The portrayal of Arabs in textbooks in the Jewish school system in Israel

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Abu-Saad discusses the portrayal of Arabs in textbooks in the Jewish school system in Israel. Three dominating influences in the portrayal of Arabs are orientalism, the Zionist mission to build a Jewish nation-state in Palestine--out of which the on-going Israeli-Arab conflict emerged--and an Israeli-Jewish frame of mind determined by a victim or siege mentality. "Orientalism" is based on the concept developed by the late Professor Edward Said that refers to the way in which Eastern cultures were viewed, described and represented by Western academic scholarship, politics, and literature. Said's main critique was aimed at how the Western economic, political and academic powers developed a dichotomized discourse in which an inherently superior West was juxtaposed with an Eastern "Other" according to terms and definitions determined by the West itself.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-38
Number of pages18
JournalArab Studies Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2007


  • Civic education
  • Literature
  • Jewish peoples
  • Zionism
  • History instruction
  • Jewish history
  • Childrens literature
  • Curricula
  • Middle Eastern studies
  • Textbooks
  • Arabs
  • textbook
  • rhetoric and composition
  • Israel
  • discourse studies
  • Zionism -- Philosophy
  • Zionism -- Historiography
  • Education -- Israel
  • Arab-Israeli conflict -- Study and teaching -- Israel
  • Jewish-Arab relations -- Israel
  • Arab-Israeli conflicts
  • Israel-Arab conflicts
  • Educational aspects
  • Israeli foreign relations
  • Social aspects
  • History
  • Public opinion
  • Emirian foreign relations
  • Portrayals
  • Sovereignty
  • Islamism
  • Politics
  • Arab Israeli relations
  • Cultural identity
  • School systems


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