Palästinensische Schulbücher predigen keinen Hass, 30.05.2003 (Friedensratschlag)
Dieser Internet-Auftritt kann nach dem Tod des Webmasters, Peter Strutynski, bis auf Weiteres nicht aktualisiert werden. Er steht jedoch weiterhin als Archiv mit Beiträgen aus den Jahren 1996 – 2015 zur Verfügung.

Palästinensische Schulbücher predigen keinen Hass und keine Gewalt / Palestinian Textbooks do not incite hatred and violence

Eine vom US-Kongress in Auftrag gegebene Studie entkräftet landläufige Vorurteile / Analysis and Evaluation of the New Palestinian Curriculum

In der Neuen Zürcher Zeitung erschien am 27. Mai 2003 ein Artikel, der sich mit hier zu Lande lange gepflegten Vorurteilen über die politische Ausrichtung und Qualität palästinensischer Schulbücher befasste. In Israel, in den USA und in Deutschland wird seit Jahren immer wieder behauptet, die in palästinensischen Schulen verwendeten Bücher riefen zu offenem Hass gegen Israel auf, predigten Intoleranz und ermunterten die Schüler zum bewaffneten Kampf gegen Israel. Eine in New York ansässige Organisation namens "Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace" (www.edume.org) hat seit 1998 in einer Reihe von Berichten versucht, diese Behauptung zu untermauern.

Nun kommt eine im März 2003 veröffentlichte Studie des Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information (IPCRI) zu einem völlig anderen Ergebnis: "Die Ausrichtung des palästinensischen Curriculums ist trotz der harten und brutalen Wirklichkeit friedfertig. In den Schulbüchern, die unter der palästinensischen Autonomiebehörde herausgegeben wurden, wird nirgends offen gegen Israel und Juden gehetzt", heißt es dort. Untersucht wurden die Schulbücher nach ihrer Ausrichtung in Bezug auf "Toleranz", "Frieden" und "Koexistenz" mit dem israelischen Volk.

In Auftrag gegeben hatte die Studie nicht etwa Palästinenserpräsident Arafat, sondern der amerikanische Kongress, vermittelt durch die US-Botschaft in Tel Aviv und das US-Genralkonsulat in Jerusalem. Das IPCRI (www.ipcri.org) schien die geeignete Einrichtung für eine objektive Untersuchung zu diesem Thema zu sein, ist es doch der einzige israelisch-palästinensische "Think-Tank". Seit dem Beginn der ersten Intifada 1988 wird hier von israelischen und palästinensischen Forschern gemeinsam nach praktischen Lösungen des Nahost-Konflikts gesucht. Momentan führt das IPCRI eine ähnliche Untersuchung der israelischen Schulbücher durch. Die Ergebnisse der Studie wurden bereits dem US-Kongress sowie dem palästinensischen Erziehungsministerium vorgelegt. Das IPCRI hofft, dass die Veröffentlichung der Studie hilfreich ist für die "Verbesserung der Erziehung im allgemeinen und für die Entwicklung einer Friedenserziehung im besonderen" (Hompage vom IPCRI).

Im Bericht der Neuen Zürcher Zeitung heißt es zum Inhalt der Studie u.a.:
In der Einleitung der Studie wird die Entstehung des palästinensischen Lehrplans aufgerollt. Er wurde erstmals 1994 bei der Schaffung der palästinensischen Autonomiebehörde in Auftrag gegeben. 1996 begann das Erziehungsministerium neue Schulbücher zu verfassen; seit 2001 werden sie im Unterricht verwendet. Die Forscher waren sich bewusst, dass sich ein palästinensischer Lehrplan auf einem äußerst schmalen Grat bewegt. Er soll einerseits die palästinensische Geschichte darstellen, den Kindern zu einer palästinensischen Identität verhelfen und ihnen andrerseits Respekt vor den Autoritäten, auch den israelischen, vermitteln. Die Forscher kommen zum Schluss, dass sich das Curriculum im grossen Ganzen für die nationalen Anliegen der Palästinenser einsetze und die israelische Besetzung verurteile.

