By M. Knopf-Newman
Explores how American early life are indoctrinated with Zionist mythology and the way to intrude in that method by way of educating approximately Palestine. It argues that because the dating among Zionist schooling and the Israel foyer remains to be powerful, it is important to right the misrepresentations that infiltrate Western culture.
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Extra info for The Politics of Teaching Palestine to Americans: Addressing Pedagogical Strategies
I found one of the main textbooks I studied during my tenure at the school, Helen Fine’s Behold, the Land: A Social Studies Text on the State of Israel published by the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (UAHC), which in 2003 became the Union for Reform Judaism. I also found a pile of magazines called Keeping Posted, also produced by the UAHC. These magazines were organized thematically and were dated between 1972 and 1984. Their subject fell under various categories, the bulk of which included: Law, Ethics, and Issues; the Holocaust; Israel and Zionism; Jews of Foreign Lands, Past and Present; and Traditional Texts and Holidays.
E. 23 One final map shows “Israel and Surrounding Countries” highlighted in different colors. Here, however, Israel rendered in orange, does not include the West Bank, which is attached to Jordan in pink nor does it include the Gaza Strip or the Sinai Peninsula, which are attached to Egypt in purple; the same is true of the Syrian Golan Heights. The book begins with a prologue that explains, “This is the story of the Jewish people and how it lives on its own land. ”24 With this simple introduction Fine begins the process of fusing the past with the present, from an Orientalist perspective often focusing on Arabs (rather than Palestinians) and Arab Jews, but from the first page the use of “our” makes it clear that Jews are those who behold the land.
Dinin argues that these limitations are tied to the failures of indirectly teaching Zionism. 13 Conservative Hebrew schools did not fare much better in terms of content, although there was some direct Zionist teaching and the report assured its readers that their teachers were mostly Zionists. In 1948, a new plan was created for Conservative Hebrew schools to unify curricula across the country. Most of the standard courses remained the same such as Hebrew, Jewish holidays, 24 Th e Pol i t ic s of Te ac h i ng Pa l e s t i n e t o A m e r ic a ns prayer, and history, but two new areas were added to the curriculum: the American Jewish community and the yeshuv (settlement) in Palestine.