History of the Arabs and the World: in the Twentieth Century العشرين[ القرن في والعالم العرب ,]تاريخGrade ,12pp.140-141, LP851).
Examples of positive descriptions of the acts of the other from Israeli books:
One example from an Israeli State school book when discussing the pogrom in Hebron in :1929“If not for the brave stand of a British police officer and moderate Arabs who physically defended their Jewish neighbors, the slaughter would have been more awful” (State secular schools, National World 2- Building a State in the Middle East התיכון[ במזרח מדינה בונים – ב’ לאומי ,]עולםGrade ,10Part ,2p.30, LP345).
Another example: “‘I saw it as my obligation as a Muslim Arab to offer help to an Israeli soldier injured in an accident’ said Abdullah Yusef Yunes… who offered help and drove an Israeli soldier in his vehicle” (State secular schools, Through the Words: Book D כנרת[ ד’. ספר המילים: ,]דרך ,2009Grade ,4 Part ,4p.203, LP1892).
“Abu Salah had long been our friend and neighbor. Only a low stone fence separated our cemetery and his house. In the summer, Abu Salah would bring us coal for the bakery oven, and in the winter, when our car got stuck in the mud, he would bring the milk on his camels” (State religious schools, Open the Gate: Anthology for 6th Grade,[ו לכיתה מקראה השער: את פתחו ,]’Grade ,6p. ,304 LP1254).
As illustrated in two of these examples, positive characterizations of Arabs or their actions in Israeli State books typically refer to individuals rather than to Arabs as a whole or as a nation.
An example of positive description of the act of the other from Palestinian books
The following divine books: 1 – “The messages of Abraham (peace be upon him) and Moses call for belief in God Almighty, worshipping Him, and following noble morals”. 2 – The Torah: Was revealed to Moses (peace be upon him) to guide the children of Israel. 3 – The Zabour: Was revealed to David (peace be upon him) with sermons and guidance for the children of Israel. 4 – The Gospel: Was revealed to Jesus (peace be upon him) to guide the children of Israel, and to reaffirm what Moses (peace be upon him) had brought”. Islamic Education part 1 grade 3 p. 17
C. Characterization of the Aspirations Attributed to the Other: Only two LPs in all the books suggested that the goal of the other was equal co-existence; one in a Palestinian book (equal coexistence in two states) and one in an Israeli State school (equal coexistence in one state). Israeli State schoolbooks very rarely (11% of the time) made a clear attribution of aspirations of the other. This was more common in Israeli Ultra-Orthodox (25%) and Palestinian (61%) books (Figure 5). The vast majority of LPs describe the aspirations of the other as destruction or domination of the self-community. Israeli and Palestinian books differ, however, with LPs in Israeli books much more commonly describing the aspiration of the other as destruction rather than domination of Israel, and Palestinian books much more likely to describe Israeli aspirations as domination rather than destruction of Palestinians.
Examples from Israeli books:
In discussing events and Arab views about the Arab-Israeli war of :1973“If Israel began attacks against Syria or Egypt, the battle against Israel would have been general and not limited to one or another point on the Egyptian or Syrian border. The battle would have been general and the basic goal would have been to destroy Israel… that’s the real resurrection of the Arab nation, and before that, there was despair” (State secular schools, Nationalism: Building a State in the Middle East התיכון[ במזרח מדינה בונים ,]הלאומיות:Grade ,10p.173, LP1699).
In discussing opposition to the founding of Israel: “Between 1920and ,1945the Arabs of the Land initiated several riots in which hundreds of Jews were killed or wounded. The outbursts were motivated by various reasons and various organizations, but behind them all was the opposition of the Palestinian Arabs of the Land of Israel to the coming of the Jews to the Land of Israel and the establishment of a Jewish state” (State and state religious schools, Nationality in Israel and in the Nations: Building a State in the Middle East [ בישראלהלאומיות התיכון במזרח מדינה בונים ,]ובעמים:Grade ,11p. ,38LP1205).
In discussing opposition to the founding of Israel: “The Arabs denied the right of the Jews to settle in the Land of Israel. …With this claim, the Arabs completely ignore the historic connection of the Jews with the Land of Israel… They adopted the claim that the Jews are not a nation and Judaism is merely a religion, and hence the Jews have no right to territories. On the other hand, the Arabs are a nation and thus, according to their claim, the Land of Israel belongs to them. According to them, the immigration of the Jews to the Land of Israel negates the Arab nature of the Land and the Zionists deliberately create an economic depression in the Land of Israel to impoverish the Arabs and force them to sell their lands” (State secular schools, A Journey to the Past: The Modern World In Crisis, 1939-1870 9191-9781[ במשבר, המודרני העולם העבר: אל,]-מסע pp.168-169, LP1475).
Examples from Palestinian books:
“I am learning –Zionism: a colonialist political movement founded by the Jews of Europe in the second half of the 19th century, with the goal of bringing together the Jews of different nationalities from all across the world, and amass them in Palestine and neighboring Arab countries through migration and displacing the Palestinian people in Palestine from their land in order to found the state of Israel” (Palestinian schools, Modern Arabic History [no title in Arabic], ,2009Grade ,9pp.72-76, LP .)2722
“After the war drew to a close, and Ottoman influence in the Arab countries collapsed, Palestine and the Levant fell under the British Mandate, and the Arabs’ situation did not improve much… the Balfour Declaration was issued… in ,1917which promised the Jews that a national homeland would be established for them in Palestine, and in… the British Mandate… and [Britain] began preparing the political and economic circumstances guaranteeing the establishment of a national homeland, starting to facilitate Jewish migration to Palestine to transform it into a Jewish state after evacuating and wiping out its people” (Palestinian schools, Arabic language: Reading, Literature, and Analysis والنقد[ واالدب المطالعة العربية: ,]اللغةGrade ,12 2008(2nd edition), p.97, LP886).
“Around 156,000Palestinian remained living in their houses which Israel had taken control of in ,1948and their presence was concentration in the regions of Galilee, the triangle, and the Negev… Israel resorted to taking a number of measures aiming to Judaize Palestinian land, guarantee Jewish prevalence, abolish its Arab Palestinian nature, and gather the largest number possible of the world’s Jews and give them Israeli nationality, with the goal of spurring a demographic coup in their favor at the expense of the Palestinians. Among these measures was encouraging Jewish immigration to Palestine and offering Jews concessions, and the Israeli government issued laws, the most important being the Law of Return in ,1950which stipulated that the Jews of the world had the right to migrate to occupied Palestine. In ,1952the Israeli government issued the Nationality Law, which gave Israeli nationality to the Jewish immigrants to Palestine… Meanwhile, Palestinian Arabs were obliged to obtain Israeli nationality, and despite the Palestinians’ obtaining nationality, they did not enjoy the rights and concessions which Jews in Israel enjoy… Israel used a policy of violence with the aim of forcing the Palestinian population to leave their houses and lands, the best example of that being the massacre committed against the Palestinian population in the village of Kafr Qassem on October ,29 1956on the eve of the tripartite aggression against Egypt, and 49Palestinian from the village fell victim… Israel occupied the Gaza Strip during the tripartite aggression against Egypt… Israel continued with policies aiming to occupy and control land through different means, by financial purchases and converting its ownership in the name of the Jewish National Fund, or seizing it for military and security purposes, or under the pretext that they are government lands or fallow lands. Israel put its hands on Palestinians’ property…” (Palestinian schools, History of Palestine: Modern and Contemporary والمعاصر[ الحديث فلسطين: ,]تاريخGrade ,11pp.41-42, LP .)3118
“Israeli politics towards the Palestinian people manifested itself in the following fields:
Israeli issued decisions annexing Jerusalem and taking it as its capital after the June War on ,6/27/1967and based on that dissolved the Arab Jerusalem Secretariat Council, abolished the Arab administrations and courts, and linking the public utility services with the municipality of Israeli Jerusalem. Jerusalem was isolated from the West Bank economically and administratively, and Israeli government offices and ministries were moved to it. Meanwhile, the Occupation Authorities proceeded to surround the city with settlements and empty it of its Arab population.
The Israeli authorities resorted to applying a set of laws aiming to control Palestinian lands, among the most important being:
A) The laws upon which the Israeli authorities relied in confiscating lands:
1 –The Land Acquisition for Public Purposes Law of :1943this law stipulates that lands can be confiscated for the public good to found vital projects like schools, hospitals, and roads.
2 –The Emergency and Security Regulations Law of :1945this is a set of regulations and laws passed by the British Mandate government under the pretext of preserving public order in society and taking citizens’ security into account, and the Israeli authorities exploited it to confiscate or shut off land for security purposes or military training.
B) The laws passed by the Israeli authorities after .1967
1 –The Absentees Property Law: …addresses absentees’ movable and immovable property, and authorized the Custodian of Absentees’ Property with the task of preserving absentees’ property until the owners returned, and gave it the right to take action with it by managing, renting, buying, or selling it” (Palestinian schools, History of Palestine: Modern and Contemporary [تاريخ والمعاصر الحديث ,]فلسطين:Grade ,11Part ,2pp.54 – ,55LP3166).
D. Characterizations of the Other in Photographs and Illustrations: Photographs and illustrations were included in the analysis if they related to any study themes. When people, symbols or places clearly associated with the “other” were present in the photograph, the way the other was characterized was then rated from negative to positive. This was the case in 7% 6(total and 0006.per page) of the photographs in Palestinian books, 40% 23(total and 007.per page) of the photographs in Israeli Ultra-Orthodox books and 52% 368(total and 02.per page) of the photographs in Israeli State school books. Characterization of the other in these photographs were: in the Israeli State books 6%very negative or negative, 89%neutral and 4%positive or very positive; in the Israeli Ultra-Orthodox books 4%very negative and 96%neutral; and in the Palestinian books 67% very negative or negative and 33% positive. The very small number of photographs in the Palestinian books rated as providing information about the other makes the percentage breakdown of little meaning and for the same reason differences among the three school systems were not statistically significant. Examples of photographs of the other from Israeli books include: an Arab family harvesting olives, the Bedouin village Rahat, Druze, a mosque in the Arab city Sakhnin, Arab children and their families’ members, Al-Madina mosques, the Egyptian Pyramids, the Oslo Accords (with Rabin and Arafat), Arab leaders (Arafat, Asad, Husein), and a scene from the first Intifada. Examples of photographs in Israeli books related to study themes but not providing information about the other are: the declaration of independence (by Ben Gurion), the establishment of 101 unit (IDF), soldiers in front of the Western Wall, military tanks, and political demonstrations related to the killing of Palestinians in Sabra and Shatila. Examples of photographs in Palestinian books related to study themes but not providing information about the other are: Al-Aqsa mosque, Jaffa coast, Acre Wall, churches in Jerusalem, the Palestinian declaration of independence (by Yaser Arafat), Tiberias Lake, Al- Sheikh Ahmad Yasin, Palestinian refugees, refugees’ camps, Al-Burak Wall, and the Old city of Jerusalem.
