Thursday, June 4, 2009

Silencing the Palestinian narrative in Israel

Check out the below excerpt from Israeli newspaper, Ha'aretz. A bill proposed forbidding the commemoration of the Nakba was approved. The commemoration of the Nakba does not mourn the establishment of the state of Israel but mourns the dispossession of 700,000 Palestinians and the fragmentation of Palestinian society:

Ten days ago, the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee approved a bill proposed by MK Alex Miller of Yisrael Beiteinu, "forbidding by law the commemoration of Independence Day or the establishment of the state as a day of mourning." The bill was supported by Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar. As a result of the ruckus that resulted from the proposal, a compromise bill is being prepared, which would ban government bodies or any organization benefiting from state funding, from organizing or funding activities related to the Nakba.

One of the teachers who began using the kit [an educational kit teaching about the Nakba], Avital Spivak, says that "the Palestinian side of the story is missing completely from the educational system." She teaches civics to 11th and 12th graders at the Reali School in Haifa, and says "there is a complete blind spot, which leads to ignorance and racism and blocks the possibility of understanding and dialog. There is no need to agree to the right of return to talk about the Nakba, and there is no contradiction between being a Zionist and refusing to be blind and deaf to the pain and the story of the other side."

Read the entire article

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