The Israeli government will remove references to what Palestinians call the “catastrophe” of Israel’s creation from textbooks for Arab schoolchildren, the education minister said Wednesday.
The reference to “al-naqba,” the Arabic word catastrophe, as Palestinians call their defeat and exile in the war over Israel‘s 1948 creation, was inserted by a dovish Israeli education minister in 2007.
The phrase remains contentious six decades later, a symptom of the continuing divisions in Israel. Many Israeli Arabs identify politically with their Palestinian counterparts in the West Bank and Gaza. As a result, some Israeli Jews accuse Israeli Arabs of disloyalty to the country.