The situation was similar with Illustrations. Among illustrations related to study themes, people, symbols or places clearly associated with the “other” were present in 18% (7 total and .0007 per page) of the illustrations in Palestinian books, 43% (6 total and .002 per page) of the illustrations in Israeli Ultra-Orthodox books and 41% (73 total and .005 per page) of the illustrations in Israeli State school books. Characterization of the other in these illustrations were: in the Israeli State books 17% very negative or negative, 77% neutral and 7% positive; in the Israeli Ultra-Orthodox books 67% very negative or negative and 33% neutral; and in the Palestinian books 43% very negative or negative, 43% neutral and 14% positive. The very small numbers of illustrations of the other in the Ultra-Orthodox and Palestinian books make these percentages unreliable and for the same reason differences among the three school systems were not statistically significant.
E. The Self-Community:
Characterization of the Acts of the Self-Collective: The acts of the self-collective are generally described as neutral, positive or very positive. However some differences are apparent here between the school systems (Figure 6). The Israeli Ultra-Orthodox (100%, 11 total and .003 per page) and the Palestinian (88%, 50 total or .005 per page) books almost exclusively present actions of the self-collective that are positive or very positive. In the Israeli State school books, in contrast, 10% (21 total or .001 per page) of the characterizations of the acts of the self- collective are self-critically negative or very negative/evil ratings, 30% (63 total or .004 per page) of the acts of the self-collective are neutral and only 60% (129 total or .008 per page) are positive or very positive. When the distribution or balance of positive, neutral and negative characterizations of the self are compared, the Israeli State school books have a significantly less positive overall balance in characterization of the self-community than do the Palestinian books (p<.003), and the difference between the Israeli State and Ultra-Orthodox schools approaches significance without correction (p<.08) but not after correction (p<.24). The difference between Israeli Ultra-Orthodox and Palestinian books was not significant (p=.8). The average ratings on the scale of 1 = very negative, 2= negative, 3 = neutral, 4 = positive and 5 = very positive, were 3.8 in the Israeli State books, 4.5 in the Israeli Ultra-Orthodox books and 4.2 in the Palestinian books. (Some LPs were rated as “other” and are not calculated in the above percentages or those in subsequent questions. Providing the response option of “other” for the research raters on this and some other questions that follow gives more confidence that the LPs rated as consistent with specific response options do indeed fit those options. The reason the difference between the Israeli State and Israeli Ultra-Orthodox books in self-characterization was not statistically significant despite the fact that the average self rating in the Ultra-Orthodox was even more positive than in the Palestinian books is due to the small number of passages analyzed from the Ultra-Orthodox books that described the self community.)
Positive self-descriptions are often in relation to the other as an enemy. Here are examples from Palestinian books:
“She could have fled… to return from whence she came, but she went on, consumed by pain, wetting this one’s lips with a drop of water, and bandaging the wounds of that one …she walked among the body parts and seas of blood… one of my country’s flowers, Bilbisi was 18years old the day she was martyred, but she did not look for amusement… but rather went off to perform a sacred duty, and history recorded her in the ranks of our courageous female martyrs” (Palestinian schools, Our Beautiful Language الجميلة[ ,]لغتناGrade ,7Part ,1pp.78- ,79LP357).
“Members of Palestinian society aspire always for freedom and independence. Palestinians wherever they may be are linked to the land” (Palestinian schools, National Education الوطنية[ ,]التربيةGrade ,5pp.26-28, LP89).
“The Palestinian people are waging a struggle for freedom” (Palestinian schools, Arabic Language: Reading, Literature, and Analysis [ المطالعة العربية:اللغة والنقد ,]واالدبGrade ,12 2008(2nd edition), p.9, LP845).
“You are firmly resolved to repel the wicked aggressor” (Palestinian schools, Our Beautiful Language الجميلة[ ,]لغتناGrade ,7Part ,1p. ,106LP410).
“Our parents and grandparents planted, and we ate, and we are planting so that you may eat. Palestinians take part in culture, affiliation, destiny, and in looking towards the future” (Palestinian schools, National Education [التربية ,]الوطنيةGrade ,5p.26, LP89).
“She is required to smile while crying, to work hard from the cradle to the grave, and to act on behalf of the father and brother in their absence, even if sacrifice follows sacrifice. She has drunk from the cup of suffering, continued adjusting to difficult times, and kept on sacrificing” (Palestinian schools, Our Beautiful Language الجميلة[ ,]لغتناGrade ,5Part ,2p.31, LP273).
“Despite the Arabs’ joy at the issuing of the constitution, which pushed them to demand liberation, Palestine and the Levant fell under the British Mandate. The people of Palestine decided to wage a struggle and jihad with their money, themselves, and their pens to prevent Britain from establishing the Jewish state in Palestine. They launched several revolutions, and the struggle with the Mandate government and Zionism continued until the Nakba (Catastrophe) took place. Zionist gangs usurped Palestine and displaced its people. The Palestinian refugees endured horrors weighing down heavily on humanity, and the difficult political circumstances which the Palestinian people have been through since the second half of the 19th century until now have been reflected in its economic, social, and intellectual life. Palestine for decades kept suffering from poverty, colonial oppression, dispersion, exile, and the plundering of intellectual and cultural freedoms. Despite that, it was able with all of its strength and willpower to face all of these challenges and make the sword and pen inseparable and synonymous in defending its entity and claiming its freedom and independence….Among the most important topics addressed by Modern Palestinian poetry in its later phases is the Palestinian tragedy of ,1948then the resistance with which its people made the most astounding heroics and sacrifices, becoming a model of resisting colonialism, occupation, and oppression around the world. The tragedy of Palestine and the inexhaustible calamities which befell it provided authors and poets with their greatest creations and best songs, enflaming feelings and passions, and overwhelming minds until it became a source of inspiration and creation” (Palestinian schools, Arabic Language: Reading, Literature, and Analysis والنقد[ واالدب المطالعة العربية: ,]اللغةGrade ,12 2008(2nd edition), pp.98-99, LP886).
Here are some examples from Israeli books:
“As we have seen, the Jewish population in Palestine multiplied by all most ten times during a period of less than thirty years. Of course this growth rate was not due to natural population growth, but due to Jewish immigration to the country.” “Settlement was always one of the Jewish Movement’s main goals, and even the purchase of land was called “Redemption of the Soils,” testifying to its importance. Officially, the Zionist Movement emphasized the pioneer-agricultural settlement that was meant to establish the Jewish hold all over the country. This sector was called “The working Settlement,” suggesting that only agricultural and manufacture labors were really considered as labor…” “The Jewish Yishuv and the Zionist Movement worked vigorously to establish economic, social and political frameworks, that came to be the foundation of an independent society on its way to become a State…” (State secular schools, Nationalism: Building a State in the Middle East התיכון[ במזרח מדינה בונים ,]הלאומיות:Grade ,10pp.14-17, LP1530).
“He who blessed our forefathers Abraham, Yitzhak and Jacob shall bless the IDF soldiers, who guard our country and our God’s cities, from the Lebanon border to the desert of Egypt and from the Great Sea up to the wilderness, in land, air and sea. May God strike upon our enemies who rise against us. His holiness shall guard and save our soldiers from every trouble and hardship, and from every plague and sickness, and he shall send blessing and success in all their doings. May he destroy our foes, and give them the crown of salvation and tiara of victory. And the writing shall be made true of them: ‘For ‘tis your Lord that goes with you to fight your enemy and save you’. Amen” (State religious schools, In the Language of the Lines: An Inter-disciplinary Reader C בין-[ מקראה השורות:בין ג ,]תחומיתGrade ,3p.157, LP1337).
“The Jewish National Fund (“Kakal” in Hebrew –U.E.) -One of the institutions of the Zionist Organization. Established in 1901after a resolution by the Zionist Congress, it was meant to purchase land in Palestine –to prepare soil for settlement and to forest other soils. The KKL land are nationally owned, were given to settlers through a leasing agreement. The Labor Battalion -An organization formed at the memorial gathering for Joseph Trumpeldor that was held by his apprentices from the “Halutz” in the summer of .1920Its full name was “The Labor and Defense Battalion in Memory of Joseph Trumpeldor”. For reasons of secrecy and fear of the British authorities, the word “Defense” was usually omitted from the Battalion’s name, and it was briefly called the Labor Battalion. The Labor Battalion’s goal was double: A national goal –building the country, and a social-class goal –to form a general Commune, a big Kibbutz for all the Hebrew workers in the Battalion and the in the village, with a joint account and absolute equality.” (State secular schools, A Journey to the Past: The Modern World In Crisis, 1939-1870 9191-9781[ במשבר, המודרני העולם העבר: אל ,]מסעGrade ,8p.202, LP1484).
“Since its establishment, the State of Israel sought to make peace with its neighbors, the Arab countries, through Israeli-Arab negotiations. Its efforts, however, have failed in the first thirty years of Israel’s existence, because of the refusal of Arab countries and nations to recognize the right of existence of Israel as a sovereign Jewish state. In order to harm Israel, to weaken it and destroy it, the Arab countries have initiated terror attacks, infiltrations into the territory of the State of Israel and harming the civilian population. The Arab countries have accumulated weapons and ammunition and strengthened their armies to wage a total war against Israel. Indeed, in ,1967the Arab countries: Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, went to war against Israel (the Six-Day War)” (State secular and state religious schools, Being citizens in Israel- In a Jewish and Democratic State ודמוקרטית[ יהודית במדינה בישראל: אזרחים ,]להיותGrade ,11p.332, LP3275).
