[Hebrew U, Education] Dr. Nurit Peled-Elhanan to participate in Gaza Freedom March / Nurit Peled on Iran Daily: Israeli Schools Breed Racism
Nurit Elhanan-Peled, Language Education, Hebrew University and David Yellin Teachers College. Webpage: http://education.huji.ac.il/eng/staff_in.asp?staff_id=60 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For Immediate Release: December 18th, 2009
Contact:Miko Peled email@example.com
Sacharov Prize recipient Dr. Nurit Peled-Elhanan and her peace activist brother Miko Peled to participate in Gaza Freedom March Set for December 31
Dr. Nurit Peled-Elhanan, an Israeli mother and recipient of the Sacharov Prize and her brother, writer and peace activist Miko Peled (mikopeled.wordpress.com) will be participating in the Free Gaza March (www.gazafreedommarch.org) this month. Nurit will be on the Israeli side of the wall while Miko, who lives in California, will be marching inside the wall on the Gaza side.
Their father was the late Israeli General turned peace activist Matti Peled. Nurit’s daughter, Smadar, was killed by Palestinians in a suicide attack in 1997.
They released the following statement:
“The appeal to march for Gaza even as the killing of innocents continues, reminds us of the appeal by the Jewish poet Bialik, more than a hundred years ago after a massacre of the Jews of Kishinev:
"Arise and go now to the city of slaughter;
Into its courtyard wind your way;
There with your own hand touch, and with the eyes in your head,
Behold on tree, on stone, on fence, on mural clay,
The spattered blood and dried brains of the dead."
In its shameless indignation, only sixty years after Auschwitz, the State of the Jews confines people in ghettoes surrounded by walls and barbed wires, supervised by armed soldiers and their ferocious dogs, and the world looks on in silence.
The blood of the children of Gaza will forever stain those who allow the killing in Gaza today. Israeli leaders and generals must know that they will not be exonerated. As the poet Bialik also wrote "Satan has not yet created vengeance for the blood of a small child.”
In Gaza, hundreds of children are already buried and thousands more are dying. Their muted voices are a testament to the crime, to our powerlessness, and to the world's indifference.
During this march we must pierce the high heavens with the cry:
How much longer will this go on? “
The Gaza Freedom March, to take place in Gaza on December 31, is an historic initiative to break the siege that has imprisoned the 1.5 million Palestinians who live there. Conceived in the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and nonviolent resistance to injustice worldwide, the march will gather people from all over the world to demand that the Israeli government open the borders.
Other participants include Pulitzer Prize winning author Alice Walker, leading Syrian comedian Duraid Lahham, South African anti-apartheid leader Ronnie Kasrils, French Senator Alima Boumediene–Thiery, author and Filipino Parliament member Walden Bello, former European Parliamentarian Luisa Morgantini from Italy, President of the U.S. Center for Constitutional Rights Attorney Michael Ratner, Japanese former Ambassador to Lebanon Naoto Amaki, French hip-hop artists Ministere des Affaires Populaires. Families of three generations, doctors, lawyers, diplomats, 70 students, an interfaith group that includes rabbis, priests and imams, a women's delegation, a Jewish contingent, a veterans group and Palestinians born overseas who have never seen their families in Gaza.
Inside Gaza, excitement is growing. Representatives of all aspects of civil society, including students, professors, refugee groups, unions, women's organizations, NGOs, have been busy organizing and estimate that at least 50,000 Palestinians will participate. People from the different sectors will march in their uniforms--fishermen, doctors, students, farmers, teachers, etc. Local Palestinian rappers, hip-hop bands and Dabbkeh dancers will perform on mobile stages.
To contact Gaza Freedom March Organizers in country:
Ann Wright in Egypt (19) 508-1493, Gaza (599) 501-517
Tighe Barry, in Egypt (19) 481-2932, Gaza (598) 289-860
Medea Benjamin in Egypt (18) 956-1919, Gaza (599) 501-519
Haider Eid Gaza (599) 441 766
Ziyaad Lunat (roaming) 351938349206
Dialing region from US:
011 to get out of the US
202 for Cairo, Egypt / dial 972 for Gaza
In U.S. contact after departure:
Emily Siegel Emily@codpinkalert.org 202-441-6716
For more information see www.gazafreedommarch.org
I R A N ------ D A I L Y
Israeli Schools Breed Racism
Recent studies from academics on both sides of the wall built on Palestinian territories have revealed ingrained racism in Israeli schools.
