Considering the current policy and the reality of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, teaching modern Hebrew from an early age to Palestinian-Arab pupils in Israel is a breakthrough in the Palestinian-Arab language education policy. It has far-reaching educational, cultural, political, and ideological consequences. The creation of modern Hebrew was central to the Zionist settler project in Palestine. Hebrew language education among PalestinianArab pupils has undergone radical changes regarding when and why they should begin learning the language. These topics have not been treated sufficiently in the existing literature. This paper will examine the perceptions of the parents of young Palestinian-Arab pupils regarding learning Hebrew from kindergarten onwards. Using a semi-structured interview protocol carried out via Zoom, eighteen parents were interviewed about various issues related to learning Hebrew from an early age, and the arising results were subsequently analysed. The issues concerned pedagogical, social, economic, political, and ideological factors influencing the parents’ perceptions of the topic under analysis: a) a need — integrating into Israeli society; b) a difficulty — Hebrew as a burden on the learner; and c) impingement — maintenance of, and threats to Palestinian-Arab identities.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© Journal of Holy Land and Palestine Studies.
- Hegemonic Language
- Language Attitudes
- Language Education Policy
- National Identity