Examples of self-critical presentation of actions by the self-community in Israeli State books:
In reporting criticism of the bombing of the King David Hotel in ,1946first because it was done at all, and second because it was done during the day when more people were likely to be (and in fact) killed, the passage concludes:
“The disowning of the bombing and the sharp disagreement stirred in its wake led to the final dismantling of the insubordinate Hebrew movement” (State secular schools, National World 2 -Building a state in the Middle East [ לאומיעולם התיכון במזרח מדינה בונים – ,]ב’Grade ,10Part ,2p.63, LP504).
Another example refers to “the slaughter” in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps: “In Tel Aviv, in City Hall Square ]…[a mass demonstration gathered, the biggest Israel had ever known. Many people demanded the establishment of an official investigating committee to examine the events of the slaughter and, after strong pressures, Menahem Begin approved its establishment. The Kahn Commission ]…[determined that it was the Phalangists who carried out the slaughter, but it made Israel indirectly responsible for the act and recommended removing the Minister of Defense from his position” (State secular and state religious schools, Nationality in Israel and in the Nations: Building a state in the Middle East התיכון[ במזרח מדינה בונים ובעמים: בישראל ,]הלאומיותGrade ,11p.266, LP1756).
In reference to violence in the Arab village Deir Yassin:
“In the middle of Nachshon, the battle of Deir Yassin took place, which
developed into the killing of dozens of helpless Arabs ]…[and created a negative and terrifying image of the Jewish occupier in the eyes of the Arabs of the Land. ]…[The fighters acted in the light of day and were hit, and then those left split up and went on fighting in small units, without any central control and without any contact between them. The inhabitants of the village didn’t leave it, and that is the main reason why the number of civilians wounded in the battle was high. According to historical research, about 100people were killed in Deir Yassin, most of them women, children and old people, but at that time, there was talk of hundreds killed, and ETZEL even boasted after the battle and counted 240 killed… The episode of Deir Yassin horrified public opinion in Israel and in the world because of the harsh attack on a civilian population. The leadership of the Jewish Agency expressed ‘feelings of horror and disgust at the barbaric way that action was carried out.’ On the political plane, it served and still serves as an excuse for Arab propaganda against Israel, but its main influence was in the immediate range: the image of the Jewish occupier created by the battle of Deir Yassin was the central cause of the Arab exodus from captured Arab settlements” (State secular and state religious schools, Nationality in Israel and in the Nations: Building a State in the Middle East [ במזרח מדינה בונים ובעמים: בישראלהלאומיות ,]התיכוןGrade ,11p.113, LP1429).
“ETZEL, which warned that there was only one way to rule and be safe in the Land of Israel: blood for blood –a policy of defense and restraint would not bring victory and would not break the enemy forces. Because of that, the members of ETZEL took measures of blind terror, indiscriminate terror, against Arab terror. Those actions were revenge actions” (State secular schools, A
Journey to the Past: The Modern World in Crisis, 1939-1870 [ העולם העבר: אלמסע 9191-9781 במשבר, ,]המודרניGrade ,8p.239, LP1503).
“‘Program D’ which was designed to deal with the expected invasion of the Arab Countries allowed the “Hagana” commanders to empty strategically-essential territory of its population, and to expel hostile villages. Each unit interpreted and implemented these orders as it understood them, and according to the circumstances. And still, it is clear that there was no plan to expel the Arabs from the Jewish States territory, and the issue was never discussed in the higher political institutions” (State religious schools, Revolution &Salvation in Israel & the Nations: Third Part 1939-1970 9191-9181[ ג’ חלק ובעמים: בישראל וגאולה,]מהפכה Grade ,10Part ,1p.312, LP1637).
With regard to Kfar Kassem (Kafr Qasim), a history book for both state systems writes:
“On the first day of the Sinai war, a dreadful event took place in Kfar Kassem (Kafr Qasim). In the village, near the center of the Land (until ,1967it was near the Jordanian border), 49men, women and children were murdered by a company of border police that operated in the place” (Nationality in Israel and in the Nations: Building a State in the Middle East [ בונים ובעמים: בישראלהלאומיות התיכון במזרח ,]מדינהGrade ,11p.213, LP1656).
This statement in a book Democratic Israel [ ודמוקרטיה אזרחות עם, מורשת לימודי דמוקרטית:ישראל הביניים ]לחטיבות )2001(from state secular schools refers to graffiti: “No Arabs –No Attacks” and states: :)“The document appears in a part which deals with the issue “Democracy put to a test: the struggle against violence”. The document is “An announcement of condemnation published by Rabbis, heads of “Benu Akiva” Yishivas, against the graffiti that had been sprayed all over the country: “No Arabs –no terror”. .1We who signed below, are enraged and shocked by terrorist attacks and murders committed against us on a daily basis. We have no doubt that we are facing a difficult enemy and that we must deal with, and that it is the right of every person to express his rage against his enemy. .2And yet, we strongly condemn the slogan “No Arabs –no terror” which is spreading around the country, and denounce it as a generalizing and impassioned slogan, which exceeds the boundaries of natural morals and freedom of speech, and the boundaries of political disputes. .3Such statements are against the Torah and Judaism’s spirit and are an extreme blasphemy. .4We call upon every which sees itself as opposed to racism, to condemn any expression of wrong and illegal opinions. We must not allow blind hatred a footing in our place! Signed (names of 14Rabbis)” (p.354, LP271)
Example of self-criticism from a Palestinian book:
“Omar’s policy with his subjects is an example illustrating how careful Islam is to guarantee subjects’ rights and provide them with a dignified life whatever their religion. When Omar saw an elderly Jew begging because of his poverty and need, he (may God be pleased with him) told him: ‘We were unjust to you, we took the jizya (poll tax) from you as a young man, and then we abandoned you in your old age.’ Omar ordered that he and those like him be spent for out of Islamic charity money” (Palestinian schools, Islamic education [التربية ,]االسالميةGrade ,10Part ,2 2005(2nd edition), pp.67-68, LP2789).
Characterization of the Role of the Self-Collective in the Acts: Here there are also differences among the school systems (Figure .)7The Palestinian books overwhelmingly describe the self- collective as victims 73%(of the time), with some descriptions as protectors )14%(and only very rarely as perpetrators .)2%(The Israeli Ultra-Orthodox books similarly focus on self-roles as victims ,)62%(with some portrayals as protectors )8%(and somewhat more often portrayals as perpetrators .)8%(The Israeli State schools, in contrast, present the self-community as victims only 39%of the time, as protectors in 22%of LPs and perpetrators in .11%
Quotes from Israeli books:
“The displaced Jews who were from the Holocaust and suffered from
disease and trauma, lived under the most difficult conditions in dozens of former concentration camps along with non-Jewish DPs… for some of the DPs of the camps, Zionism was an expression of hope for the future, filled a need to seek a new home and to feel a belonging to their own place in the world” (State secular schools, National World 2 -Building a State in the Middle East [ – ב’ לאומיעולם התיכון במזרח מדינה ,]בוניםGrade ,10Part ,2p.54, LP430).
“Tower and Stockade 1936-1939 –given the Arab attack, there was a need to shape a new policy, which would integrate security and settlement. The objective of the expansion of settlements was to ‘establish political facts on the ground,’ to make the British conclude that there was no way back, and no other way but to establish a Jewish State given the condition created. Therefore, the Jewish Agency and the settlement institutions developed a strategy of settlement that included defining targets, ways of acquiring lands, choice of timing ascending to the ground, concentration of settlements in blocs, a way of guaranteeing the settlers in the Yishuv, and so on –a thoroughly logistical operation. The means of realizing the strategy was the model of ‘tower and stockade.’ The ascent to Tel Amal (Nir David) –the opening sign for operation ‘tower and stockade’ –the beginning of the system of a seed of settlement that settled in Beit Alfa and prepared a long time to ascend to the ground in the area where Jews had not yet settled –the Beit She’an Valley. That was a time of riots and the settlement institutions feared the response of the Arabs to the ascent to the ground, and even raised a fear that the Arabs would kill all the settlers even before they managed to establish their settlement. The members of the kernel didn’t give up and shaped a plan that would prevent the Arab attack on them: a fortified camp that included four huts, a watch tower, a wooden stockade filled with gravel against shots from the distance, two positions in opposite corners of the wall, and a barbed wire fence surrounding it to prevent tossing grenades from a distance. Parts of the camp that were made of wood were set up before the ascent to the ground so they could be composed in only one day… the Arabs didn’t respond to the method of work, and the plan was crowned with success” (State secular schools, National World 2 -Building a State in the Middle East [ – ב’ לאומיעולם התיכון במזרח מדינה ,]בוניםGrade ,10Part ,2p.37, LP367).
“When the War of Independence began (in ,)1948Kibbutz Negba was the southernmost Jewish settlement. The Egyptian army and some of the Arabs who lived in the area attacked the kibbutz, bombarded it, and Egyptian soldiers tried again and again to capture it. To defend themselves, the members of the kibbutz dug ditches, and from them, they shot at the attackers with the few weapons they had. Members of the Haganah (which later became the IDF), volunteers from other kibbutzim and new immigrants were mobilized and came to help the members of Negba fight ]…[After a struggle of a few months, the fighters managed to overcome the Egyptian army and Negba was saved” (State secular and state religious schools, Living Together in Israel: Learning Book of Homeland (moledet), Society and Civics [ חברה במולדת, לימוד ספר בישראל: יחדלחיות ,]ואזרחותGrade ,4Part ,4p. ,61LP30).
