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Tel Aviv University
[TAU, Education] Tel Aviv University research headed by Prof. Daniel Bar-Tal denounces religious Zionist organizations

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Prof. Daniel Bar-Tal:


Prof. Daniel Bar-Tal teaches at the school of education at Tel Aviv University.   Bar-Tal was the former director of the Walter Lebach Research Institute for Jewish-Arab Coexistence through Education and was formerly co-editor in chief of the Palestine Israel Journal, which is partially sponsored by Hanan Ashwari.   
Bar-Tal was also one of the leaders of the Israeli-Palestinian Schoolbook project entitled “Portrayal of the other,” which sought to analyze Israeli and Palestinian textbooks to see how they portray “the other” side.   Bar-Tal did not write about Palestinian school textbooks and story books portrayals of Jews, but he did have the audacity to assert that Israeli school textbooks and children’s story books “portray Palestinians and Arabs as “murderers,” “rioters,” “suspicious,” and generally “backward and unproductive,” amongst other negative traits, which led to the conclusion that “direct delegitimization and negative stereotyping of Palestinians and Arabs are the rule rather than the exception in Israeli schoolbooks.”    

Bar-Tal is the author of Stereotypes and Prejudice in Conflict: Representations of Arabs in Israeli-Jewish Society, which argues that Israeli society negatively stereotypes Arabs and thus discriminates against them.   In this book, Bar Tal wrote, “For peace to be achieved in the Middle East, the Israelis must recognize their responsibility for the tragedy (Nakba) that they inflicted upon Palestinian in 1948. As long as the Israelis deny their collective guilt for the Palestinians becoming refugees and deny that the Palestinians were maliciously expelled by them, then all reconciliation is a pipe dream. Hence, Israel’s acknowledging Arab suffering is a key to reaching a settlement in the region. Embracing Zionist dogma is accordingly a main obstacle to peace. In short, holding such a Zionist narrative serves as an obstacle to peace since it promotes negative emotions, mistrust, delegitimatization and negative stereotypes of Arabs and Palestinians ……. Israeli Jews’ consciousness is characterized by a sense of victimization, a siege mentality, blind patriotism, belligerence, self-righteousness, dehumanization of Palestinians and insensitivity to their suffering.”  


In May 2010, Bar-Tal evidently conducted a study where he claimed that Jewish Israelis prefer to live in “self-denial,” that they are “brainwashed” to hate Arabs, Muslims, Blacks, and Christians, etc.  Bar Tal was quoted as stating, “The political system and the education system use all their tools, such as Jerusalem Day, to socialize people with the idea that a unified Jerusalem is Israel’s eternal, indivisible capital. People are not born with a concept of ‘Jerusalem is ours forever’ and many know no political solution is possible without a compromise on Jerusalem.”  In March 2010, Bar-Tal was quoted as stating in Haaretz that “Jewish youth have not internalized basic democratic values.”  He went on to state that “there is a combination of fundamentalism, nationalism, and racism in the worldview of religious youth.”    Bar-Tal was also part of a group of Israeli academics that wrote to Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar, asking him to not take actions against lecturers that support boycotting Israel.   Evidently, at a conferenceat Tel Aviv University, Bar-Tal condemned imagined "right-wing" McCarthyite threats to Israeli democracy and freedom of speech.  


[This is the second half of Haaretz article by Akiva Eldar "Netanyahu is ignoring Abbas' efforts to end Palestinian incitement"]

Published 15.03.11


A new study, which will be published in the forthcoming issue of Israel Studies in Language and Society under the title "Talking Peace - Making War," shows that the Torah leaflets distributed by the thousands in synagogues encourage racism, xenophobia and incitement to violence.

The brochures enable Jewish religious fanatics to circumvent the formal channels of newspapers, radio and television and transmit their messages packaged as religious sermons. Daniel Bar-Tal, Hadas Zoran and Hila Cohen of Tel Aviv University and Tamir Magal of Haifa University have analyzed 91 leaflets (most of which receive government funding) distributed by seven key religious Zionist organizations during the course of three months, beginning the month before Operation Cast Lead and ending after the completion of the operation.

The researchers found that the most outstanding common denominator in the leaflets is the exclusive right of the Jewish people and the denial of the right of the Palestinian people to the Land of Israel.

Beliefs regarding the delegitimization of the Palestinians appear in five of the seven weekly leaflets spread across the entire period of the study. The leaflets attribute to Palestinians and Muslims extreme negative stereotypes ("murderers," "terrorists," "evil," "bloodthirsty" and the like).

The widely distributed leaflet Yesha Shelanu would not draw a blush from Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira's screed "Torat Hamelekh." It asserts that in order to bring the gentiles to admit to belief in God, "There is a need to smash their wickedness. Not only naivete and error lead the enemies of God to kill men, women and children. There are great evildoers among them."

In contrast to the Arabs, who are depicted as evil and immoral, the Jews are depicted in the leaflets as moral, humane, and people with values. The leaflet Ma'ayanei Hayeshua tells the public of worshippers that "the conflict over the land is a conflict over justice - a war between the sons of light and the sons of darkness."

The leaflet Me'at Min Haor knows that "throughout all the years of settlement and the struggle for the region we, the Jews, have been sowers, reapers, builders and bringers of life to the world whereas the Arabs have been busy the whole time sowing destruction and death. Even this alone can reveal and prove to everyone who the real owner of this land is."

Not a single leaflet in the sample offered contents hinting at an ethos supporting peace with our neighbors.



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