There has been much talk over the past ten years about the “new Middle East” which America has called for. This US project is based around four main areas:
- The reformation of the political structure and governance in Arab countries.
- Making fundamental economic changes.
- Changing cultural values through the influence of the media.
- Changing the educational curriculum.
The latter is the most serious of the four and the US administration has prepared a special report in this respect: “Washington’s plan to change the curricula in Egypt and the Arab world”. This is at the core of the Greater Middle East Project. While America focuses on the curricula in use in Arab states, which are generally designed according to US-Israeli interests, Washington turns a blind eye to the racism endemic in Israel’s state curricula.
A serious analysis of the Zionist movement will show that education has been a priority before and after the establishment of the state of Israel. During the period of the British Mandate in Palestine, the Zionists pushed the British authorities to grant the Jewish Agency the right to develop the curricula for Jewish students while depriving the same right to the original owners of the land, the Arab Palestinians. Moreover, the British official appointed as the head of the Palestinian Education Administration set the curriculum in complianece with the Balfour Declaration and the British Mandate instrument which had been provided to develop the Palestinians’ economic and social conditions in preparation for the establishment of a Jewish national home in Arab Palestine.
Israel was established on 14 May 1948, when David Ben Gurion, the state’s first prime minister, read the Declaration of Independence in Tel Aviv before a crowd of ultra-Zionists.
The document set out a number of key elements essential for the state’s development. Key to this was the decision not to determine the nascent state’s borders so that it could pursue an expansionist policy. Prompted by this, Israel developed an education philosophy to educate a young Zionist generation built upon the following concepts:
- Jews are a unified nation with one religion, one language and one home, Israel, and they must migrate to the new state.
- The land of Israel is the homeland of this nation to which Jews must return and stay attached.
- The Jewish nation will be reformed according to Jewish spirit, culture and religion, and the Hebrew language. This should apply to all Jews across the political spectrum, from the extreme right to the extreme left.
- The Torah in Hebrew will be considered as the main source of national history, geography of the country, the Hebrew language, Jewish history, national literature, and the basic content of nation’s spiritual and moral traditions.
- The Jews are God’s chosen people above all others. All gentiles (non-Jews) are there to serve the Jewish nation and all civilisations and sciences are inspired by the chosen people.
- Creating a permanent militarised society through military training of all citizens including the introduction of military training in schools and establishing organisations to stimulate the ideas of the younger generation towards hostility and contempt for Arabs.
- Feeding young Jews with the idea that the Arabs are working towards the extermination of the Jews and the destruction of the State of Israel. The school curriculum has been filled with pictures of Jewish heroes and the claim that God promised them power on the earth. Students are also reminded of the days of humiliation, degradation and genocide endured by the Jews at the hands of other people throughout the ages.