Saturday, October 24, 2020

New settler booklet for children denies existence of Palestine

By Amy Mac - September 21, 2015
Section: [Main News] [Features]
Tags: [Israeli lobby] [Settlers]

The cover of the book titled: Occupation Shmuccupation (Baloney)

Israeli settlers have released a new educational booklet for settler children in the West Bank, which explains that, “there’s no such thing as Palestine.”

Titled “Kibbush Kishkush” (Occupation Baloney), the 22 page booklet reasserts popular Israeli-settler propaganda, using cartoons and folksy explanations to promote messages including: “there is no such thing as the State of Palestine," “vandalizing Palestinian property is a criminal offense –but sometimes Arabs do it to other Arabs,” and “there is no solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

The pamphlet addresses these themes through  the assistance of a young cartoon boy who is exploring the world of Israeli settlements and the Israel-Palestine conflict through naïve eyes while asking seemingly innocent question.

In one scene, the unwitting boy learns that 'price tag’ attacks, where extremist settlers vandalize Palestinian property, are not a daily occurrence, despite what left wing outlets purport.


The New York Times and +972 both acknowledged the absurdity of such an assertion, which coincides with the recent deaths of a Palestinian toddler and his parents after their Duma home was set on fire by settler extremists in July.   

Last week the Yesha council, an umbrella organisation for settlers in the West Bank, announced it will print 10,000 copies to be distributed amongst community centers, universities and professionals working with teenagers. Schools, kindergartens and youth groups may also receive the booklets.


The cartoon has drawn criticism from various organisations, who regard it as an indoctrinating instrument for warped settler ideology.


On its facebook page, Israeli advocacy group Peace Now commented on the booklet, saying the Yesha Council had proved that its greatest expertise lay in “concealing from the Israeli public the reality that millions of Palestinians live around the settlements, lacking in rights and under Israeli control.”


But the Yesha council’s latest contribution is only a drop in the ocean amongst amongst the wave of anti-Palestinian propaganda consistently being perpetuated in Israel through educational literature, according to analysts of Israeli educational materials, says Israeli professor Nurit Paaeled-Elhanan.


“[The booklet] expresses the current opinion and it’s not something new for the readers. Maybe it’s more bold, more blunt, more blatant. But it’s just the general experience, what most people know,” Paeled-Elhanan, author of “Palestine in Israeli School Books,” told the Palestine Monitor.

“In order to be authorized by the military, [educational textbooks] have to have some kind of ideological common ground. So what they may do on top of that is different, but basically they have the same ideology and convictions based on the need for a Jewish majority and our right to the land.”

But according to Peled-Elhanan, her criticism of the dogma disseminated through Israeli children’s textbooks is unique in Israel.

“Other researchers say there are flaws and things that should be mended and 'the other’ should be presented more favorably. But they don’t challenge the basic ideological common ground,” she said.

“They don’t say it’s racist, they don’t say its colonial, and I do.”  

Nonetheless, Yesha Council spokesman Yigal Dakmoni fears left wing sentiment in Israel poses a pertinent threat that could undermine the settler version of history and events.

"Our generation won't achieve calm with the Palestinians, so it's important to us that the younger generation knows the right facts and doesn't rely on stigmas left-wing organizations are trying to disseminate," he is quoted by Ynet as having said.



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