Each year, Israel's young men and women are drafted into compulsory military service and are required to engage directly in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This conflict is by its nature intensely complex and is played out under the full glare of international security. So, how does Israel's education system prepare its young people for this? How is Palestine, and the Palestinians against whom these young Israelis will potentially be required to use force, portrayed in the school system? Nurit Peled-Elhanan argues that the textbooks used in the school system are laced with a pro-Israel ideology, and that they play a part in priming Israeli children for military service. She analyzes the presentation of images, maps, layouts and use of language in History, Geography and Civic Studies textbooks, and reveals how the books might be seen to marginalize Palestinians, legitimize Israeli military action and reinforce Jewish-Israeli territorial identity. This book provides a fresh scholarly contribution to the Israeli-Palestinian debate, and will be relevant to the fields of Middle East Studies and Politics more widely.
About the Author
Nurit Peled-Elhanan is Lecturer in Language Education in the Faculty of Education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. A co-recipient of the 2001 Sakharov Prize for Human Rights and the Freedom of Thought, awarded by the European Parliament, she has written extensively on Israeli education, and is a regular speaker and writer both in Europe and in the USA on matters concerning the Israeli occupation and its effects on both Israelis and Palestinians. She is a member of the Israeli-Palestinian Bereaved Parents for Peace, and one of the founders of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine 2009.
'Nurit Peled-Elhanan's study of propaganda in Israeli school books is thorough and accessible. With academic analysis supported by examples and illustrations, this book gives a whole new meaning to complaints about 'teaching children to hate' in the Middle East.' – Ben White, journalist and author of Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner's Guide'Nurit Peled-Elhanan's pioneering work on the way Israeli school books teach students about Palestinians should stand with Frances Fitzgerald's America ReviSited as the standard reference on the mis-teaching of history and geography. This scholarly work is a riposte to those who complain that the school books of Palestinians living under Israeli occupation poisons Palestinians against Israelis. This is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the Middle East conflict today.' – Charles Glass, broadcaster, journalist and writer specialising in the Middle East'This book presents a means, a methodology, which reveals clearly and in a rigorous way the ideological bases underlying forms of texts - in this case school books. It is one which has wide applicability and therefore wide appeal, in any situation where school books are studied, but even well beyond that. This book is academically well grounded, sound, with real application, politically highly significant and with a wide potential readership in the areas of Sociology, Education and studies of language.' – Gunther Kress, Professor in the Centre for Multimodal Research, Faculty of Culture and Pedagogy, the Institute of Education, University of London