News Brief

New Israeli textbooks for Israeli-Arab third-graders present the story of Israel’s founding as the Palestinian catastrophe, or “nakba.”

The book, called “Living Together in Israel” and approved by Israeli Education Minister Yuli Tamir, says thousands of Arabs were deported by Jewish soldiers during Israel’s 1948 War of Independence and that Israel confiscated abandoned Arab property.

Knesset members from Kadima, Likud, the National Religious Party and Yisrael Beiteinu, among others, denounced the new curriculum as anti-Zionist. Zevulun Orlev of the National Religious Party called on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to dismiss Tamir and described her decision as a “nakba” for the Israeli education system.

Limor Livnat, a former education minister from the Likud Party, warned that teaching the new curriculum to Arab students could lead them to conclude that they should join the armed struggle against Israel.

Arab members of Knesset lauded the new books and suggested Jewish Israelis learn from the same curriculum.

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