Opportunities and Challenges of Integrated Education in Conflict-Ridden Societies: The Case of Palestinian-Jewish Schools in Israel

By Bekerman, Zvi; Nir, Adam | Childhood Education, August 15, 2006 | Go to article overview

Opportunities and Challenges of Integrated Education in Conflict-Ridden Societies: The Case of Palestinian-Jewish Schools in Israel


Bekerman, Zvi, Nir, Adam, Childhood Education


This article reports on a rather new and revolutionary education initiative in Israel. The information and descriptions offered are based on the results of a long-term ethnographic research effort that has been conducted since 1999 in the integrated bilingual Palestinian-Jewish schools in Israel.

The Political Context

As much as any other modern nation-state, Israel is a product of an invented tradition (Hobsbawm, 1983) and has institutionalized itself by establishing public education, organizing a standardized legal system, and developing a secular equivalent to the church (Ben-Amos & Bet-El, 1999; Gellner, 1997; Handelman, 1990).

The Palestinian-Jewish conflict started with the birth of political Zionism at the end of the 19th century and the development of Arab nationalism in response to colonialization in the Ottoman and the British Empires in the 19th and 20th centuries (Abdo & Yuval-Davis, 1995; Kelman, 1997). Since the 1920s, violence has afflicted the area, and became fiercer when Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion declared Israel's independence in 1948 without declaring the state borders, a declaration that ensued from the UN partition decision in 1947.

The 1948 war, called the War of Independence by the Israelis and the Nakba ("The Catastrophe") by the Palestinian Arabs, was the first open military clash between the Zionist and Arab nationalist movements. Four major wars have erupted since then in 1956, 1967, 1973, and 1982. In 1977, Israel and Egypt signed a peace agreement. The intifada outbreaks in 1997 and 2000, organized in the conquered territories under the flag of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), brought about even bloodier events, which shattered the optimism for a peaceful solution that emerged after the Oslo agreements between the Israeli government and the PLO in 1993. It remains to be seen whether the Israelis' recent disengagement from the Gaza Strip will relight the path to such a solution.

The Palestinian presence in the State of Israel and the awakening of Palestinian national consciousness has thrown into question the seemingly natural construct of the Israeli nation. ("Palestinian Israelis" has, in recent years, become the preferred denomination for those who were traditionally known as Arab Israelis. This article addresses only these Palestinians and not those in the domain of the recently created Palestinian Authority.)

Being a Palestinian in Israel is no easy task. For the most part, Israel's ethnic democracy--its self-definition as a Jewish democratic state (Smooha, 1996)--has not welcomed the political, cultural, or social participation of groups outside of its legitimate, imagined, community (Anderson, 1991) of Jews. Palestinian-Israelis, although officially offered full rights as citizens, have suffered as a putatively hostile minority with little political representation and a debilitated social, economic, and educational infrastructure (Ghanem, 1998). Only recently have Israel's implemented segregationist policies towards its non Jewish minorities begun to be challenged in the courts of justice (Gavison, 2000). Although the outcomes of these separatist policies are varied, they are most visible in the fully separated residential and educational arrangements for both the Paiestinian and the Jewish communities (Rouhana, 1997). Palestinians in Israel experience Israel as a Jewish "ethnic" state, and not a democracy (Ghanem, 1998; Rouhana & Korper, 1997). From their perspective, Israel is a colonializing state that took their lands (Stasiulis & Yuval-Davis, 1995). Nonetheless, most Palestinians in Israel express their preference to remain in Israel rather than move to a Palestinian state, if one were to be established (Smooha, 1998).

The Socio-Cultural Context

Although their historical development and their cultural resources are not dichotomous, Jews and Palestinians have been constructed as such through the long history of their conflict.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Opportunities and Challenges of Integrated Education in Conflict-Ridden Societies: The Case of Palestinian-Jewish Schools in Israel
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.