Allerdings fehlten praktische Lösungsansätze. Auch würden die Bücher in keiner Weise der multikulturellen, multiethnischen und multireligiösen Geschichte der Region gerecht. Ebenso fehle die Einbettung Palästinas in den globalen Zusammenhang; dem Schüler werde nicht beigebracht, dass sein Land, sein Leben und sein Problem in einem Kontext stünden. Die Darstellung der Geschichte der Palästinenser sei "selektiv". Einige Ereignisse seien ausgelassen, andere einseitig dargestellt. In mehreren Fällen seien das Judentum und die Juden unzulänglich und sogar unpassend dargestellt.

Die geringe Objektivität stelle auch in der Darstellung der Gegenwart einen Mangel dar. Bei der Beschreibung heiliger jüdischer Plätze werde deren Wichtigkeit für die Juden zwar nicht verneint, wohl aber werde kein Verständnis dafür vermittelt, warum Juden in Jerusalem und im Staate Israel leben wollten. Entsprechend gebe es keine klare Erläuterung des Begriffs "Palästina". Jerusalem werde im Allgemeinen als "Hauptstadt Palästinas" bezeichnet und als "islamisch" und "arabisch" charakterisiert. Israel werde in den Schulbüchern nicht als souveräner Staat genannt. Vielmehr werde es als "Land von 1948", als "das Innere" usw. umschrieben. Trotz dieser Mängel könne nach Auffassung des IPCRI von einer Geschichtsverfälschung zum Vorteil der Palästinenser nicht die Rede sein.

Die generelle Ausrichtung des Curriculums sei friedfertig. Trotz Intifada, trotz täglich sich verschlechternder Lebensumstände der Palästinenser und trotz der offenen Kritik an der israelischen Besetzung werde an keiner Stelle Hass und Gewalt gegen den Staat Israel oder die Juden propagiert. Stattdessen werde in praktisch allen Büchern die Notwendigkeit von religiöser und politischer Toleranz hervorgehoben. Es gebe Texte, in denen es ausschliesslich um dieses Thema gehe und in denen die Schüler aufgefordert würden, sie sich zu eigen zu machen. Allerdings werde hierbei praktisch immer von einem islamischen Blickwinkel aus "gepredigt". Der Muslim soll die "Leute der heiligen Schriften" respektieren, heißt es z.B..; namentlich werden in diesem Zusammenhang jedoch nur Christen, nicht aber Juden genannt.

Bemerkenswert schien den Forschern, dass im Gegensatz zu den meisten anderen Schulbüchern der Region die Kinder auf erzieherisch moderne Weise zum kritischen Denken, Fällen von Entscheidungen und Lösen von Problemen angeregt würden. In praktisch allen übrigen arabischen Ländern gilt noch immer als höchstes Ziel, einen Text oder Lösungen auswendig zu lernen. In Palästina scheint man sich hingegen ganz an der westlichen Erkenntnis zu orientieren, dass Kinder mit Rollenspielen, Fallstudien und Gruppenarbeit schneller und nachhaltiger lernen. Das IPCRI hebt hervor, dass sie sich dadurch zu besseren Demokraten entwickelten und von klein auf den Sinn des Mehrparteiensystems und der Menschenrechte erlernten. Als Manko zeige sich jedoch, dass an keiner Stelle die moralische und ethische Einschätzung eines Problems ausserhalb des religiösen Kontextes propagiert werde. Auch die Unabhängigkeit im Denken und die Aufforderung, selbst die Initiative zu ergreifen, kämen zu kurz.

