Israel to ban ‘nakba’ from Israeli schoolbooks
Israel’s Education Ministry said Wednesday they would remove the Arabic word “nakba,” a term meaning “catastrophe” in reference to the 1948 creation of the Jewish state, from all school textbooks.
“In no country in the world does an educational curriculum refer to the creation of the country as a “catastrophe,”” Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar said.
Arab Israeli politician Ahmed Tibi (UAL) responded to the initiative saying, “There is a difference between referring to specific tragedies that take place in a war - either against the Jewish or Arab population - as catastrophes, and referring to the creation of the state as a catastrophe.”
“There are some Arab Israelis who do not view the creation of the state of Israel as a catastrophe,” Sa’ar added saying the majority of Arabs probably didn’t think of Israel’s creation in that way and only “fringe elements” supported using the term “nakba.”
“I don't think we should support the fringe elements,” he said. “That will harm our coexistence.”
Last Sunday, the Ministerial Committee for Legislation voted in favor of a bill that would allow the Ministry of Finance to withhold public funds to organizations that commemorate the “nakba.”
“There is no reason to present the creation of the Israeli state as a catastrophe in an official teaching program. The education system's objective is not to deny the legitimacy of our state, nor promote extremism among Arab Israelis.”
Arab citizens constitute about a fifth of Israel’s population of seven million.