Quotes from Palestinian Books:
“They are together in solidarity, they celebrate together with joy filling their hearts on the occasion of prisoners being freed. This solidarity and joy indicate their unity and solidarity as members of society, and of course as sons of one homeland”.(Our beautiful Language: part ,2 grade 1P. 34
“Our children and elderly die and do not surrender” Our beautiful Language, part ,1grade ,6p. .51
“The neighbors rushed to help, and one of them took the children to his house”. Our beautiful language, part 2 ,grade ,1p. 119
“He loved its patient, unwearying people” …”He taught me to love the homeland, to be faithful to it in defending it, and to preserve its public utilities” …”Let us work together to be one hand in building our beloved homeland” Our beautiful language, part ,1grade 3p. 10
“The Palestinian people are waging a struggle for freedom”. Arabic language: Reading, Literature, and Analysis, grade 12P.10. 2008
“She (Palestinian woman) is required to smile while crying, to work hard from the cradle to the grave, and to act on behalf of the father and brother in their absence, even if sacrifice follows sacrifice. She has drunk from the cup of suffering, continued adjusting to difficult times, and kept on sacrificing. p. .31She is a candle, an eternal lighthouse, a moon illuminating our days. Our beautiful language, part ,2grade 5p. 31-32
“Jihad (name of the grandson): What is there in that box, Grandfather? Grandfather: The documents for the land we own on the coastal plain, which is registered in the official land registry books, and the key to our house which we fled. They are in your possession, so take care of them. Jihad: Yes, Grandfather, I will take care of them, and will not be careless with them -God willing -no matter what happens. Grandfather: Good for you, my boy”. History of Ancient Cultures, grade ,5 2009, p. 7
“The Arab-Palestinian stance played an important role in resisting Zionist immigration to Palestine and its dangers, through books such as: Isaaf Al-Nashashibi’s book ‘The Magician and the Jew’, the manuscript of Ruhi Al-Khalidi ‘The History of Zionism’, and also newspapers including Al-Manar, Al-Karmel, and Al-Munadi.” History of Palestine: Modern and Contemporary, part ,1grade ,11 2008p. 66
“One of the forms of solidarity with families in Palestinian society is welfare for the families of martyrs, prisoners, and the injured in society”. National Education, grade 5, p. 15
III. Special Topics: Religion, Peace, Values, Maps and Poems
Five additional thematic areas are of relevance to the issue of the degree to which the books provide information to humanize and legitimize the presence of the other. Much of the historical attachments to the region are associated with religion, and for many people today recognition of access to their holy sites is an important aspect of legitimizing their presence. Maps address the issue of the “other’s” presence very concretely. Discussion of the process and nature of peace indicate whether the other is in the long term picture. Explicitly stated values may range from destruction or domination of the other to respect for life and tolerance of difference. Finally, poems enlist art and emotion in the national narrative.
Frequency of Representation: LPs on Islam were present in 50% (total = 70 LPs or .004 per page) of books from Israeli State schools but only 7% (total = 2 LPs or .0005 per page) of books from Israeli Ultra-Orthodox schools. LPs on Judaism were present in 15% (total = 13 LPs .001 per page) of books from Palestinian schools. Christianity was represented in 36% (total LPs = 37 or .002 per page) of books from Israeli State schools and 14% of books from Israeli Ultra- Orthodox (total LPs = 2 or .0005 per page) and 14% of books from Palestinian schools (total LPs = 13 or .001 per page).
Richness of Representation: The amount of information provided about the other religions was generally very limited, but differed somewhat among the school systems (Figure 8). Ratings were made with regard to information about holidays, holy places, religious symbols, significant figures and major beliefs; “0” representing no information, “1” a few examples provided and “2” many examples provided. These were averaged together to produce a single score from 0 to 2. When referring to Judaism, 62% of the LPs in Palestinian books provided no information at all about the holy sites, holidays, beliefs, major figures or symbols of the Jewish religion, and none presented more than a “few” such particulars. When referring to Islam, books from Israeli Ultra-Orthodox schools were similarly lacking in information, but books from Israeli State schools provided more particulars, with only 27% of the LPs rated as providing no information and 5% rated as providing more than a few particulars. There were too few LPs from Israeli Ultra-Orthodox books to provide meaningful overall average ratings, but for Israeli State books it was .34 and for Palestinian books it was .13, a difference significant at p<.004. When referring to Christianity, no information was provided in over 65% of LPs in Israeli State schools, 100% of LPs in Israeli Ultra-Orthodox schools and 53% of LPs in Palestinian books. Again the numbers of LPs were too few in the Israeli Ultra-Orthodox books to provide meaningful further quantification, but the average ratings of the amount of information about Christianity in Israeli State books (.16) and Palestinian books (.18) did not differ significantly.
Characterization: There were only two characterizations of Islam and two of Christianity in Israeli Ultra-Orthodox books; one extremely negative and one neutral for each. In Israeli State school books, 25% (total 17 or .001 per page) of the characterizations of Islam were very negative or negative, 70%were neutral (total 49or 003.per page) and 6%(total 4or 0003.per page) were positive. In Palestinian books, 23% 3(total or 0003.per page) of the characterizations of Judaism were negative and 77% 10(total or 001.per page) were neutral (Figure .)9Average ratings of Islam in Israeli State books and of Judaism in Palestinian books were identical; .2.8Characterizations of Christianity in Israeli State books were most often neutral ,73%(total 27or 002.per page), but were positive 11%(total 4or 0003.per page) of the time and rated as negative only 17%(total 6or 0004.per page) of the time. Portrayals of Christianity on Palestinian books were still more positive, with 38%(total 5or 0005.per page) neutral, 53%(total 7or 0007.per page) positive and only 8% 1(or 0001.per page) negative. Average ratings of Christianity were more positive in Palestinian books )3.6(than Israeli State books ,)2.9(a difference that was very close to statistical significance without correction (p<.06) but not after correction (p<.18).
Examples of Israeli portrayals of Islam:
A book for both Israeli states systems Jerusalem Construction and Stone: Domes in structures and Slope Houses מדרון[ ובתי במבנים כיפות ואבן: בנייה]ירושלים writes: “In Jerusalem, a city which is considered holy in all three religions, there are praying buildings with domes –of Jews, Muslims and Christians. Among the buildings with domes in the Old City: the Dome of the Rock, the Al-Aqsa mosque of the Muslims, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre of the Christians, the “Horva” Synagogue of Jews” (p.25, LP1041).
A geography book for both state systems writes, “Islam shapes manners of behavior, dressing, economics, art, architecture, food and others. Islam is not just a religion or a whole culture, it is a special way of living… More than any other factor, the spirit of Islam, which developed from Judaism and Christianity in the seventh century, has shaped the Middle East” (State secular and state religious schools, Geography of the Middle East: Changes on the Eve of the 21th Century ה-19[ המאה סף על תמורות התיכון: המזרח של ,]גאוגרפיהp.17, LP1081).
A civic study book for both state systems: “According to Islam, the existence of pluralism in society is a necessary and natural need, because there is no unity in the thoughts and world views of human beings. The pluralism in Islam is manifested in multiplicity of different denominations and sects, which they all are considered part of the Islam…” (State secular and state religious schools, Being Citizens in Israel -In a Jewish and Democratic State ודמוקרטית[ יהודית במדינה בישראל: אזרחים ,]להיותGrade ,11p.117, LP2846).
Examples of Palestinian portrayals of Judaism:
“Moses (peace be upon him) was purified by God Almighty and chosen from amongst the creation, and called to the right side of Mount Sinai, and his brother Aaron (peace be upon him) was made a prophet with him to support and strengthen him” (p.16). “Those prophets who were mentioned by the holy versus are the offspring of Adam and Noah (peace be upon them), including those who are of Abraham’s progeny like Ishmael, Isaac, and Jacob (peace be upon them), and including those from Israel’s progeny, like Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Zakaria, Yahya, and Jesus (peace be upon them). These were all blessed by God with the blessings of prophethood, being close to Him, and the greatest status with him, and He chose them amongst his servants to be people’s ideal and a role model for humanity in worshipping and obeying God” (Palestinian schools, Islamic Education االسالمية[ ,]التربيةGrade ,10Part ,2 2005(2nd edition), p.17, LP2771).
“The Jews kept Saturdays’ Sanctity and they (Jews) made it a day for rest and pray, and they forbid all the work in it, even the work for good, and by healing the patients on Saturday Jesus taught us that the work of goodness is mandatory all the days even in Sunday”. Christian Education, grade ,3P. 88
The following divine books: 1 -“The messages of Abraham (peace be upon him) and Moses call for belief in God Almighty, worshipping Him, and following noble morals”. 2 -The Torah: Was revealed to Moses (peace be upon him) to guide the children of Israel. 3 -The Zabour: Was revealed to David (peace be upon him) with sermons and guidance for the children of Israel. 4 -The Gospel: Was revealed to Jesus (peace be upon him) to guide the children of Israel, and to reaffirm what Moses (peace be upon him) had brought”. Islamic Education part 1grade 3p. 17
Passages Related to Peace: LPs related to peace were extremely rare in Israeli Ultra-Orthodox (present in 7%of books, total LPs = 1or 0003.per page) and Palestinian books (present in 2%of books, total LPs = 3or 0003.per page), and relatively more common in books from the Israeli State system (present in 25%of the books, total LPs = 27or 002.per page). When present, the LPs were more likely in all books to describe the prospects or process of peace in realistic rather than idealistic terms 2:1(margin). Peace was almost always described as a win-win situation in all books 90%(of the time). While passages only infrequently discussed the basis for possible peace, when it was discussed political and economic factors were most often cited with rare references to religious factors (once only, in a Palestinian book) or international forces 4(times in Israeli books and once in Palestinian). In Israeli State schools, achieved peace was described as a warm peace with cooperation and respect 44%of the time, a cold peace with formal accord 30%of the time, and a negative peace with the cessation of violence without formal accord 26% of the time. Such characterizations were very rarely made in Israeli Ultra-Orthodox or Palestinian books.
An example from an Israeli book: Mountains around it: Geography of Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem City ירושלים[ והעיר שומרון יהודה, של גיאוגרפיה לה: סביב ]הרים )2003(for the state secular system writes:
“These days Israel is facing problems (including complicated socio- economical problems) in respect to the question of the way to peace and the means to achieve it. At the heart of the question –the agreement on Jerusalem. On the one hand there is a strong desire to keep Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Israeli state and the Jewish people, as an exclusive place, a holy place for the Jewish people, in Israeli hands. On the other hand, a large part of Israeli society who desires peace and an end to the occupation and warfare –is willing to divide Jerusalem between its Jewish and Arab inhabitants. The dispute is difficult
–politically, socially, and it is divisive. These very days the political system is fighting for its survival because of the intensity of this debate. In 1995Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was murdered because of this dispute, and between then and ,2003four elections were held and four governments were founded and all had great difficulties in facing this fundamental dispute. At the heart of the dispute –Jerusalem and the settlement in Judea and Samaria” (p. ,180LP1089).
