Comment is Free errs on pro peace textbook

This was published at The Wire, the blog of Just Journalism,

(Comment is Free’s latest Middle East instalment incorrectly claims that Palestinian Authority schools use a pluralistic text book banned in Israeli schools.)

Learning the Historical Narrative of the Other’ offers both Israeli and Palestinian perspectives on the foundation of the State of Israel.

Daphna Baram says:

‘The current administration in the Israeli ministry of education, headed by the Likud minister Gideon Sa’ar, was less than sympathetic to this liberal endeavour. The book was not authorised for use in schools and the staff of schools that decided to use it were admonished.’

She later links to a Haaretz report, published on 11 October which reported that the Palestinian Authority was allowing the book to be used in its schools:

‘In this sense, Sa’ar is struggling to shut the barns doors after the horses are already out and roaming all over the field. One cannot indoctrinate a generation using North Korean methods when the world is wide open to them. In Palestinian Authority schools, by the way, the book is being used.’

However, the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Education publicly denied allowing use of the book on the same day, as reported by the Ma’an News Agency.


The Ma’an News Agency article has been brought to Daphna Baram’s attention. On the Cif comment thread she says:

I’m looking into the Maan report and will update hwen I have a conclusive answer. However, the question whether the PA is using it or not is marginal to the story. Knowing the Palestinian narrative is in the interest of Israelis. The Israelis are the ones with their hand on the palestinian lifelines, and the Palestinians are the ones fighting a war of liberation. Comparing between Israel and the PA as if their were equal sides in a war is ludicrous. That said, if indeed the PA banned the book – I will let you know shortly.

Read rest of post, here.

6 replies »

  1. In the comments to being caught in a bald-faced fabrication, Baram tries to downplay her incompetence by talking about a vague “process in Israel” and saying the proof that she lied her ass off here are “not relevant”. While she’s not referring to the entire Left/Islamist alliance of convenience against Israel…”not relevant” IS a pretty apt descriptive for them, isn’t it?

  2. Her interpolations btl were the height of incompetence. It became clear that she wasn’t sure precisely what she was talking about or what is or isn’t relevant.

  3. No shame no pride no self-respect,three things that are essential for Israelis
    Like Baram,that are needed to write for the Guardian.

  4. “she lied her ass off”

    She did — and in her case, that’s quite a substantial undertaking.