Tuvia Book
Author, educator, Tour-Guide, artist

It’s not about the Occupation: The Necessity for Reeducation

Yesterday the UN General-Secretary Ban Ki Moon said; “It is human nature to react to occupation.” It is time for the world to stop making excuses and hold Palestinians responsible for their murderous actions. In the last week alone we have buried two innocent victims of terror here in Israel, who, unlike the Ban Ki Moon, I will name because Jewish lives do matter: Dafna Meir (39), mother of six who was murdered in front of her children in her house by a 15 year old, and Shlomit Krigman (23) a student who was grocery shopping for her grandparents. Both wonderful, caring loving women. Lives brutally cut short. Worlds ended. It’s not “about the occupation.” It’s about incitement to murder.  The disputed territories are not the cause of Arab aggression. There was Arab terror before 1967 and indeed before 1948. There is no justification for terror. None.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) is guilty of teaching to hate. The (EU funded) PA school system promotes a culture of violence, glorifies suicide bombers as martyrs, delegitimizes, through gross historical revisionism, the mere existence of a “Zionist entity” on “Palestinian land,” and from the age of kindergarten upwards poisons young minds AGAINST peaceful coexistence. Rabbi Lord Sacks wrote:

Children have been the casualties of our age. In the West they have suffered from the breakdown of marriage and the exploitations of a consumer culture. In some parts of the world they have been used as labour, in others they have become the victims of terror or even trained to be terrorists, taught to hate. The protests have been too few.”

One example of many of this historical revisionism is the following text which is taken from a second grade textbook entitled, “National Education” which deals with the “History of Palestine.” It states: “The first inhabitants of Palestine were the Canaanite Arabs.” The entire statement is an anachronsim. “Palestine” was the name given to the conquered Roman province of Judea in the second century CE, the Arabs only left the Arabian peninusla, with spread of Islam, in the seventh century CE and the Canaanites vanished into the dust of history around 1000 BCE!)

Pal map

Another example is this picture from a 7th grade textbook entitled, “Mathematics.” It portrays a map of “Palestine” showing the territory as one single geographical entity, mentioning only “Palestinian” towns (Jerusalem, Gaza, Nablus [Shechem], Hebron). No mention is made of the name Israel or Israeli towns, which were established by the Zionist movement. (For instance, where is Tel Aviv?). So what can be done? Is ther a historical precident for the “reeducation” of a society incited to hate? One merely has to look back 71 years for the answer.

One of the first things the victorious Allied armies did after the defeat of Nazi Germany, as part of the denazification program, was to change the Nazi-era textbooks. Twelve years of brainwashing had poisoned the minds of an entire generation. The Office of Military Government (U.S.) for Germany, or OMGUS, the supreme American governing body throughout the Occupation period, launched a massive operation to eliminate all remnants of National Socialism and promote democracy in Germany after 1945. American officials invested great efforts into establishing democratic government. OMGUS officials believed that they had to win the hearts and minds of a German youth poisoned by Nazi ideology. This aspect of the democratization mission, referred to as “reeducation,” became the cornerstone of American educational reforms during the Occupation. This was the starting point as the Allies set out to build a humane, democratic nation on the ruins of the vanquished Nazi state-arguably the most monstrous regime the world has ever seen. If this reeducation was successfully accomplished in the past, it can be again.

If the PA, and world community, is really serious about about peaceful coexistance, the PA should start by cleaning up their own house and not continually demanding that Israel make, “confidence building” gestures which lead nowhere, such as the release of depraved murderers, who were justly incarcerated in Israeli prisons. Golda Meir’s famous statement regarding peace is just as relevant today as if was then:

Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.”

About the Author
Dr. Tuvia Book was born in London and raised in both the UK and South Africa. After making Aliya at the age of 17 and studying in Yeshiva he volunteered for the IDF, where he served in an elite combat unit. Upon his discharge he completed his BA at Bar-Ilan University, as well as certification in graphic design. He then served as the Information Officer at the Israeli Consulate of Philadelphia, while earning a graduate degree in Jewish Studies. Upon his return to Israel, Dr. Book graduated from a course of study with the Israeli Ministry of Tourism, and is a licensed tour guide. Tuvia has been working in the field of Jewish Education, both formal and informal, for many years. He has guided and taught Jewish students and educators from around the English-speaking world for some of Israel’s premier educational institutions and programs. Tuvia has been guiding groups for Birthright Israel since its inception and, in addition, has lectured throughout North America, Australia, Europe and South Africa. Tuvia served as a Shaliach (emissary) for the Jewish Agency for Israel as the Director of Israel and Zionist Education at the Board of Jewish Education of Greater New York (Jewish Education Project). He was a lecturer/educational guide at the Alexander Muss Institute for Israel Education (AMIIE) in Israel for a decade. Tuvia has lectured at both Bar Ilan University and Hebrew University. He is the author (and illustrator) of the internationally acclaimed Zionism curriculum; “For the Sake of Zion; A Curriculum of Israel Education” (fifth edition, 2017, Koren) and is at present working on his next book, a history of the Jewish people. Tuvia has a doctorate in Israel education. His dissertation title is: “Through the Soldiers’ Eyes: Exploring the Influence of a Birthright Mifgash on the Israeli Soldier Participants.”
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