Untersucht wurde auch die Erwähnung von Märtyrern in den palästinensischen Schulbüchern. Der Widerstand der Palästinenser gegen die Kreuzritter, die türkische Herrschaft, das britische Mandat und schließlich die israelische Besetzung werde gepriesen und manchmal glorifiziert. Zwar werde vor allem der friedliche Befreiungskampf gelobt, doch an einigen wenigen Stellen würden der Jihad (der "heilige Krieg") und das Märtyrertum als religiöse und nationale Pflicht bezeichnet. Die Autoren der Studie lassen offen, ob sie die beiden Begriffe generell der Gewalttätigkeit zurechnen. Der Jihad muss im allgemeinen Verständnis der Muslime jedoch keineswegs militant sein, sondern kann sehr wohl den Einsatz für die Befreiung mit friedlichen Mitteln bedeuten.

Im Folgenden dokumentieren wir die Zusammenfassung der Studie in englischer Sprache. Das Original hat 57 Seiten und kann unter www.ipcri.org abgerufen werden.

IPCRI-Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information

REPORT I: Analysis and Evaluation of the New Palestinian Curriculum


Reviewing Palestinian Textbooks and Tolerance Education Program

March 2003

Executive Summary

The Palestinian Authority (PA) established the Curriculum Development Center (CDC) in 1994. It was commissioned with formulating a Palestinian vision of a national educational policy and of a national curriculum. Work on a comprehensive framework was completed in 1996. Shortly after that, the PA's Ministry of Education (MOE) established a new curriculum center commissioned with writing new school textbooks. The curriculum plan assumed concrete form during the 2000-2001 school year.

In the past three years, the Palestinian MOE introduced a number of new textbooks and a few teachers' guides for grades 1, 2, 3, 6, 7 and 8. The production of these textbooks involved hundreds of authors, reviewers, supervisors, teacher trainers, illustrators and technical support personnel.

The present investigation is an earnest attempt to present a professional analysis/evaluation of the new Palestinian curriculum, especially as it relates to the principles of civil society, peace, tolerance and diversity. It covers all textbooks that relate to the objectives and tasks of the investigation. However, a special focus is placed on language arts, religious education, history, civil education, and national education curricula.

The major goals of the new Palestinian educational system are nationalistic, cognitive and social in nature. A review of the new textbooks revealed that the major goals of the history, national education, civil education, religious education and language arts textbooks are to reinforce the Palestinian national, civic and religious identity and to promote respect for authority (local and national government, family and religious and civic institutions). The curriculum attempts, among other things, to promote national aspirations and condemn occupation practices. In doing so, it briefly and inadequately addresses some of the conflictive and sensitive issues that relate to the prevailing political situation.

Another interesting dimension of the curriculum is its focus on promoting students' faculties of critical thinking, creative thinking, decision-making and problem solving. Moreover, the innovative instructional strategies recommended (role-playing, simulation, case studies, and other cooperative learning techniques) point to the national interest in promoting the principles of human rights, democracy, diversity, tolerance and pluralism which, in turn, help in the development of active learners and democratic citizens.

The curriculum, moreover, attempts to (re)shape students' perceptions, beliefs and attitudes toward a number of concepts and issues, many of which relate to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Thus, one finds references in almost all disciplines to the concepts of loving peace, openness to and respect for other cultures, and promotion of peace, global and environmental awareness. Most of these instances, however, fail to reflect a much-needed practical dimension of a truly regional and global multicultural perspective that promotes mutual understanding, respect, and tolerance.

The curriculum undoubtedly bears the marks of unresolved (historical and contemporary) controversies both among Palestinians and with the neighbors of the emerging Palestinian state. As such, the textbooks do not openly or adequately reflect the multiethnic, multicultural and multi-religious history of the region. Furthermore, they do not present a multi-perspective account of several of the formative historical events and several of the still-unresolved issues (Jerusalem, water, borders, settlements and refugees). According to a MOE position paper (December 2002), "The new curriculum, politically speaking, and as reflected in the textbooks already produced, remains to be a tentative and transitional attempt to account for the political complexities at this political juncture."

Educationally speaking, the curriculum adopts a student-centered pedagogy that acknowledges and utilizes the pluralism of intelligence and a diversity of learning styles in the learning process. It is also an activity-based and issue-oriented curriculum that encourages cooperative learning, and is structured to assist learners in viewing all subject-matter content in the context of their own communities and the surrounding ones.

