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Ed Webb

Israel's army and schools work hand in hand, say teachers - 2 views

  • officers from a military intelligence unit called Telem design much of the Arabic language curriculum
  • “The military are part and parcel of the education system. The goal of Arabic teaching is to educate the children to be useful components in the military system, to train them to become intelligence officers.”
  • Mendel said Arabic was taught “without sentiment”, an aim established in the state’s earliest years.

    “The fear was that, if students had a good relationship with the language and saw Arabs as potential friends, they might cross over to the other side and they would be of no use to the Israeli security system. That was the reason the field of Arabic studies was made free of Arabs.”

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  • many fear that the situation will only get worse under the new education minister, Naftali Bennett, who heads Jewish Home, the settler movement’s far-right party
  • Nearly 300 schools have been encouraged to join an IDF-education ministry programme called “Path of Values”, whose official goal is to “strengthen the ties and cooperation between schools and the army”.
  • “Militarism is in every aspect of our society, so it is not surprising it is prominent in schools too,” said Amit Shilo, an activist with New Profile, an organisation opposed to the influence of the army on Israeli public life.

    “We are taught violence is the first and best solution to every problem, and that it is the way to solve our conflict with our neighbours.”

  • Each school is now graded annually by the education ministry not only on its academic excellence but also on the draft rate among pupils and the percentages qualifying for elite units, especially in combat or intelligence roles.
  • Zeev Dagani, head teacher of a leading Tel Aviv school who opted out of the programme at its launch in 2010, faced death threats and was called before a parliamentary committee to explain his actions.
  • Adam Verete, a Jewish philosophy teacher at a school in Tivon, near Haifa, was sacked last year after he hosted a class debate on whether the IDF could justifiably claim to be the world’s most moral army.
  • Revital, an Arabic language teacher, said the army’s lesson plans were popular with pupils. “I don’t approve of them, but the students like them. They celebrate and laugh when they kill the terrorists.”

    Revital said she had been disciplined for speaking her mind in class and was now much more cautious.

    “You end up hesitating before saying anything that isn’t what everyone else is saying. I find myself hesitating a lot more than I did 20 years ago. There is a lot more fascism and racism around in the wider society,” she said.

  • “You have to watch yourself because the pupils are getting more nationalistic, more religious all the time. The society, the media and the education system are all moving to the right.”

    A 2010 survey found that 56 per cent of Jewish pupils believed their fellow Palestinian citizens should be stripped of the vote, and 21 per cent thought it was legitimate to call out “Death to the Arabs”.

Ed Webb

American citizens are detained in Hebron for wearing hijab on a 'Jewish street' - 1 views

    A description of what borders, identities, citizenships etc can look and feel like at the micro-level in the Israel-Palestine context.
Ed Webb

Racist graffiti sprayed at mixed Jewish-Arab village in central Israel - Haaretz Daily ... - 0 views

  • Graffiti was found overnight on Friday, at the Jewish-Arab village Neve Shalom, near Latrun. On Friday morning, residents discovered that the tires of roughly 14 cars had their tires punctured, and three were vandalized with graffiti such as “death to arabs,” “revenge,” “Kahana was right,” “regards from Havat Gilad,” and “Ulpana neighborhood.”

     “It is an act of racism targeting our community. They did it so that the children would see it when they arrive in the morning,”

  • vandalism as “an attack on the idea of coexistence, the political idea on which the village was founded. It’s part of the general phenomenon of ‘price tag,’ aimed at anyone who doesn’t agree
  • Over the last few months, graffiti has been sprayed numerous times on the walls of the bilingual school in Jerusalem’s Beit Beit Tzafafa neighborhood.  Phrases such as “death to Arabs” and “Kahana was right,” were sprayed on one of the outer walls of the schoolyard.

    Graffiti and punctured tires have also been found sprayed on the wall of the Greek Monastery in Jerusalem’s Emek Hamatzleva. Jerusalem police investigated both incidents, though no arrests were made

Ian Mandell

BBC News - Swiss voters back ban on minarets - 1 views

  • Swiss voters have supported a referendum proposal to ban the building of minarets, official results show.
  • More than 57% of voters and 22 out of 26 cantons - or provinces - voted in favour of the ban.
  • There are only four minarets in Switzerland
Ed Webb

UAE asked to end racism against foreigners | Pakistan | News | Newspaper | Daily | Engl... - 0 views

  • a United Nations human rights expert has urged the United Arab Emirates to create robust legal institutions and laws to combat racism aimed at foreign migrant populations, who form the majority in the Persian Gulf nation.
  • he voiced a number of concerns over UAE’s policy on granting citizenship, the working and living conditions of construction and domestic workers, the situation of “Bidoons” or stateless persons, the victims of human trafficking, as well as the Emirati public education system which seems to be hampering the integration of foreigners in the society
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