Monday, October 11, 2010
PA admits textbook that tells both the Israeli and Palestinians narratives - Israel bans it
The Palestinian Authority's Education Ministry approved the use of a history textbook that offers the central narratives of both Palestinians and the Zionist movement, marking the first time that the accepted Israeli position is being presented to schoolchildren in the West Bank, Haaretz said.
The cover of the Palestinian book. The title says 'Learning the other's historical viewpoint'
Work on the textbook, which is entitled "Learning the Historical Narrative of the Other," began 10 years ago as part of a joint project initiated by (the late ) Professor Dan Bar-On of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Professor Sami Adwan of Bethlehem University, with input from numerous Israeli and Palestinian history teachers.
The completed edition of the textbook was published last year. It includes material on the genesis of the Zionist movement in the 19th century through events of the past decade. Each page in the book is divided into three sections of equal size. The Israeli narrative is presented on the right, the Palestinian narrative on the left, and down the middle are empty lines in which the students are asked to fill with their thoughts.
The textbook is the result of a joint Israeli-Palestinian-Swedish collaboration to promote coexistence through education. It will be taught in two high schools near Jericho, the Palestinian Education Ministry said.
Israel has banned the book, which was used in a high school in the area of Sderot. Next week, the Education Ministry is scheduled to summon the principal of this school for "clarification" after he had permitted the use of the textbook by students in a special supplementary educational course.
A spokesman of the PA, however, laer on the day denied that the PA had approved the book.