An example from a Palestinian book:
“The state of Palestine announces that it is a peace-loving state, committed to the principles of peaceful coexistence, and it will work with all countries and peoples for achieve a permanent peace based on justice and respect for rights, under which human energies will open up to build, and competition will take place in it with innovation and a lack of fear about tomorrow, for tomorrow brings nothing but safety for those who are just or who return to being just. Reading and Texts, part ,1grade ,8 ,2009P. 62
Values of Self and Other: Explicit references to self-values were much more common in Palestinian than in Israeli books: Palestinian total 151=or 015.per page, Israeli State total =90 or 006.per page, Israeli Ultra-Orthodox = 2or 0006.per page (it may be that self-values in the Ultra-Orthodox were presented in a different manner than in the other books and in a way that they did not get picked up in the study). General human values of tolerance-respect-acceptance of others, nonviolence, freedom, dignity, human rights, morality, cooperation and sanctity of life were explicitly addressed 64times in the Palestinian books 006.(per page) and 34times in Israeli State books 002.(per page), The two most commonly (and equally commonly) expressed self-values in the Palestinian books were cooperation and jihad. These were followed in frequency by martyrdom-sacrifice through death, freedom and nonviolence. In Israeli State schools, the most commonly stated self-values were freedom, non-violence, martyrdom-sacrifice through death, occupation/expansion and cooperation.
References to the values of the other community were very uncommon in all books. In Palestinian books, the most common value attributed to Israelis was occupation/expansion. In Israeli books, the most common values attributed to Palestinians were martyrdom-sacrifice through death and Jihad. Although references to general human values were relatively common when each community described itself, they were almost totally absent in the list of values each community attributed to the other.
Some examples from Palestinian books of general human values:
“If love is spread between people, it will leave a good impact, including: that people want …for their beloved companions the blessings and goodness they want for themselves. As our noble Prophet (peace be upon him) said, ‘None of you is a believer until you love for your brother what you love for yourself’” (Palestinian schools, Reading and Texts والنصوص[ ,]المطالعةGrade ,8Part ,12009 (3rd edition), p.11, LP2447).
“We love all people, even if they are strangers to us in their languages, colors, and races, even our enemies” (Palestinian schools, Christian Education المسيحية[ ,]التربيهGrade ,6 ,2003p.103, LP305).
“The state of Palestine announces its commitment to the principles and goals of the UN, to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and also to the principles and policies of non-alignment.” And “In the same spirit, it also announces that it guarantees to resolve international and regional problems peacefully, in accordance to the UN Charter and resolutions. It rejects threats of force, violence, or terrorism, or using them against the integrity and political independence of its territories, or the integrity of any other country’s territories, without infringing on its natural rights to defend its territories and independence.” And “The state of Palestine announces that it is a peace-loving state, committed to the principles of peaceful coexistence, and it will work with all countries and peoples to achieve a permanent peace based on justice and respect for rights” (Palestinian schools, Reading and Texts والنصوص[ ,]المطالعةGrade ,8Part ,12009 (3rd edition), pp.61-62, LP2459).
“Forbidding hatred of others –God Almighty created all of humanity from a single origin, and they are not differentiated with regards to their nature, because the origin is one, and because the creator is God Almighty, and there is no preference for anyone in color, country, language, height, or shortness, because all of this is not possessed by humans by choice, but rather is created by the Almighty Creator. God said: ‘O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear God, through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Indeed God is ever, over you, an Observer’ .)4:1(The creator is one, God Almighty, and the origin is one, Adam, who loves doing what God ordered, which is righteousness towards God. It is this righteousness which God ordered to be a standard for differentiating between people, when He said: ‘Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted’ .)49:13(Hatred and making fun of people because of color, nature, country, origin, poverty, or profession contradicts divine behavior, and divides Muslims and incites hatred and dispute amongst them (page ”)58 (Palestinian schools, Islamic Education االسالمية[ ,]التربيةGrade ,11Part ,1,2006 p.58, LP3050).
Some examples from Palestinian books of tolerance and cooperation:
“Even during wars, Islam forbids killing men, women, and children, and guarantees the injured medication, while prisoners have the right to good treatment. Islam also forbids disfiguring those slain, and cutting down trees or destroying agriculture and livestock. God Almighty said: “Fight in the way of God those who fight you, and do not transgress, God does not love transgressors” (Palestinian schools, Islamic Education اإلسالمية[ ,]التربيةGrade ,8Part ,2p.89, LP2237).
“Islam commands close family and neighborly relations, cooperation in doing good, pious treatment, and solidarity between the members of society, while forbidding all forms of oppression, aggression, corruption, the severance of relations, being opposed to each other, and mutual hatred. As for the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslim citizens, Islam establishes this relationship on a firm basis of tolerance, justice, piety, and mercy” (Palestinian schools, Islamic Education اإلسالمية[ ,]التربيةGrade ,8Part ,2p.88, LP2237).
In Abu Bakr’s (may God be pleased with him) orders to Osama when he sent him to the Levant: “You shall not engage in treachery; you shall not act unfaithfully; you shall not engage in deception; you shall not indulge in mutilation; you shall kill neither a young child nor an old man or a woman; you shall not fell palm trees or burn them, you shall not cut down any fruit-bearing tree; you shall not slaughter a sheep or a cow or a camel except for food. You will pass people who occupy themselves in monks’ cells; leave them alone, and leave alone what they busy themselves with” (Palestinian schools, Islamic Education اإلسالمية[ ,]التربيةGrade ,8Part ,2p.89, LP2237).
“The message of Islam is based on liberating people from all types of oppression which dictatorial tyrants practice, to guarantee for them freedom of belief and worship, and to move them from worshipping worshippers to worshipping the Lord of the worshippers” (Palestinian schools, Islamic Education اإلسالمية[ ,]التربيةGrade ,8Part ,2p.89, LP2237).
“Islamic society is distinguished by being a disciplined, cohesive society, in which every individual works in the interests of others, and takes care to provide good for all of its members, and the strength and cohesiveness of society results from that” (Palestinian books, The Prophet Says الشريف[ النبوي,]الحديث Grade ,12p.4, LP864).
Some examples from Palestinian books of value of martyrdom-sacrifice through death:
“I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.” “Let us examine the quotes which urge for sacrifice in the cause of the country” (Palestinian schools, Our Beautiful Language الجميلة[ ,]لغتناGrade ,7Part ,2 pp.136-7, LP467).
“Every stone is violated, every square cries out in anger, every nerve is abuzz, death before submission, death before submission, forward!” (Palestinian schools, Our Beautiful Language الجميلة[ ,]لغتناGrade ,6Part ,1p.52, LP330)
“With all this, the call to raise the overall performance to the level of shedding one’s blood becomes a sacred national right which it is difficult to relinquish or be lenient on. Write no more than 20pages about a woman who sacrificed for her country” (Palestinian schools, Our Beautiful Language [لغتنا ,]الجميلةGrade ,7Part ,2p.69, LP451).
Some examples from Israeli books of general human values:
“Appendix no.3 –talking peace thinking peace -is a collection of statements about tolerance, human dignity, and peace.” The statements include: “Human nature prefers peace over war” (Yitzhak Shamir, Prime Minister, The Madrid Conference, .)1991“War is delightful to those who have had no experience of it. An uncomfortable peace is better than war” Erasmus, Philosopher .)1466-1536(“Said the Lord: ‘The entire Torah is peace, and to whom shall I give it? To a peace loving nation’ (Yalkut Shimoni, Jethro sign RA”I) ]…[“Peace is not the goal –it is the only way, it is the way of truth and non-violence” (Mahatma Gandhi, India’s spiritual leader, the developer of the non-violence doctrine, murdered by Hindu extremists in ”)1974(State secular schools, Democratic Israel [ ודמוקרטיה אזרחות עם, מורשת לימודי דמוקרטית:ישראל הביניים ,]לחטיבות ,2002pp.373-374, LP274).
“Rabin’s assassin admitted his actions, and explained that he had assassinated for ideological-religious reasons, and that he had wanted to put a stop to the dialogue processes with the Palestinians by assassinating. After the assassination there emerged an unorganized movement of thousands of people who had come to the Square to identify with the man’s way and called to nurture tolerance. They were secular and religious, Jews and Arabs. Organizations and movements for tolerance and against violence began to form in Israel. The day of Rabin’s assassination had turned into a National Memorial day, dedicated to encouraging tolerance and unity” (State secular schools, Democratic Israel [ישראל הביניים לחטיבות ודמוקרטיה אזרחות עם, מורשת לימודי ,]דמוקרטית: ,2002pp. ,351-352 LP269).
Examples from Israeli books of value of martyrdom-sacrifice through death:
“Joseph said to his comrades: ‘We will stand as one man against the enemies. We shall protect the land we have inherited. We shall not abandon the house we have built.’ For three days Joseph and his comrades defended Tel Hai – a few against many. He expelled the Arabs, but he was severely wounded in battle. In the last moments of his life, his lips moved. Never mind, it is good to die for our country” (State secular schools, New Israel’s Readers for 2nd Grade מעודכנת[ מהדורה – ב’ חדשות ישראל ,]מקראותGrade 2(updated edition), pp.186-188, LP1093).
“On March ,1 ,1920masses of armed Arabs attacked the courtyard of Tel Hai, and wanted to enter by means of cunning. When they were allowed to enter,
shooting broke out and masses of Arabs, who surrounded the courtyard from outside immediately joined the battle. Joseph Trumpeldor and his comrades tried to go through the yard to close the open gate, but they were critically wounded. …The statue of a lion roaring was built on the graves in the 1930s. The episode of Tel Hai constitutes a central myth of heroism in the life of the Yishuv. Trumpledor was a unique hero who was easy to identify with. He was a decorated officer in the army of the Russian czar. He was the right man for the image of the ‘New Jew,’ which was built on the rejection of the image of the Diaspora Jew. Trumpeldor is described as a direct descendent of the ancient heroes of Israel, with points of similarity between his acts of heroism and the acts of heroism of Judas Maccabee and his men. The importance of the myth of Trumpeldor is in the fact that generations who came after him were educated on his act of heroism and his famous saying (‘It’s good to die for our country’) and drew from them encouragement during their struggle to strengthen Hebrew settlement in the Land of Israel” (State secular schools, National World 2- Building a State in the Middle East התיכון[ במזרח מדינה בונים – ב’ לאומי ,]עולםGrade ,10Part ,2p.28, LP345).
