Israeli Textbooks Portray Jewish-First State

Democracy Takes Back Seat in Educational Materials, Study Says

haaretz

By Yarden Skop (Haaretz)

Published September 27, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

A soon-to-be-published report on revisions made to high school civics textbook shows that the new revised edition places a greater emphasis on presenting Israel as a nation-state for Jews than on presenting Israel as a democratic country.

According to the report’s author, Dr. Halleli Pinson of the University of Haifa, the changes made to eight chapters of the textbook Being Citizens in Israel are far-reaching. While the previous edition attempted to give students a nuanced outlook, the new edition, which began to be used in Israeli schools last year, is missing important information.

Dr. Yousef Jabareen of the Nazareth based Arab Center for Law and Policy – Dirasat said that many Arab civics teachers were having difficulty teaching the new version “but since the material is a part of the matriculation exam, they have no choice.”

The decision to revise Being Citizens in Israel was due to claims that the book’s previous edition was critical of the state. Prof. Asher Cohen, a fellow at the Institute for Zionist Strategy, one of the organizations that criticized the previous edition, now heads a committee in charge of preparing the civics curriculum. Another member of the institute, Dr. Aviad Bakshi, is the only academic adviser to work on the book’s revision, as Haaretz revealed last week.

Pinson’s report, entitled “From a Jewish and Democratic State to a Jewish State Period,” states that while the institute claimed that the previous edition was biased, it is now, due to the institute’s involvement, suffers more significantly from “ideological biases, concealing of data, and the presentation of a monolithic approach.”

For more go to Haaretz


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • The eggplant is beloved in Israel. So why do Americans keep giving it a bad rap? With this new recipe, Vered Guttman sets out to defend the honor of her favorite vegetable.
  • “KlezKamp has always been a crazy quilt of gay and straight, religious and nonreligious, Jewish and gentile.” Why is the klezmer festival shutting down now?
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • It's all fun, fun, fun, until her dad takes the T-Bird away for Shabbos.
  • "Like many Jewish people around the world, I observed Shabbat this weekend. I didn’t light candles or recite Hebrew prayers; I didn’t eat challah or matzoh ball soup or brisket. I spent my Shabbat marching for justice for Eric Garner of Staten Island, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and all victims of police brutality."
  • Happy #NationalDogDay! To celebrate, here's a little something from our archives:
  • A Jewish couple was attacked on Monday night in New York City's Upper East Side. According to police, the attackers flew Palestinian flags.
  • "If the only thing viewers knew about the Jews was what they saw on The Simpsons they — and we — would be well served." What's your favorite Simpsons' moment?
  • "One uncle of mine said, 'I came to America after World War II and I hitchhiked.' And Robin said, 'I waited until there was a 747 and a kosher meal.'" Watch Billy Crystal's moving tribute to Robin Williams at last night's #Emmys:
  • "Americans are much more focused on the long term and on the end goal which is ending the violence, and peace. It’s a matter of zooming out rather than debating the day to day.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.