To Shape Young Palestinians, Hamas Creates Its Own Textbooks
In Gaza City ninth grade students from Palestine learned about the 1929 riots about access to the western wall. They were able to learn about this due to a new textbook the school had received. This new textbook was introduced by the Islamist Hamas Movement which occurred the past fall. Textbooks have been the key topic of debate in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since they were sought out to create cultural clashes deluding historical perspectives during this territorial fight. Daniel Bar-Tal, a Tel Aviv University professor said "When a leader says something, not everyone is listening. But when we talk about textbooks, all the children, all of a particular peer group, will be exposed to a particular material." He also claimed that a textbook is the strongest card to education. However Yosef Kuperwasser, a senior Israeli official argued that "“Palestinians have developed a system of deception to English-speaking people they sell one story, and to themselves they have a different story." But he also took another approach to the textbook issue saying “Textbooks are one of the tools with which they tell their children what is the truth.” Then finally concluded “If you want real peace, it has to be based on a real change in the culture of hatred.”
Textbooks are the key component to the basis of education all around the world. Without textbooks we are not able to uncover half of the knowledge we obtain at school. Countries all around the world have debates and wars. However the key is to make textbooks that do not favor one side or the other only covering the facts of the events that have lead us up to present day. In other countries textbooks are a major privilege to education as some countries fail the funding to even supply them to students. Yosef Kuperwasser was right when explaining that if you want the real peace all around education included it all starts with the way people are becoming culturally biased and facing pure hatred toward one another.
Emily B. Lewis
November 8th, 2013