Nakba Education on the Path of Return (Issue No.42, Autumn 2009)
The authors in this issue of al-Majdal, are directly involved in the process of Nakba Education in various places, directing their work at different communities, and their cover cover various aspects of the topic. Rami Salameh looks at curricular education in Palestinian elementary and high-school classrooms and the need to develop the pedagogical methods involved in Palestinian Authority schools, while Said Barghouti examines the way Israeli history textbooks over the past forty years have presented the history of the land to Palestinian students. Dan Walsh examines the way the “Middle East Conflict” is taught to U.S. High school students, suggesting ways that Palestinian poster art can be used to present the students in a more accurate and student-empowering way. Also in the U.S., members of the Palestine Education Project describe their work with students in Brooklyn to learn about the experience of Palestinians and draw connections with their own lived experiences. Nidal al-Azza shares his reflections on teaching Palestinian refugee rights under international law to Palestinian law students. Also looking at education in the classroom, Amaya Galili describes How do we say Nakba in Hebrew? the recently launched Learning Packet developed by Zochrot to teach Jewish-Israelis about the Nakba.
Other authors focus on Nakba education outside of the classroom. Mo'ataz al-Dajani looks at the efforts of al-Jana Center in Lebanon to engage Palestinian children and youth in the writing of their own history by engaging with older generations and with their surroundings, while Rich Wiles describes the educational activities of refugee community centers in the Bethlehem district. A highlight of this issue is an article by Khaled al-Azraq, a political prisoner for the past twenty years, describing the Palestinian prisoners' movement's struggle to educate its cadre.
While the articles in this issue provide a small sample of the forms that Nakba education can take, the experiences and work that they describe offers a useful guide for others engaging in this field. Sharing and learning from others' experiences is one of the ways educators can learn, and this issue of al-Majdal aims to be a contribution to this shared learning process.
In the last issue of al-Majdal, we explored legal avenues for holding accountable Israeli perpetrators and those complicit in violations of international law. All the pending cases discussed in that issue have since been dismissed, whether through legislative intervention (as with the Daraj case in Spain), or findings that the cases were not justiciable or the plaintiff did not have standing (as with the al-Haq case in the U.K. and the Bil'in case in Canada). Once again, Palestinian victims were denied effective remedies because challenging Israeli impunity was judged to be too politically sensitive for the courtrooms of the richest and most powerful countries in the world.
On 29 September 2009, Judge Richard Goldstone submitted a report to the UN Human Rights Council in his capacity as the head of the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict (“Goldstone Mission”).1 The 575 page report was the result of thorough and meticulous research and resulted in a flurry of activity and controversy that included deferring endorsement of the report, civil society mobilization protesting the deferral, and a special session of the Human Rights Council in which the the report and its recommendations were adopted.
Affirming Refugee Rights while Advancing Strategic tools to Achieve these Rights
Until recently, with some rare exceptions, writings about Palestine and the Palestinians tended to fall into the general category of the “grand narrative.” Absent are Palestinians as human beings. Instead, when they are murdered they simply become numbers; when they are driven from their homes they simply become refugees; and when they resist the occupation of their land and the theft of their patrimony they are labeled terrorists.
“What use is it to remember now?”
This article is based on my personal experience as a teacher of Palestinian students in Israeli public schools and through my work as school inspector and history curriculum team coordinator for Arab schools from 1975 until 2004. During this period I was engaged in efforts at textbook reform, and on research about Israel's education system which I undertook for my doctoral dissertation.1
Education through Grassroots Arts and Culture in Bethlehem's Refugee Camps
Hearing Obama: How to Introduce an Authentic History of Contemporary Palestine Into the American High SchoolWritten by Dan Walsh
"...I am convinced that in order to move forward, we must say openly the things we hold in our hearts..."
- U.S. President Barak Obama in Cairo, June 4, 2009
The same ground you walk on, we do too…
How should the topic of the Palestinian right of return be dealt with by the Israeli educational system? How should it be approached when the reality in Israel is that the topic is one “we don’t talk about”? How can we start a conversation, get people to listen, overcome objections?
Recurring Dispossession and Displacement of 1948 Palestinian Refugees in the Occupied Palestinian TerritoryWritten by BADIL Staff
Joint written statement submitted to the U.N. Human Rights Council, Twelfth Session
14 September - 2 October 2009
1. Scope of Palestinian Displacement 2008
The Palestinian refugee and IDP population described here comprises the total estimated number of Palestinians and their descendants whose “country of origin” is the former Palestine (now divided into Israel and the OPT), who have been displaced within or outside the borders of this area, and who do not have access to voluntary durable solutions and/or reparation, including the right to return to their homes of origin and the right to repossess their properties.