[EDUCATION IN ASIA#2] The Legitimation of Occupation (Middle East)

A lecture by Nurit Peled-Elhanan:

How are the Palestinians portrayed in Israeli schoolbooks? How do Israeli teaching materials influence the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

June 7, 2015, University of Copenhagen

Nurit Peled is an Israeli professor of language and education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a human rights activist. She is known for her research on how Palestinians/Arabs are portrayed in Israeli teaching materials; furthermore, she is the author of the book “Palestine in Israeli School Books: Ideology and Propaganda in Education” in which she strongly criticizes Israeli schoolbooks of being “anti-Palestinian”.

In addition she is also the laureate of the EP Sakharov prize for human rights and the freedom of thought and was the co-initiator and member of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, 2009-2013.

Nurit grew up in a well-known Israeli family; her Grandfather Avraham Katsnelson signed – among others – the Israeli Declaration of Independence, and her father Mattiyahu Peled was a general in the Israeli army in 1967. She is also the sister of human rights activist and author of “The General’s Son”, Miko Peled.

PLACE: Københavns Universitet Amager (auditorium 23.0.50), Karen Blixens Vej 4, 2300 København S (https://www.facebook.com/events/1627331524179925/)


Georgetown University, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs, 2011:

September 9, 2011 | This video is an excerpt from the Berkley Center’s event Liberty and Tolerance in an Age of Religious Conflict. In conjunction with Calvin College, the Berkley Center convened scholars and practitioners from Christian, Jewish, and Muslim backgrounds to examine and compare resources supportive of religious freedom and tolerance within their own traditions. The participants were among the contributors to a forthcoming book, ‚Abraham’s Children: Liberty and Tolerance in an Age of Religious Conflict.”


Learn more:

  • Palestine in Israeli School Books: Ideology and Propaganda in Education. By Nurit Peled-Elhanan. I.B.Tauris, 2012.

    Description of the book from the publisher’s website:

    „Each year, Israel’s young men and women are drafted into compulsory military service and are required to engage directly in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This conflict is by its nature intensely complex and is played out under the full glare of international security. So, how does Israel’s education system prepare its young people for this? How is Palestine, and the Palestinians against whom these young Israelis will potentially be required to use force, portrayed in the school system? Nurit Peled-Elhanan argues that the textbooks used in the school system are laced with a pro-Israel ideology, and that they play a part in priming Israeli children for military service. She analyzes the presentation of images, maps, layouts and use of language in History, Geography and Civic Studies textbooks, and reveals how the books might be seen to marginalize Palestinians, legitimize Israeli military action and reinforce Jewish-Israeli territorial identity. This book provides a fresh scholarly contribution to the Israeli-Palestinian debate, and will be relevant to the fields of Middle East Studies and Politics more widely.”

    See also:

  • [EDUCATION IN ASIA#4] China – Strong Performers and Successful Reformers
  • [EDUCATION IN ASIA#3] Singapore’s 21st-Century Teaching Strategies
  • [EDUCATION IN ASIA#1] Syrian School
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