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Israel: new textbook places Jewish identity over democratic values

November 16, 2022 at 10:19 am

Israeli Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton [@IsraeliPM /Twitter]

Israeli Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton has approved a new civil studies textbook which teaches students that the state’s Jewish identity is above a commitment to democratic values, reported on Tuesday. The new book places more importance to affiliation with Judaism over respect for human rights, equality and other issues.

Shasha-Biton approved the textbook despite strong criticism from within her ministry and educational NGOs. She claimed that the content has not been changed, simply updated.

According to Professor Mordechai Kremnitzer, the new textbook “explains to the students very clearly the idea of Jewish superiority.”

Commenting on the Israeli curriculum in general, the legal expert said that, “It is impossible to ignore the massive impact of education on the results of the latest election” which brought the far right to power. He noted that the civil studies material “was kidnapped by a certain right wing side and modified according to its principles.”

READ: Palestinians Abroad condemns ‘Israelisation’ of school curriculum in Jerusalem

The material in the book does not include any critical viewpoints and ignores millions of Palestinians under Israeli occupation, said Nor does it even hint at the lack of social and economic equality inside Israel.

The media outlet said that the textbook makes no mention of the basic laws related to human dignity and freedom to work, but does include an elaboration of the “Jewish nationality law” and the “central superiority of the Jews.” It basically ignores Israel’s Muslim and Christian citizens.