Peace and Tolerance: The overall orientation of the curriculum is peaceful despite the harsh and violent realities on the ground. It does not openly incite against Israel and the Jews. It does not openly incite hatred and violence. Religious and political tolerance is emphasized in a good number of textbooks and in multiple contexts. Some textbooks devote whole units or lessons to talking about these values and encourage students to adopt them. Inter-religious tolerance towards the followers of the other monotheistic religions, traditionally referred to as "Ahl al-Kitab" (the People of the Book), is emphasized in the framework of the teachings of Islam. In principle, these calls apply to both Christians and Jews. However, the textbooks fail to extend these principles and concepts to include Jews and to the State of Israel. In addition, and although the curriculum provides the opportunity for students to recognize and respect beliefs and practices of "others," the concept of the "other," in most cases, is limited to Christians.

Civil Society: Although many concepts, principles and skills that relate to civil society and democracy figure prominently in the new Palestinian textbooks (human rights, freedom of speech, the justice system, pluralism, the role of central and local government, the legislative council, elections, voluntary work, teamwork, fair resolution and fair competition, a sense of right and wrong, respect for law, and accepting responsibility), other essential ones are lacking. These include ethical and moral judgment, community understanding, independence of thought, genuine understanding and respect for differences, information management, and taking action.

Also prominent in the new curriculum are attempts to enhance students' social interaction and communication skills such as enquiry and communication, participation and responsible action, active listening, decision-making, problem solving and conflict resolution. These concepts, principles and skills are introduced as they relate to the national and local levels and do not clearly or adequately reflect regional and global dimensions. In addition, the curriculum fails, in crucial instances, to make the connection between local, regional and global concerns, especially as it relates to environmental awareness, community involvement, and global social and moral responsibility.

Cultural Literacy:
The curriculum also falls short in its attempt to promote the concept of "cultural literacy" as presented by Hirsch (1987). Although the principles that embody "cultural literacy" are included in the curriculum framework, the authoring teams have failed to adequately translate the principles and concepts into subject-matter content and activities. Thus, one finds few references that focus on the inclusion of people, places, events or any ideas that reflect both a broader nature of multiculturalism and a more international perspective, thereby giving credence to contributions coming from other ethnic and religious groups.

Coverage of Historical Events:
Generally speaking, coverage and presentation of history and historical facts can be characterized as being selective. History textbooks, one cannot fail to notice, treat the ancient and modern history of the region and that of Palestine in a selective way, ignoring some historical events while depicting others from one perspective. In particular, one notices a number of cases in which Judaism and the Jews are inadequately and inappropriately represented in relation to their presence in the region. Different dimensions of region's positive and intercultural history are sometimes missing, thus giving the impression of insignificance of other cultures, religions and political institutions in the development of the region's present-day profile.

One also notices the lack of a sustained account of the recent history of Palestine and the absence or the peripheral treatment of some of the formative events in the region's history. The focus, moreover, is on the national Palestinian narrative. The materials do not openly reflect readiness to consider the Jewish and Israeli narratives.

The history curriculum, however, does not show signs of "misuse of history." Although some may feel that history is being used as an instrument of ideological manipulation, there are very few instances in which texts are implicitly exploited to promote intolerance and ultra-nationalistic or racist issues.

National, Civil, and Religious Identity:
In the National Education and the Civic Education textbooks, one notices a focus on Arab and Palestinian ethnic, national, civil and religious identity. The same applies to the focus on the Arab character of East Jerusalem. It does not deny the Israeli and Jewish character of, for example, the Jewish holy places or Jewish history in the city, but does seem to ignore their existence or their importance to Jews and to the State of Israel. One also notices an emphasis on the duty of students to love their land, family, towns, state, the Arab world and the Islamic world.

