When most observers think of Middle East peace education, the assumption is that the students are taught the sorts of things that are a routine element of most Israeli schools: respect for the other side and their culture and language, the importance of non-violence and recognizing the rights of all ethnicities and faiths even in the midst of a struggle between two peoples for their own separate national identity and sovereignty in one land. It’s a difficult thing to teach in a country where violence and hatred against Jews is being promoted by the other side and there are those that resist the message. But despite the claim that Israel is becoming more intolerant, the rarity of incidents of anti-Arab violence, and the generally tolerant nature of Israeli society at a time when their nation is under assault from a wave of terror testifies to the success of its peace education curriculum.
But, in the Hroub classroom, peace education isn’t about how to get along with Israelis and Jews. It’s about teaching the children how to peacefully disagree with each other and their teacher. That’s a good thing for them to learn, especially at a time when so much of Palestinian popular culture and official media encourages violence. But it is not the same thing as promoting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
To the contrary, while Hroub says she doesn’t teach anything about politics, the large map of the region on a wall in the classroom does not acknowledge Israel’s existence. During one exercise mentioned in the Times story, Hroub also took the children for an imaginary drive through Jerusalem. But in her virtual Jerusalem, there are only Muslim and Christian holy sites. The Jewish ones and the two-thirds of the city’s population that is Jewish don’t exist...Wow, give that chick a prize!
As I've stated before, what we have here is a clash of civilizations epitomized by a clash over the way the two civilizations conceptualize "peace." For teacher Hroub and her people, "peace" is the situation that will prevail once Islam does. And while there may be plenty of infidels who would be willing to live with that sort of "peace" and the life of dhimmitude it would inevitably bring, it is not and will never be the type of "peace"--"peace" in the Judeo-Christian sense of things--that the rest of us can embrace.