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Friday, February 09, 2007

'Education' doesn't work in ethnic conflicts

The United States of America is a melting pot. There are very few true 'natives'; nearly everyone can trace their ancestry to immigrants. Because of that, many Americans have difficulty understanding the true nature of the Middle East conflict. Many of you cannot even conceive of a hatred that is inborn, knee-jerk and irrational. That's also why the American government had so much trouble dealing with the ethnic conflict in the former Yugoslavia a decade ago. The kind of hatreds that exist between Serbs and Croats - or between Arabs and Jews - is something that is completely unfamiliar in Peoria, Illinois. The environment in the US is so different that most Americans cannot conceive of a situation in which they would behave violently towards someone solely because he was white, black or Hispanic (to take three examples). Jews in Israel daily face that kind of behavior from Arabs.

I used the explanation above to explain to some of my interlouctors on my recent trip to the US why I believe that hopes for real 'peace in the Middle East' (or in Shimon Peres' terms, a 'New Middle East') with borders like between the US and Canada are hopelessly naive. Look at our 'peace treaties' with Egypt and Jordan. Egypt, which has nominally been at peace with us since 1979 has an official government media that is constantly fanning the flames of hatred against Jews and Israel (and yes, it's in that order, so don't try to tell me that they're 'just upset with Israel'). They have helped 'Palestinian' weapons smugglers to bring weapons into Gaza. They continue to conduct war games in which Israel is clearly the enemy. Israeli Jews may visit Egypt (I did myself in 1980) but almost no Egyptians have visited Israel. The 'peace' is a cold peace, and its economic benefits have all gone in one direction.

Jordan's rump King Abdullah, whose country was created by the British out of 78% of the 'Palestine Mandate' to placate his great-grandfather for having lost the Arabian peninsula to the House of Saud, is also a fierce critic of Israel. Despite the fact (actually because of the fact) that his country is more than 70% 'Palestinian,' Abdullah's policies are guided first and foremost by using his best efforts to dump the 'Palestinian problem' on Israel.

That's why it was not surprising when both Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak and Jordan's rump King Abdullah attacked Israel this week with hysterical statements over the digging going on outside the walls of the Temple Mount. Reasonable people can disagree over whether the manner in which the government is trying to resolve the issue of the collapsing ramp to the Mughrabi Gate on the Temple Mount is right or wrong. But that does not mean that the government is attempting to bring about the collapse of the mosques on the Temple Mount, or even of the illegally (and dangerously) built underground mosque at Solomon's stables. To claim that the government seeks to collapse the mosques is a blood libel that the Arabs have repeatedly invoked over the years to stir up their masses. Blood libels are not a part of Western culture, and I am sure that many of my readers are totally confused as to why there were riots on and outside the Temple Mount today.

All of which may have you all wondering why I added the word 'education' to this post's title. I did because there is a new study out today that confirms my belief that trying to 'educate' people out of irrational ethnic conflict is hopelessly naive. The study was conducted at Haifa University, which is right up there with Tel Aviv University in its moonbatishness. The study shows that 'educating to co-existence' among Israeli and Arab youths (as opposed to their more hardened elders) has no lasting effects.
Two months after 2,000 Arab and Jewish children attended school together in a government program called Pogshim, the university's Education Department studied over 1,000 Jewish and Arab students, ages 15-16, who participated in the program. Results showed that the program failed to create a long-term change in the beliefs of the participants regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Instead, according to the study, only beliefs not central to the conflict changed, which were then not reinforced once the program ended, resulting in a gradual return to participants' previous way of thinking.

Dr. Yigal Rosen, who oversaw the research, explained that "effecting change in central beliefs requires widespread social and environmental changes. Educational programs have very limited effects without political-social support."
Of course, the government cannot admit that to Israelis. So it continues to bury its head in the sand and pretend that the Arabs love us will learn to love us if only we will give them Judea and Samaria:
The Education Ministry does not agree with the findings of Dr. Rosen. "The University of Haifa can print whatever statistics they like," a ministry spokesperson told The Jerusalem Post. "These are the official findings of the Ministry of Education."

The ministry has found that integrative programs, such as Pogshim, have reduced an emphasis on stereotyping between Jews and Arabs, and are a valuable tool for future generation.

According to ministry figures, the lessons participants have learned have led to an increase in participants' belief that there can be future coexistence between Jews and Arabs in Israel, as well as an increase in the number of participants who would be willing to live in a coexistent community.

According to Education Minister Yuli Tamir, Pogshim is successful. "The program brings together Jewish and Arab youths, and places a great importance on a mutual dialogue," Tamir said in a statement. "In today's realty, this is a necessary experience which contributes to bringing youths together and extinguishing racism while developing a communal experience."
I trust you all remember Yuli Tamir. She is the moonbat who wants to pretend that the 1967 Six Day War never happened.

When I see an 'American Orthodox Rabbi' and a 'hip-hop mogul' joining forces to fight 'Islamophobia,' I view the Rabbi as misguided and foolish, but not a real danger to himself or to anyone else. When I see Israel's Education Ministry trying to pretend that it can 'educate' Arabs to co-existence while riots due to blood libels occur all around us, I fear for Israel's future.


At 9:48 PM, Blogger Lisa said...

"Blood libels are not a part of Western culture"?! Carl, you must be kidding.

I believe there is one significant blood libel that has indeed been part of Western (Christian) culture for all too many generations.

I think you know the one.

The Jewish people have paid a deep price for its overt and not so overt persistence.


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