Palestine/Homeland, Jerusalem:
The concept of "Palestine" is used in both historical and modern contexts, the former being in a general geo-historical sense and the latter in reference a political entity in the making. Generally speaking, "Palestine" is mostly presented in its historical context. References to "Palestine" are mostly made to reflect the Palestine of pre-1948 War, the pre-Partition plan. The concept of "The Homeland," in almost all instances refers to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. This creates significant confusion particularly when maps are presented showing towns and cities that are located within the State of Israel while indicating a map of Palestine.

Jerusalem is portrayed (historically, religiously, culturally, socially, demographically) in relation to its Arab and Islamic nature. Several references are made of the Christian presence in Jerusalem. All illustrations and photos of Jerusalem reflect those found in the Eastern or Arab part of the city (mostly, the old city). It is also almost always referred to as the "Capital of Palestine." References reflect the national, political, cultural, economic, religious and historical importance of the city and its Arab and Islamic characteristics. However, there is no mention of its religious and historical significance to Judaism and to the Jews, or that of the State of Israel for which Jerusalem is its capital.

Israel/Israelis/Judaism/Jews:
Israel, as a sovereign state (political and geographic entity), is not clearly or adequately represented in the textbooks. Israel is referred to indirectly using different terms such as "the Land of the 1948", "the Interior", etc. In some contexts, Jews, in historical and modern-day contexts (occupation, Zionism, settlers) are negatively represented in Palestinian textbooks.

References to the "other/Israel/Israelis" are also presented in excerpts from the modern Palestinian literature. Most references reflect pain, suffering and bitterness experienced by Palestinians as a result of the ongoing Israeli-Arab conflict. In several instances, the State of Israel is presented as a usurper, an occupation force and a foreign occupier of Palestine. Israel is blamed for the suffering of the Palestinian people.

There are several references to Jews relating to the life and death of Jesus Christ. Jews are also presented in reference to Jesus' teachings on marriage and divorce in the Jewish and Christian traditions. These instances reflect that state of affairs that prevailed in the Holy Land at the time of Jesus, especially as it related to religious and social sects, such as the Sadducees and the Pharisees.

Holy Places:
Holy sites in Palestine do not include those of Jews except for the ones that are holy to both Muslims and Jews (Al-Buraq Wall/the Wailing Wall, the Sanctuary of Abraham/Al-Haram al-Ibrahimi as-Shareef, Jacob's Well and Joseph's Tomb). When mentioned, no reference is made to their significance to the Jewish tradition.

Maps:
Several books contain and make reference to maps of historical Palestine as a geographical and historical entity. Some of the maps show Palestine as part of the Arab world (regional maps), whereas others show it in isolation. Some maps highlight the location of the Israeli settlements in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. In all cases, the maps are not labeled in any way. In some maps the boundaries of the West Bank and Gaza Strip are contoured. This is the case when reference is made to the demographic distribution of Palestinians and to the administrative breakdown of the PA territory in terms of governorates.)

Jihad and Martyrdom:
References to jihad and shahadah or istishad (martyrdom) are made in historical and modern contexts. References are made in militant as well as peaceful and constructive contexts. Along the same lines, the concepts of defending and liberating Palestine as the "homeland" are presented both in historical and present-day contexts (Crusaders, Ottoman Empire, British Mandate, and Israeli occupation). In several instances, jihad and martyrdom are presented both as a "religious" and a "national" duty. There are also few examples (linguistic and other) that praise the use of violence against others. These examples are present in the framework of talking about the duty to defend and liberate the homeland.

The Right of Return:
The right of return of the Palestinian refugees to their homeland, as stipulated in the UN resolutions, is emphasized in several texts. It is also an important part of the Palestinian national anthem, the words of which carry the meanings of sacrifice for the homeland and the determination to reclaim it.

Bilateral and International Agreements:
There is not much mention of or many references to the international and bilateral agreements signed between the Israeli government and the PLO. The Oslo Accords, the Declaration of Principles, the Taba and Hebron agreements are not frequently mentioned and not adequately discussed. When, mentioned, the reference is usually made in the context of talking about the PA, demographic and economic issues.

Source: www.ipcri.org


Zurück zur Palästina-Seite

Zur Nahost-Seite

Zurück zur Homepage