Professor Nurit Peled Elhanan will present a talk on how non-Jewish others, particularly Palestinians, are represented in Israeli schoolbooks in ways that correspond to the criteria of racist discourse
Israel is ruled by the principle of separation. The prevalent social, cultural and political discourse is that of racism. Israeli education, notably schoolbooks legitimate this situation as schoolbooks usually do.
The “others” of Israel are both Jewish and Non-Jewish. The Jewish groups are subjected to “cultural genocide” and “cultivation” while the Palestinian “others”, both citizens and occupied subjects, are subjected to cultural and physical elimination, since they are not candidates for assimilation.
In this talk, I will show how these conceptions and practices are legitimated in schoolbooks in multimodal ways. I will examine linguistic and discursive means – the use of genres, of appraisal, of classification, as well as visual means such as photographs, graphs and diagrams, or maps. I will show how schoolbooks represent Jewish others anthropologically, as a problem and not as contributing citizens, and how they represent Palestinian citizens as a problem to be solved. In both cases the representations respond to all the criteria of racist discourse.
I will also touch upon the representation of Holocaust victims and show the relation between this representation and the representation of both Jewish and Palestinian “others”.
Prof. Nurit Peled-Elhanan is Head of Communication Department, David Yellin Academic College. She was a lecturer (retired) in Language Education at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel, and Co-initiator of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, 2009-2014.
2001 The Sakharov Prize for Human Rights and the Freedom of Thought. Awarded by the European Parliament.
2012: Palestine in Israeli School Books. Ideology and Propaganda in Education. I.B. Tauris: London.
2012: The Intolerance of Israeli Education. In: Kelly James Clark (Ed). Abraham's Children: Liberty and Tolerance in an Age of Religious Conflict. Yale University Press.
2014: The De-Humanization of Palestinians in Israeli School Books: a Multimodal Analysis of Layout, Intertextuality and Reading Paths. In: David Machin (Ed). Visual Communication. Hand book of Communication Science. Degruyter Publishing House. Boston, Ma: USA.
2014: La Representation des Palestiniens aux Manuels Scolaires Israeliens. In: L'histoire Occultée des Palestiniens (1947-1953). In: Sandrine Mansour-Mérien (Ed). Editions Preivat. Paris: France.
Forthcoming: Holocaust Education and the Representation of “Others” in Israeli Schoolbooks. (for Common Ground publications)