Saturday, December 10, 2011

The health of Israel's children--an education filled with a false narrative and hate

 Why talk about text books in a blog about health? Child health, by definition,  includes the promotion of psycho-social well-being.  The power of education is great to influence how children grow and develop.  Will the children of Israel grow to be peacemakers? To reach out to get to know their Palestinian neighbors as fellow human-beings who share this small piece of land?  To see the "other" as not "Other", but rather looking for the ways we are all the same-- as equals in their aspiration for full and peaceful and beautiful lives? That is a healthy outcome. 
What is the responsibility of the adults--the parents, teachers and others who guide children to offer a factual narrative? To offer lessons that tell of the true history and aspirations of the Palestinian people, not just the "Jewish narrative"?  We have seen the effects of the hatred that is part of the Israeli textbook narrative in our own Jewish history.  It is so sad and shameful and, for this reason, for the health of Israel's children, we must demand that the Israeli educational system abandon the texts that Prof. Peled-Elhanan analyzed.  This is what Israeli children are being taught. Is it any wonder then that peace feels so unattainable? Is this what we want?  I think not.

This is a painful youtube, but one that is important to watch (you may have to cut and paste into a new window to watch it).  After this youtube, see my final note.  I got it from another blog and it is hopeful and so beautiful.!

" There is a little boy named Ahmed who lives in Khan Younis refugee camp (in Gaza). During one of those hot summer nights last year, he slept on the rooftop of his home and looked at the moon for a long time. Ever since, he has been asking his father to give him the beautiful moon. Ahmed wants the moon. Why not ?!"

It is the same moon over the skies of Jewish Israeli children and Palestinian children.  We can teach and model compassion and how to learn about/from one another to all these beautiful children.  That is how we can give them the moon.  We must teach peace and justice.  No group has exclusive rights to the earth or to the moon.  We must teach the children how to share.