The first question addressed was: How do the maps present the space between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea? Do the maps acknowledge the existence of the other entity? In the case of the Israeli textbooks, is it indicated that the West Bank and Gaza strip are occupied (i.e., a separate entity not part of the state of Israel) and from 1993are a formally established entity (Palestine/Palestinian Authority)? In the case of the Palestinian textbooks, do the maps acknowledge the existence of the State of Israel? This question was investigated by noting use of borders and the names describing this area.
Researchers examined 304maps from Palestinian books of which 83were post-1967 maps including the area between the Jordan River and the Sea. Of these 83maps, 48 )58%(had no borders within the area, no reference to Israel and referred to the entire area as Palestine. Another 27 )33%(included the Green Line (borders set out in the 1949Armistice Agreement after the 1948Arab-Israeli war) but had no reference to Israel and referred to the entire area as Palestine. Another 8 )9%(had the Green Line, and in addition separated Israeli and Palestinian areas by color, and 1map )1%(further defined Palestinian areas by the terms Areas A, B and C and “Area under control of the Palestinian Authority” (designations resulting from the Oslo 2 agreements1). None of these 9maps used the label Israel anywhere. Finally, of the 83maps, 3 )4%(indicated the Green Line border and labeled the area east of the border as Israel.
Researchers examined 555maps from Israeli books, of which 330were dated after 1967 and these were analyzed further. Of the 330maps, 258include the area between the Jordan River and the Sea. These included 162of 199maps from the State systems and 96of 131maps from Ultra-Orthodox schoolbooks. Of these 258maps including the area between the Jordan River and
1The Oslo II Accord signed in 1995created three temporary distinct administrative divisions in the Palestinian territories, the Areas A, B and C, until a final status accord would be established. The areas are not contiguous, but rather fragmented depending on the different population areas as well as Israeli military requirements: Area A 18%( of the West Bank) includes all Palestinian cities and their surrounding areas, with no Israeli settlements. It has full civil and security control by the Palestinian Authority); Area B 21%(of the West Bank) includes areas of many Palestinian towns and villages and areas, with no Israeli settlements. It has Palestinian civil control and joint Israeli- Palestinian security control; Area C 61%(of the West Bank) includes all Israeli settlements (cities, towns, and villages) and also about ,150 000Palestinian residents in villages. It is under full Israeli civil and security control, except over Palestinian civilians.
the Sea, 196 or 76% did not indicate any borders (i.e., line, color or other demarcation) between Israeli and Palestinian areas, although borders were indicated between Israel and neighboring countries (e.g., Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria) and the labels Palestine or Palestinian Authority did not appear anywhere on the maps. Since these maps are presented as maps of Israel, the absence of borders between Israel and Palestine and the absence of the label Palestinian Authority can be seen as implying that the Palestinian areas are part of the State of Israel. In the State system, 65% of the maps do not have borders and in the Ultra-Orthodox systems 95% of the maps do not have borders. In the 62 maps that included borders, 33 (13%) demarcate areas A, B and/or C as per Oslo2 and indicate they are under the Palestinian Authority. In the remaining 29 (11%) maps with borders, the borders are indicted by colors or lines, but without labels or reference to Palestine or the Palestinian Authority. The demarcations generally appear to follow 1967 borders (Green Line). Among maps from the Ultraorthodox system, the West Bank areas are named Yehuda and Shomron in 20 maps (25% of the 81 maps from the UO system that show the West Bank area). This is true of 8 maps (5% of the 148 maps from the State system that show the West Bank area) in the state system. Use of the labels Yehuda and Shomron potentially adds further to the sense that these are or should be part of Israel.
The second research question regarding the maps focused on representation of Jerusalem. Of the 83 relevant maps in the Palestinian books, in 50 (60%) Jerusalem was not labeled at all although the area where it exists was included in the maps. Among the 33 maps that did indicate Jerusalem, 16 (50%) presented Jerusalem as a Palestinian city, 3 (9%) presented it as an Israeli city and in 14 (42%) maps the status of Jerusalem is left unclear.
In maps from Israeli books, the area where Jerusalem exists is part of 233 or 70% of the post-1967 maps. (150 maps from the State system and 83 from the Ultra-Orthodox). In 134 or 58% of these maps, Jerusalem was noted by name. Considering only these 134 maps, 87 maps (65%) have no borders between Israeli and Palestinian areas, Jerusalem is similarly undivided, and again the maps can be seen as implying that Jerusalem is entirely within Israel. In 38 maps (28%), Jerusalem is presented entirely as an Israeli city, and in 9 maps (7%) it is represented as divided between an Israeli and an Arab city (although in these the word Arab and not Palestinian is used). Looking again at the 233 maps, it is of interest to note that in the textbooks of the Ultra-Orthodox system, maps either do not note the name Jerusalem (69%) or note it as undivided city (28%), without noting specifically whether it is Jewish. In contrast, in maps from textbooks of the state system, only 28% of maps leave Jerusalem unnamed and in 40% it is presented as an undivided city, without noting specifically whether it is Jewish. In 24% of the maps from State schools, Jerusalem is clearly noted as an Israeli-Jewish city only and 8% of the maps note it as a city divided into Jewish and Arab areas.
Poems describing the “other” were too rare in Israeli Ultra-Orthodox books to characterize. Poems in Palestinian books described Israelis in very negative terms 29% of the time, in negative terms 64% of the time, and in neutral terms 7% of the time. Poems in Israeli State books described Palestinians in very negative terms 11% of the time, in negative terms 42% of the time, in neutral terms 42% and in positive terms 5% of the time. The average rating of characterization of the other in poems in the Israeli State books was 2.4 and in the Palestinian books 1.8 on the scale of 1 = very negative and 5 = very positive, a difference that in the small sample of poems about the other did not reach statistical significance (p<.15).
Here are three poems from Palestinian books:
“If, one day, a people desires to live, then fate will answer their call
And their night will then begin to fade, and their chains break and fall” (Palestinian schools, Our Beautiful Language الجميلة[ ,]لغتناGrade ,2Part ,1,2009 p.71, LP659). [Translator’s note: from Abu Al-Qasim Al-Shabbi’s poem, c. ,1930 which became the rallying cry of the 2011Tunisian Revolution]
“The abode of peace and land of happiness
It is difficult for everyone to be sad
For Palestine’s catastrophe was one of the greatest magnitude
Although this greatest magnitude was not easy
We stayed up late, and it was if the swords
Were sowing worry in our hearts
How would sleep visit eyes
That see destruction all around them
How can a people love life
Which is closing all the roads
So tell the Jews and their followers
You have been deceived by the lightning of destiny
Don’t you wish that Balfour had given you
A country of his, not a country of ours
For London is more welcoming than our Jerusalem
And you will be more loved by London.”
(Palestinian schools, Arabic Language: Linguistic Science اللغوية[ العربية-اللعلوم,]اللغة Grade ,11Part ,1p.76, LP )1135
The two banks repeat: my freedom!
The crossings of the angry wind, the thunder, the storm, and the rain in my homeland repeat with me:
My freedom! My freedom! My freedom!
I will keep carving its name as I resist
In the land, in the walls, in the doors, and the homes’ balconies
On the Virgin’s figure, in the mihrab (prayer niche), on the farmer’s roads
On every high point, low point, curve, and street
In the prison’s torture cell, on the gallows
Despite the iron chains, despite the house demolitions, despite the blazing fires
I will keep carving its name until I see it
Stretching along my homeland and growing
And it keeps growing
And it keeps on growing
Until it covers every inch of its soil
Until I see red freedom opening every door
And the night fleeing as the night stamps out pillars of fog
The sacred river and the bridges repeat:
The crossings of the angry wind, the thunder, the storm, and the rain in my homeland repeat with me:
My freedom! My freedom! My freedom!”
(Palestinian schools, Our Beautiful Language الجميلة[ ,]لغتناGrade ,7Part ,2pp.69- ,60LP451)
Here are three poems from Israeli books:
“My brother Yonatan!
He was my brother,
Now he is gone…
And my mom is always sad Very sad…
And I, Michael,
I am the little one,
And my brother fell in the mountains of Hebron,
And never came back…
The enemy, in great throngs,
Jerusalem, the capital,
And my brother, and his friends with him,
And held back the fighting enemy,
With all their strength…
Thus my mother told me.
As if he didn’t fall,
As if he lives, my brother Yonatan.
And we rejoice with everyone…
And we dance and we sing. But…
My mom is sad,
And my brother Yonatan disappeared,
He is gone, he is not with me.
I sat in the room, in the corner,
My eyes watching a photo…
Then my mom suddenly looked at me,
And said: Michael!
It is a holiday today, my son, of the state,
A holiday of the state of Israel.
Let us go outside, to the people,
And celebrate and rejoice.
Why, Yonatan fought in the mountains,
To this end…
Look, Michael, at the photo,
Does it not seem,
That he too is happy…
About the holiday of the state?
And we went outside to the holiday in the streets,
And my brother Yonatan,
Is watching us from behind,
With his good eyes.”
(State secular schools, Strings: Reader for the 2nd Grade, [ יום הזיכרון, יום השואה, יום ולבן:כחל יונתן אחי ,]העצמאות:Grade ,2Part ,2pp.174-175 LP2999)
“Behold, our arms are bent and silent, and our comrades are stifling their cries… Now you shall bury us, with the clods of earth on our faces.”
(State secular schools, Beautiful literature, יפה[ ,]ספרותGrade ,8p.436, LP3318)
“Two fingers from Sidon [city in Lebanon] I sit depressed
All day patrol, guard duties
One looks who to shoot at
Two fingers from Sidon
Border patrolling, first thing [in the morning]
A bit secure, a bit scared
In the bushes there’s a roadside charge
A butterfly sits on a branch
And I’m reminded of you.”
(State secular schools, Nationalism: Building a State in the Middle East [ בוניםהלאומיות: התיכון במזרח ,]מדינהGrade ,10p.200, LP1734).
