seven years now, since the first meeting in Ramallah with Nobel
Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire and President Arafat, we have been
working to promote the education of non-violence and critical thinking,
to strengthen every student's capacities to resist what Martin Luther
King called "the morass of propaganda" - one of the chief aims of
education according to him.
"The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think
intensively and to think critically." It is a breakthrough to see, in
February 2009, a public committee established in Israel by the Ministry
of Education, working on a curriculum for a co-existence education
programme, formulated at Minister Tamir's request.
"The Education Ministry has an obligation to ensure education toward
Jewish-Arab co-existence" declared Professor Salomon, of Haifa
University. His committee, with Dr Issawi, also recommends teaching the
"recognition of the fundamental democratic values of equality and
social justice, particularly with respect to social minorities, and
should instill critical thinking skills and promote openness and
tolerance." As early as April 2006, we reached an agreement with the
Palestinian National Authority, to start a Bilingual Experimental
Programme, in high schools, precisely in that spirit. Dr Al Shaer was
Minister of Education then. This is what we are committed to, on both
sides, from Jenin to Gaza, and from Haifa to Beersheba.