The 100 Terms Program: A Rawlsian Critique

“The 100 Terms Program in Heritage, Zionism and Democracy,” a program formulated in 2005 for grades seven to nine in Jewish, Arab and Druze schools, will most likely find its way to the garbage heap of history. The Program is composed of three parts: “Democracy,” which is the same for all schools; “Zionism,” which is also common to all schools, with slight differences between Jewish and Arab schools; and “Heritage,” which is different for Jewish and Arab schools. The list of terms in the “Heritage” section designed for Jewish schools covers the cultural, religious and historic heritage of the Jewish people in a comprehensive manner. In addition, the “Zionism” section also addresses Jewish heritage. The “Heritage” terms designed for students in Arab schools, on the other hand, refer almost exclusively to the different religious heritages of Muslim and Christian students. There are only three figures from Arab history on the list, all from the Middle Ages. Clearly, the impression the Arab students are supposed to imbibe from this list of terms is that the Arabs have no common historical or cultural heritage, at least since the Middle Ages, and that most definitely no such heritage exists with regard to the Palestinian Arab people.

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