The present study examined how Israelis and Palestinians present their narratives related to their conflict in school textbooks used by the state educational system and the ultraorthodox community in Israel and by all Palestinian schools in Palestinian National Territories. The focus was on how each side portrays the Other and their own group. The content analysis was based on a developed conceptual framework and standardized and manualized rating criteria with quantitative and qualitative aspects. The results showed in general that (1) dehumanizing and demonizing characterizations of the Other are rare in both Israeli and Palestinian books; (2) both Israeli and Palestinian books present unilateral national narratives that portray the Other as enemy, chronicle negative actions by the Other directed at the self-community, and portray the self-community in positive terms with actions aimed at self-protection and goals of peace; (3), there is lack of information about the religions, culture, economic and daily activities of the Other, or even of the existence of the Other on maps; (4) the negative bias in portrayal of the Other, the positive bias in portrayal of the self, and the absence of images and information about the Other are all statistically significantly more pronounced in Israeli Ultra-Orthodox and Palestinian books than in Israeli state books.
The article explores how the Holocaust is represented in history textbooks for Palestinian pupils in the Palestinian and Arab-Israeli curricula from a pedagogical perspective. Since no mention of the Holocaust was found in Palestinian Authority textbooks, the study seeks to explain why this is so, while examining representations of the Holocaust in the Arab (Palestinian) Israeli textbooks. It pursues four principal objectives: (1) to investigate the extent to which Israeli and Palestinian history textbooks discuss the Holocaust, (2) to examine how it is portrayed, (3) to contextualize these portrayals in relation to collective memories of other events (e.g., the Nakba), and (4) to consult with Israeli and Palestinian curriculum policy makers regarding the inclusion or omission of the Holocaust from the curriculum.
This article reviews an extensive study of Israeli secondary school general history curricula and textbooks since the establishment of the state in 1948 until the present day. By analyzing the way in which Germany is presented in various contexts, the findings of the study indicate that, while the textbooks reflect a shift from an early censorious attitude to a factual approach, the curriculum continues to present national Jewish Zionism as the metanarrative. In this context, Germany is framed as a victimizer.
This article analyzes English textbooks used in Israel to examine whether their cultural content is appropriate for the Palestinian Arab learner. This topic is significant, as the English curriculum in Israel is uniform in all sectors. The article presents a critical discourse analysis of six English textbooks used in Israeli high schools to examine the recurrence of seven discursive devices that might possibly serve as a means for shaping or (re)producing ideological values: (1) culturally distinctive names, (2) pronouns, (3) the passive/active voice when relating to the Other, (4) explicit statements defining the target audience, (5) narratives involving faraway cultures that perpetuate Western stereotypes and exclude the Other, (6) a demand for culturally specific prior knowledge, and (7) discourse constructing identities and collective memories. These devices serve to foster English learners imbued with Western oriented Jewish-Zionist ideology, while reproducing and perpetuating hegemonic ideology. Thus, English textbooks in Israel marginalize the Palestinian Arab minority, its culture and common traditions, thereby engendering a learning environment that creates a negative learning experience for students of this sector.
This article presents three examples of evaluation intervention demonstrating the ongoing significance of a politically responsive approach. The article’s main goal is to shed light on the evaluator’s role, through the work of a mixed team of Israeli and Palestinian teachers, within a conflict, in an uncomfortable zone context. Israeli and Palestinian teachers participated in a project aimed at producing a history textbook including the narratives of each group, each of whom had its own legitimate objectives. This article intends to highlight the significant contribution of the evaluator to the entire process through the use of three different evaluation tools.
Since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the textbooks in Arab and Islamic nation-states have been carefully critiqued for any content that Westerners view as promoting hate or violence against non-Muslims. Very little has been said, however, about the portrayals of Islamic and Arab society in Western textbooks. This report investigates the perspectives and ideologies concerning representations of Islam and Arab societies in textbooks worldwide, and specifically in Western countries’ national education systems. Seventy-two textbooks from 15 Western countries and Israel were examined to investigate the included and excluded content related to Islam and Arab societies. This research found that those countries with either an immediate stake in the Middle East (e.g., Israel) or an immediate past stake in the region (e.g., the United Kingdom) were the most likely to include coverage of Islam and Arab societies in secondary textbooks. The major findings of this research, however, are that content related to contemporary Islam and Arab societies in Western secondary-level textbooks is overwhelmingly related to terrorism and terrorists, the Arab/Israeli conflict, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The majority of content related to contemporary Islam and Arab societies represents Muslims and their communities as: 1) socially, politically, and economically repressed; 2) religiously and ideologically oppressed; and 3) both typically and frequently violent.