Books authorized by the regime’s ministry of education habitually use geography, history, language and other methods to instill negative perceptions of Arabs and Palestinians.
Nurit Peled, co-founder of Bereaved Parents for Peace and lecturer at the Hebrew University in Beit-ul-Moqaddas, has written extensively on the subject, Uruknet.info reported.
“From the age of three, children have a military education. From the minute they learn about holidays, it is about our land and our destiny,” she said.
Peled believes feelings of national pride are subtly manipulated to craft an identity based on superiority and advancement, inversely denigrating those outside these parameters.
“The message that we are the strongest is very sophisticated in mainstream education. The wars and pogroms, the Nakba (or the Catastrophe, which refers to the 1948 formation of the Zionist regime over the dispossession of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian lives and land), a word which is never used, are all mentioned in the context of our progress,” she said.
This approach legitimizes atrocities committed in the name of Israeli advancement.
The 20th century--A History of the People of Israel in the Last Generation, a textbook commonly used for grades 10-12, describes the Kafer Kassim massacre, in which 48 Palestinian villagers were killed, as “a good turning point for Israel’s Arabs, although it began with tragedy”. The text, placed alongside victorious Israeli soldiers in heroic poses and stirring nationalist poetry, reinforces the message that the end justifies the means.
Any analysis of Israel’s history, particularly the bloody events of 1948, can hardly avoid emotive descriptions. Palestinian schools teach the Nakba in equally one-sided terms. In order to restore balance and accuracy to the debate, Dr. Sami Adwan, the head of Bethlehem University, pioneered a project named Learning Each Other’s Historical Narrative, a textbook that gives Israeli and Palestinian accounts of events simultaneously.
Using six teachers from either side, the book juxtaposes both sides’ account and leaves a blank space in the middle for a student’s own thoughts.
So far the reaction has been tepid, which disappointed but did not surprise Sami.
“The most important thing with this project was not to create too much hope. Our proposal was rejected out of hand by ministries, parents and students too. The prevailing attitude is ‘I only need one narrative, the other is lies’,” he said.
“The problem is partly of writing living history. The project started as post conflict but the conflict continues.”
To this end, there is a need for Israeli ministers to promote militarism in school, as they will supply the next generation of combatants. It is common practice for army generals to visit schools and for class outings to a military base. Schools have begun to receive awards for the number of their graduates who make it into an elite unit of the army. This glorification of the military requires demonization of the enemy.
Both Adwan and Peled have closely studied representation of Palestinians in a wide range of children’s texts, with similar conclusions.
“We could not find one picture of an Arab human being,” Peled reflects sadly. “They are all of types. They are presented as primitive terrorists, farmers who reject modernity. They are not people.”
Adir Cohen, the author of An Ugly Face in the Mirror, researched 520 school books for children published after 1967. He found that 66 percent referred to Arabs as violent, 52 percent as evil, 37 percent as liars, 31 percent as greedy, 27 percent as traitors and many more derogatory links. He then conducted a survey of children between fourth and sixth grade with the following results:
“Seventy-five percent of the children described the ‘Arab’ as a murderer, one who kidnaps children, a criminal and a terrorist. Eighty percent said they saw the Arab as someone dirty with a terrifying face. Ninety percent of the students stated they believe that Palestinians have no rights whatsoever to the land in Israel or Palestine.”
Adwan believes the problem is growing.
Dehumanization by stereotyping is on the rise in Israeli schools in a very sophisticated and implicit.
“One story I found for 8 year olds is of a Palestinian child selling orange juice by the sea. An Israeli child is thirsty but is scared to try it. He asks an Israeli man who tells him it is safe and then he buys it. The message is that Palestinians mean you harm, they have bad intentions and you can only trust Israelis. Children’s stories frequently involve Palestinian workers who are late and do bad jobs, which is all absorbed by such young children,” he said.
The Israeli message has gone from explicit to implicit in recent years.