Sunday, August 17, 2014

This school year, teaching the enemy's story

Sir, - MK Shimon Ohayon is to be commended for his vigilance as a member of the Knesset Education Committee, and for calling our attention to the intent of the Minister of Education, Rabbi Shai Piron, to introduce and impose onto the curriculum of the first week of the school year the "Nakba narrative" as part of a course of study titled "Ha'acher hu ani" ("The Other is me").

While Rabbi Piron brings to his Ministry a rich background of experience, initiative, creativity, and a desire to combat racism, "The Other is Me" program is unfortunately a deeply flawed, confusing, and harmful escapade that borders on a declaration of personal and national schizophrenia.

What exactly is our nation that is increasingly surrounded by genocidal hatred supposed to gain by being exposed to an enemy's vitriolic narrative that denies our legitimacy, declaims that we were born in sin, labels us as murderous interlopers, and declares their intention to wipe us out? Are we meant to adopt the perverted position that our narrative and theirs are of equal authenticity, have equal merit and legitimacy, and thus descend into a state of moral dementia?

Our nation's educational system would undoubtedly be better served by a program that teaches our own traditional eternal truths and values that include respect and equality for the 'Other,' provided that the Other acts within the norms of decency and civilized behavior.

Petach Tikva

[Image credit: Wikimedia user Marlith]