How Christians and Christianity are presented in the Israeli curricula

On Wednesday, 03 November, Sabeel met with Israeli scholar Orit Ramon, who co-published an academic book with two other authors last year about the way Christians and Christianity are presented in the different curricula and teaching in the Israeli state education system. From the side of Sabeel there were six teachers who are Israeli Christian Palestinians living in the Galilee. This meeting, held over Zoom, took place in the context of increasing attacks on churches by Israeli Jewish citizens, whom the Israeli government explains are psychologically unstable or unhealthy. However, Professor Ramon’s research shows that the Israeli state curricula and teaching portray Christians and Christianity (as well as anyone who is not Jewish or even Jewish Orthodox) in a very negative way, creating hatred among school children towards Christians. The curricula in particular draws on the history of anti-Semitism in Europe and the involvement of the Church in harboring antisemitic feelings.

In June, Sabeel organized a meeting for the Christian community and which was attended by many Christian leaders to discuss the spike in attacks on individuals, churches and christian cemeteries. The attacks have been occurring at about an average of two or three per month in the past year. Although they could be seen as simply part of the ongoing violence between Palestinians and Israeli Jews, Sabeel wanted to examine the situation further. Sabeel is planning next to meet with Jewish centers in Israel that focus on Christian-Jewish relations to discuss their work and the possibility of collaboration.