Comparison of Israeli State Secular and Religious Tracks: Self–critical presentation of the self-community was noted to be more common in Israeli State books than in Israeli Ultra- Orthodox or Palestinian books. This proved to be true mostly of books from the Israeli State secular track. LPs from the religious track were statistically significantly more positive than LPs from the secular track both when comparing only the books unique to each track (p = )000.and comparing both the books unique and shared by the two tracks (p .)001.<The average ratings in the books unique to the religious track ) 4.4/5 (and all the books used in the religious track )4.0( were indistinguishable from the average ratings in the Ultra-Orthodox ) 4.5 (and the Palestinian books .)4.2(Average ratings of the LPs from the secular track were 3.6for books unique to the secular track and 3.5for all books used in the secular track.
There are four primary findings from the present study of Israeli and Palestinian school books:
Dehumanizing and demonizing characterizations of the other as seen in textbooks elsewhere and of concern to the general public are rare in both Israeli and Palestinian books.
Both Israeli and Palestinian books present exclusive unilateral national narratives that present a wealth of information about the other as enemy and a dearth of information about the other in positive or human light. Historical events, while not false or fabricated, are selectively presented to reinforce each national narrative.
The absence of information of various kinds about the other serves to delegitimize the presence of the other. This important problem can be addressed by the addition of information about the culture, religions, and everyday activities of the other.
The negative bias in presentation of the other, the positive bias in presentation of the self, and the absence of images and information about the other are more pronounced in the Israeli Ultra-Orthodox and Palestinian books than in the Israeli State books, and these differences are statistically significant. Within the Israeli State system, the
positive bias in presentation of the self in books used in the religious track is similar to the Israeli Ultra-Orthodox and Palestinian books, and only books used in the Israeli State secular track have statistically significantly more self-critical content.
Absence of Dehumanizing or Demonizing Characterizations of the Other:
Both the Israeli and Palestinian communities should be commended for this important positive aspect of their books. Extreme negative characterizations of the other of this sort are present in textbooks elsewhere in the world. Such statements, by reducing the other to something subhuman or extremely evil, can serve to justify extreme aggressive actions against the other. For this reason, special concern about statements of this sort is justified. It is an important finding that such statements are very rare in both Israeli and Palestinian books. Moreover, even when present statements rated as falling into this category were extensions of each community’s national narrative and concerns as discussed next, and not more free standing efforts at denying the fundamental human being of the other. In Israeli books these statements, when present, were linked to the concern about the violent efforts of Palestinians and other Arabs to destroy them through violence, referring for example to a Palestinian village as “a nest of murderers” or to “bloodthirsty Arabs.” In Palestinian books these statements, when present, were closely linked to the present conflict and occupation, referring to the interrogation room in as Israeli prison as “the slaughter house” and to extreme negative actions by Israeli forces in destroying water supply infrastructure and threatening to deny water to Palestinian villages.
Unilateral and Exclusive National Narratives:
It has been repeatedly demonstrated that societies in prolonged conflict each construct a reasoned, coherent and meaningful narrative that explains and justifies events in which they take part (Heine, Proulx, & Vohs, 2006; László, 2008). This need is especially important in conflicts that involve human losses, injuries, destruction, suffering, misery and hardship that lead unavoidably to uncertainty, helplessness, unpredictability, chronic stress, and distress. Such narratives can be so strong and deeply rooted that they persist even when direct conflict has been absent for decades, the societies are separated by geography and have limited ongoing contact. These narratives can usually be found in the school books each society creates as part of the process of education and socialization of its citizenry. The ways Chinese and Japanese schoolbooks describe one another and the history of their contact and conflicts are one of many examples of the nature and persistence of these history shaping national narratives (e.g., Barnard, 2011).
Called by scholars “collective master narratives” the narratives typically explain the causes of the conflict, describe its nature, characterize the nature of the rival, portray the self- collective, and elaborate on the conditions needed to win the conflict (Bar-Tal,2013). There are also more specific narratives that concern major events in the conflict, such as wars, and mini narratives that refer to specific incidents such as a battle and even very specific events in a battle, or personalities involved in the conflict (Auerbach, 2010). These narratives often contribute to maintaining the conflict by the ways they portray and justify it and events related to it.
The collective master narrative is also often called a narrative of collective memory because it presents the history of the conflict to society members. This narrative develops over time, and it describes the conflict’s eruption and its course, providing a coherent and meaningful picture (Firer and Adwan, 2004; Paez & Liu, 2011; Tint, 2010; Adwan et al 2012). The collective master narrative commonly includes six major themes (Bar-Tal, 2013). First, the master narrative justifies the involvement in the conflict and the course of its development. It outlines the reasons for the supreme and existential importance of the conflictive ingroup’s goals. At the same time, it discredits the goals of the other side, describing them as unjustified and unreasonable. Secondly, it elaborates the dangers that the conflict constitutes to the society:
Threats to the physical existence of the ingroup, to cherished values, to identity, to territory, etc. In addition, it elaborates the sources of the threats and the conditions that may overcome them. Thirdly, the master narrative often characterizes the opponent in negative ways. In the extreme, it dehumanizes and demonizes the other by comparison to animals, viruses or cancers, or association with historical groups of extreme ill repute. By thus excluding the other from the sphere of human groups that act within the limits of acceptable norms and/or values, extreme maltreatment of the other is justified (Bar-Tal & Hammack, 2012; Opotow, 1990). In addition, the master narrative often focuses on the rival’s violence, atrocities, irrationality, intransigence, and lack of concern for human life (firer and Adwan, 2004).
Fourth, in contrast it presents a positive image of the ingroup (e.g., Baumeister, & Hastings, 1997; Firer and Adwan, 2004). The master narrative describes events that reflect well on the society, exhibits its positive characteristics and especially depicts the humane and moral side of the society (Sande, Goethals, Ferrari, & Worth, 1989; White, 1970). It also describes the society as peace loving and peace as it ultimate goal. Fifth, the master narrative presents the own group as the sole victim of the conflict and of the opponent. This view is formed over a long period of violence as a result of the society’s sufferings and losses (Bar-Tal, Chernyak-Hai, Schori, & Gundar, 2009; Vollhardt, 2012). Sixth, it encourages patriotism in the service of ingroup goals, including readiness to make the ultimate sacrifice of life.
The master narrative functions as a system of reality interpretation guides—an ideology- that is well accepted in times of conflict and to which many society members adhere because it helps them address the most challenging problems of individual and collective life during the conflict (Bar-Tal, 2013). That is, these narratives provide many of the psychological ingredients that human beings need to carry on their normal life within the very challenging circumstances of intractable conflict. They fulfill the epistemic function of illuminating the conflict situation, which is characterized by uncertainty, stress, and unpredictability (Burton, 1990). They also serve to justify the negative acts of the in-group towards the enemy, including violence against humans and destruction of property (Apter, 1997). Additionally, the narratives prepare the society for the threatening and violent acts of the enemy, as well as for the difficult life conditions that may ensue. The narratives tune the society to information that signals potential harm and continuing violent confrontations, allowing psychological preparations for the lasting conflict and immunization against negative experiences (e.g., Antonovsky, 1987; Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). By doing so, they contribute to unity, solidarity, mobilization and readiness for sacrifice on behalf of the group (Bar-Tal & Staub, 1997). They also help maintain a positive self- social identity with a sense of worthiness, esteem and integrity important to all groups (Abrams & Hogg, 1990; Tajfel & Turner, 1986). Often, they create a differentiation between the ingroup and the rival and provide a sense of superiority (Sidanius & Pratto, 1999). While the master narrative serves these multiple functions during conflict, when windows of opportunities open to resolve these intractable conflicts peacefully, the same narratives can be stubborn barriers to the peace making process (Bar-Tal & Halperin, 2011; Adwan et al, 2012).
The findings of the present study are, not surprisingly, consistent with the extensive literature based on evidence from other cultures in conflict around the world. Both Israeli and Palestinian school books forcefully and consistently establish distinct unilateral and opposing narratives about the same period of time in the same region of the world (Adwan et al, 2012). This is primarily the result of the selective focus on certain aspects of history from a unilateral perspective rather than falsehoods. The Israeli narrative emphasizes the threats and attacks against Israel by the Palestinians and Arab states, and violence against Jews over the years in the region and elsewhere. The Palestinian narrative emphasizes their displacement from family homes and centuries old villages by Jews moving to the region before and after World War II, and the role of Britain in supporting the immigration and establishment of the state of Israel. It also emphasizes loss of freedom, more land and control over essential resources during the 45 year occupation. Both narratives present the other as an enemy aiming to destroy or dominate them, and call for individuals in their communities to be prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice of life for the collective good.
Lack of Recognition of the Presence and Absence of Information about the Other:
In addition to the consistent presentation of the other as a violent enemy bent on destroying or dominating the self-community, there is a lack of information about the other’s religions, culture, beliefs and activities. This lack of information even more than the negative information constitutes a lack of recognition of the other’s legitimate presence. In this conflict, perhaps more than many others, this lack of recognition of the other’s legitimate presence is a central obstacle to the respect and tolerance necessary for peace. Connection to the land on the basis of religion is of particular importance to many in both communities. Feelings are often strong and contentious regarding access to and ownership of Holy sites. Many aspects of each of the three major religions involved, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, are held in high esteem by many 100’s of millions of people around the globe. Yet the average ratings of the amount of information provided about the holidays, holy sites, major figures and major beliefs of the other’s religion(s) was approximately 0.20 on a scale where “0” means no information is provided, “1” means a few examples are provided, and “2” means many examples are provided. It is hard to imagine Israelis and Palestinians living in peace without their children learning more about the religion of the other. But is also clear, that to provide more such information would also increase understanding of how and why the other is connected to and feels entitled to be living in the area. The maps in the school books provide an even more concrete illustration and challenge. While cartographers have sought for centuries to produce maps that represent as accurately possible the realities of cities and towns and their inhabitants, that goal often seems far from the aims of the maps in Israeli and Palestinian textbooks, and comparing the two might suggest they were of different worlds altogether.
