At the boundaries of citizenship: Palestinian Israeli citizens and the civic education curriculum

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28 Scopus citations


Education in Israel is often described as caught between two ends: state-formation and nation-building. In the last decade civic education in Israel has been undergoing some changes. The civic compulsory curriculum for state high schools was unified across all educational sectors in Israel with the aim of creating a more inclusive, universal civic curriculum that would be used as a platform for creating a common civic culture. The tension between state-formation and nation-building, between universalism and particularism, thus, has become even more prominent where civic education is concerned. To a significant extent, civic education in Israel is one place where contesting messages about the meaning of membership in the Israeli collective are negotiated and debated. This paper explores the tensions between inclusion and exclusion and between universalism and particularism as they emerge from the official civic education curriculum in Israel. It does so by examining the representations and positions of the Palestinian citizens in the official discourse of civic education. The analysis suggests that civic education in Israel at best represents an ambivalent stance that is caught in the tension between inclusion and exclusion. But more often than not, it still reproduces the marginal position of the Palestinian minority in Israeli society. In light of this, this paper concludes by discussing the possible implications these dual messages might have for Palestinian students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-348
Number of pages18
JournalOxford Review of Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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