Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

Israeli Textbooks Portray Jewish-First State

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

Engage

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.