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For 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.



At El Yarmouk High School, in Gaza, in March 2008, some pupils read, for the first time, parts of the Spirit of Luther King, in English, and in Arabic. This class was led by a team of teachers and a representative of the Ministry of Education.