MESA Participants Discuss Textbook Views of the Other

By Yousef, Asma | Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, January/February 2003 | Go to article overview

MESA Participants Discuss Textbook Views of the Other


Yousef, Asma, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs


An ongoing Israeli public relations campaign has focused on alleged incitement in Palestinian textbooks against the Jewish state and its people. A panel discussion at the Middle East Studies Association focused on this issue in an attempt to provide accurate views of "the other" in both Palestinian and Israeli textbooks.

Prof. Nathan Brown of George Washington University said that, while most of the current debate has focused on allegations of incitement in Palestinian textbooks, there is a lot of misleading information on the subject. Reporting on a survey of Palestinian textbooks, Brown said that, since 1948, the curriculum of Palestinian schools in Gaza followed that of Egypt, while schools in the West Bank followed Jordan's. Most of these textbooks were very outdated, he said, so in 1994 the Palestinian Authority (PA) began putting together a new curriculum. The PA sought to add Palestinian perspectives to the Jordanian and Egyptian textbooks.

Brown found that the biggest problem faced by the PA curriculum is that the textbooks are unable to deal with fluid and unsettled controversial matters, such as independence, citizenship and territory. Instead, most resort to adapting the official rhetoric, that at times could be quite irrelevant or confusing.

For example, he noted, on some exams, students were asked to draw boundaries of Palestine, which are subject to ever-changing occupation plans. Furthermore, Brown said, Palestinian books were fraught with affirmations of allegiances to the state, God and the family, with no attempts to challenge or distinguish among them.

Progressive Palestinian intellectuals, Brown stated, consistently question the type of Palestinian citizen their curriculum is molding. This led to a detailed critical report published in 1996 which challenged authoritarian themes in existing books. In 2000, new books were introduced which attempted to inculcate national identity, God and family while inserting progressive views on civic education, human rights and democracy. The new books, Brown said, provide active pedagogy that was more gender-sensitive and less patriarchal.

Elie Podi, professor at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, analyzed the image of the Arab in Israeli history books. Because they are social constructs transmitting values and norms to society, he noted, textbook analysis is important in understanding cultural and psychological roots of the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis.

Israeli textbooks were influenced by various historical phases, Podi said. Although the current historiography in Israel has tolerated alternative views of historians such as Benny Morris and Ilan Pappe, they were not welcomed before.

Podi divided Israel's historical texts into three phases. The first phase extended from 1948 to the mid-1970s, which he dubbed the childhood phase. …

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 ...
Default project is now your active project.
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

MESA Participants Discuss Textbook Views of the Other
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
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.