The Specific Case of Maps:
Maps in books from all school systems provide concrete examples of the contrasting and problematic aspects of the narratives. In Israeli books, 76% of the maps show no border in the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea implying that the whole area is Israel. These, and even many of the maps that do show borders, make no mention of Palestine or the Palestinian Authority. Among the maps from the Ultra-Orthodox schools, 95 % show no borders and 25% also label the West Bank as Judea and Samaria. These features of the maps in Israeli books resonate problematically with the central concern in the Palestinian narrative that Israel seeks to keep and expand occupied territories and eliminate any chance of a viable Palestinian state. In Palestinian books, 58% of the maps show no border and label the entire area as Palestine. Despite indication of the Green Line on other maps, Israel is identified in only 4% of the maps. These features of the Palestinian maps resonate problematically with the central concern in the Israeli narrative that the Arab nations seek to wipe Israel off the map. These features of the maps are important because they shape the child’s cognitive image of their homeland, and any subsequent division of the land is viewed as unilaterally giving it away. In other words, Israelis and Palestinians both grow up with patriotic attachment to the whole land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, and because of this will have great difficulty dividing what they consider to be their exclusive homeland.
Differences between Israeli and Palestinian Books:
In addition to the similarities between Israeli and Palestinian school books, some differences were also noted in the study. Books from Israeli State schools included more positive portrayals of the other, more self-criticism, and more information about the other than books from either Israeli Ultra-Orthodox or Palestinian schools. One example where Israeli State schools present more information about the other is in photographs. There are 82 photographs evaluated by the research raters in the Palestinian books because they relate to study themes. Most, however, are of places of importance to Palestinians and only 6 (7%) show Israelis or things associated closely enough with Israelis to be rated with regard to characterizing the other. In contrast, of the 709 photographs in Israeli State books, 368 (52%) pictured Arabs or Palestinians, or things clearly identified with them. The Israeli State secular track books stand out for their inclusion of self-critical accounts of some past Israeli actions which are consistent with part of the Palestinian national narrative. These include self-criticism for actions related to the deaths of Palestinians. These positive aspects of Israeli books have also been noted previously (e.g., Firer & Adwan, 2004; Kitzel, 2008; Podeh, 2002; Yogev, 2010). In the present data set these differences are highly statistically significant.
The existing scholarly work on textbook content has noted relationships between the content of a community’s school books and both the security of its national political identity (Podeh, 2002) and its relative power in the sustained conflict (Firer & Adwan, 2004). Differences between Israeli and Palestinian societies in these regards may be relevant to understanding the differences noted between their books. Israel is a young nation and feels vulnerable in relation to the combined power of countries surrounding it. However, even in the course of its short national history, scholars have noted changes in the content of its school books. Scholars have identified four “generations” of Israeli school books, noting across these generations some relaxation of the national narrative to increasingly include positive references to Palestinians, self-reflective acknowledging of problematic actions by Jewish underground movements in the early stages of Israel’s fight for independence, and inclusion of some material from the “perspective of the other (e.g., Firer & Adwan, 2004; Kitzel, 2008; Podeh, 2002; Yogev, 2010).” The present study finds evidence of these features, although no comparison was made in this study to books used earlier. Palestinians are at an earlier stage of nation building, so it can be argued that in some ways a more apt comparison may be to the older Israeli books. Palestinian books are “first generation” as the Palestinians have only recently been given the opportunity to write their own books. The substantial differences between Israeli and Palestinian school books in length and more costly production features like photographs, maps and illustrations are further reflections of the differences between the societies in resources available for production of books.
It has also been suggested that the weaker of the two conflicted societies in military or economic terms may have a more strident national narrative because it sustains more hardships and is less satisfied with the status quo. Palestinians are also the weaker of the two adversaries in this conflict, suffering greater financial hardship, higher unemployment, and substantially more deaths both in absolute numbers and per capita. The conflict, while sustained and deeply problematic for both Israelis and Palestinians, has more continuous and multifaceted impact on the daily life of Palestinians. They are faced, for example, with limits on free movement associated with the occupation that separate some families entirely, add large and unpredictable delays to travel to and from work, and can make it essentially impossible to get from one Palestinian community to another or even think of an independent entity. Moreover, while central aspects of both national narratives are concerned with statehood for their people, Israelis have realized creation of a state and Palestinians have not. These considerations, of course, do not alter the reality of what is in the current books and the impact of that content on a culture of peace vs. a culture of conflict. But they are important to acknowledge if information gained from this study is to be used constructively and not itself folded into the narratives of distrust and blame.
Significance of the Study:
International interest in the schoolbooks of these two communities together comprising 12 million people is higher than interest in text books in any other conflict region. One reason for this unusual attention is the geopolitical significance of the continued conflict in the context of broader Middle East politics and in the context of still broader relationships among Arab nations, nations with large Islamic populations elsewhere, and the West. A second reason the school books of the Israelis and Palestinians are of such interest outside their communities is the issues and conflict are in an area of great religious significance to billions of people around the world. There is a wish, and many could argue a need, to hold these communities to a higher standard, both so that this obstacle to peace may be removed for the sake of those whose daily lives are affected, and so that those that live in the Holy Land may provide an example for the world.
Upon the occasion of its visit to Washington, D.C. in November, 2008, the Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land stated in its public communiqué: “We, believers from three religions, have been placed in this land, Jews, Christians and Muslims. It is our responsibility to find the right way to live together in peace rather than to fight and kill one another.” The Council itself developed out of the Alexandria meetings in 2002 which concluded with the declaration that: “In the name of God who is Almighty, Merciful and Compassionate, we, who have gathered as religious leaders from the Muslim, Christian and Jewish communities, pray for true peace in Jerusalem and the Holy Land, and declare our commitment to ending the violence and bloodshed that denies the right of life and dignity… The violence in the Holy Land is an evil which must be opposed by all people of good faith. We seek to live together as neighbors respecting the integrity of each other’s historical and religious inheritance. We call upon all to oppose incitement, hatred and misrepresentation of the other.”
The process of ending incitement, hatred and misrepresentation of the other in areas of sustained violent conflict is exceedingly difficult and requires deliberate and courageous effort. Rather than attempt to change any specific aspects of the historical narratives that currently exist, an easier first step may be to add some more information about the other that could humanize them and legitimize their presence. Subsequent steps as outlined by scholars in the area begin with members of each group agreeing to be exposed to the narrative of the rival group. Then it is necessary to reflect on it and to understand it. As the next step there is need to acknowledge the legitimacy of the rival perspective on the events of the conflict. In the next phase group members need to recognize that the narrative of the ingroup, not unlike that of the rival, is selective, biased and distorted to some degree. On the basis of this phase may come an acceptance of at least some parts of the rival’s narrative – those that were validated as reflecting facts and truthful accounts of certain events. This acceptance may lead further to incorporation of parts of the other’s narrative into own narrative. The final phase is the attempt to construct one integrative narrative for both groups as happens when formal committees are created to achieve this goal. This overall process takes years and may stop at any phase.
One example of such a collective memory transformation is the conflict in Cyprus. Papadakis (2008) reported significant changes in Turkish Cypriot history textbooks in 2003 following an ascendance to power of a new government in Turkish Cyprus which had a more accommodating view towards resolution of the Cyprus conflict. The changes were reflected first in new objectives “…to show the place of Cyprus in world history… creating thinking, questioning, responsible and active citizens… getting students interested in researching influences between different cultures and communities… viewing history from different sources, perspectives and facts… creating peace-loving citizens… (Papadakis, 2008).” New textbooks were created that used very different concepts of nation, nationalism and identity referring, for example, to “our island” or “our country” for Cyprus instead of the term “motherland” that was used for Turkey. In addition they began to use more inclusive terms such as “Cypriots” and “people,” that included both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. Although the conflict in Cyprus has different roots, context and course than the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, it has been plagued with similar socio-psychological dynamics. Nevertheless, Cypriots demonstrate that it is possible for communities deeply divided by sustained violent conflict and narratives born of the conflict to change their narratives and create a different future, even before the formal settlement of the conflict. Similarly in Northern Ireland two communities that were involved in a long and bloody conflict began to change their school text books to accommodate the different narratives long before “the Good Friday” agreement that was struck in 1998 (Duffy, 2000; Gallagher, 2010).
Even the stage of adversaries creating a common shared narrative is possible to achieve.
The Franco-German commission of historians, by the 1950s had already critically scrutinized the myths of hereditary enmity between French and German peoples and revised the existing history textbooks. As a final product the commission provided new accounts of the history of both nations, based on agreed facts by the historians of the two groups (Willis, 1965). Another example is the committee of historians from both Germany and the Czech Republic who produced a document, which provided an agreed account of their common history (Kopstein, 1997).
In the case of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, two academics, a Palestinian and an Israeli Jew initiated a project before peaceful resolution of this conflict to at least present to the Palestinian and the Israeli school students both differing narratives side by side (Adwan & Bar- On, 2004). But this project was not formally approved by the Ministries of Education and eventually was of very limited impact.
It is a highly unfortunate missed opportunity that despite efforts at peace making dating back to 1993 Palestinians and Israelis have not embarked on a coordinated effort to move their educational systems to the new phase of accommodation. This is a necessary step to prevent future bloodshed and advance instead the badly needed peace building process.
The study scientists bring these study findings to the attention of the Israeli and Palestinian leadership, Ministries of Education, other appropriate government offices and concerned parties, noting its scope, scale and depth, the pioneering methods employed, the sustained and collaborative effort of the joint Israeli-Palestinian research team, the overview of the international Scientific Advisory Panel including leading Palestinian and Israeli scholars, and the potential value of study findings as a basis for examining currently used textbooks.
The study scientists and international Scientific Advisory Panel urge the Ministries of Education to each establish a committee of Ministry staff and community experts to review current and future books in light of the study findings and prepare a plan of action based upon the review. This would be in accordance with agreements already signed at Oslo 2 in 1995 and Wye River in 1998.
The study scientists and the Scientific Advisory Panel offer their competencies that may in any way facilitate the above efforts.
The study scientists and the Scientific Advisory Panel note that additional steps will be necessary to facilitate similar processes regarding the books of the Israeli Ultra- Orthodox communities.
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Eman Abu-Hanna Nahhas Samar Aldinah
Alhan Nahhas-Daoud Uri Eran
Yonatan Belinkov Iqbal Abdalraziq Sigal Daya
DATA MANAGEMENT AND STATISTICS
Lily Katsovich Cynthia Rush Taylor Arnold
DATA ENTRY SYSTEM
Barbara Harshav Paul Wulfsberg Ahmad Barakat Amir Gavriely