Peace Education II
Fred has sent me another article about dialogue.
Dr. Gershon Baskin writes about “IPCRI - the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information - a joint Israeli-Palestinian research center founded 14 years ago, established six years ago a new department for Peace Education. This department has developed programs that are now taught in secondary schools throughout Israel and Palestine. In this new school year these programs will be taught in more than 60 schools on both sides. There will be more than 400 Israeli and Palestinian teachers participating in the programs with more than 4,500 students involved””.
Dr. Baskin doesn’t give us any information about the percentage of Jews versus Palestinians involved in these programs. Neither does he tell us what percentage of the Palestinians involved are Israeli citizens and what percentage are Palestinians from the territories. I think these are pertinent questions, don’t you?
In the buildup at the beginning of the article, before he reaches the education programs, he makes a common mistake.
“The Israeli public,” He says, “is continuing to show willingness to arrive at an agreement with the Palestinians on the key issues of the conflict. Even today, the majority of Israelis support the establishment of a Palestinian State next to Israel. The majority of Israelis even support dividing Jerusalem and sharing it as a capital of two states. A majority of Israelis are in favor of removing most of the settlements. Almost a majority of Israelis support the June 4, 1967 as the basis for the borders dividing Israel and Palestine”. Very true. He goes on to say that “It seems that the Israeli public understands and supports what is and what will be the "price of peace"”. Yes, most of us do.
So what seems peculiar to him is the fact that, “At the same time, the Israeli public continues to support the devastating policies of the Israeli Government as it continues to destroy the Palestinian Authority. … the belief in Israel … no one to make peace with … believe that the Palestinians are committed to destroying Israel … These slogans of the past have returned and are voiced by politicians and public officials from all streams of political life in Israel. They are widely accepted by the Israeli public without any real scrutiny or questioning…” OK. That’s enough. I’m so fed up of this patronizing attitude. Of course, Dr. Baskin is an educator. Educators are often patronizing, aren’t they?
No real scrutiny or questioning? Is that a fact?
As I see it, we are continually bombarded with scrutiny and questioning by the media. Why just today, on Israeli Reshet Bet radio station, I heard a scathing critique of the Israeli Channel 2 special report, broadcast Friday, that Gil wrote about, which actually brought the leftist point of view via Ilana Dayan. Experts Ehud Yaari and Ronny Daniel, were amazingly patient with her, and didn’t say a word in reaction to the utter tripe she was spurting. Yediot Aharonot, the most popular and widely read Israeli newspaper tends to give more space to leftist views. Most of their permanent weekend columnists are left wing. Maariv also offers a serious podium for left-wing views. I need not mention Haaretz. Only a negligible amount of Israelis read it. It doesn’t have much influence on ordinary people’s opinions.
As I see it, Israelis are force-fed with quite a lethal daily dose of scrutiny and questioning. If we still persist in our views it is because they are consistent with our comprehension of reality, and not because we’re being brainwashed by the establishment.
Sunday, September 01, 2002
Peace Education II