Sunday, July 10, 2005

Educating Towards Peace???



Of late, there has been much talk about how the "Disengagement" needs to be part of a greater "peace process". I can only wonder how Israel's doves, in their quest for peace, are able to be so knowingly blind to all of the hate that is being taught in Arab schools in relation to the Jewish People and the Jewish State. How could these people truly believe in the prospects of there being true peace and co-existence when one side is consistently educating for the opposite?

While I deplore the hatred that is spoon-fed to every generation of Arab children which ensures the hatred of Israel and all that is Jewish, there is one thing that I believe that both the Jewish People and the State of Israel can learn from the Arab educational system. I refer to what is called in Hebrew "Tzidkat HaDerech" or in English, the justness of our cause. The Arabs have no doubt as to the justness of their cause and what they are hoping to achieve, and this is passed on to their children and their children's children.

Sadly, the Jewish People, who for nearly 2,000 years of Exile, were able to persevere as a result of their ability to pass on from one generation to next the purpose of the existence of the Jewish people, their belief in G-d, and of the ultimate redemption that was to come to those who stayed true to the teachings and heritage of the Jewish People. Today, however, the educational system in Israel leaves each successive generation of young Jews knowing and connecting less and less with their Jewish identity and heritage, and consequently the Jewish People and Jewish State.

More and more Jews seem to be more concerned with our relations with our Arab neighbors and being accepted by the nations of the world, than of getting along with their Jewish brothers and sister. As such, the education system reflects those values, anmely, producing good human beings, at the expense of educating generations of proud and knowledgeable Jews.

If we are to have a meaningful and lasting future here, we need to put our main focus on our Jewish educational system, and view other issues and concerns as being secondary.

Here's a closer and detailed analysis of how the "Palestinian" school books stack-up, as reported by the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace (CMIP), in an article published by IMRA (Independent Media Review Analysis).

For those of you who are so eager to know the findings of the report, without reading the article, here is the summary:

"In summary, the above findings in the light of the criteria followed by CMIP indicate only too clearly that this latest issue of PA textbooks too does not meet international standards as far as the attitude to the "other" and to peace is concerned. Though short-lived and minute nuances of improvement have been noticed at times during the last five years, including in this latest issue, the bottom line is unequivocally clear: The PA project of school textbook publishing has not contributed, and still does not contribute, to peace and reconciliation with Israel. Rather, the opposite is true. There are still two grades - eleven and twelve - that are supposed to receive their new books next year".

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