It’s no secret. Most people outside of Israel see Israel in a negative (false) light. It’s important to counter this erroneous perception of Israel in an effective manner.
One way to do this is in the classroom. It’s easy enough to teach students facts and dates, but more difficult to teach them critical thinking. A great way to get kids to exercise their thinking muscles is to ask them how they feel about something, show them a provocative video clip, and then quiz them again to see what impact the clip has had on their viewpoints.
Here is a clip that is not new, but is certainly an eye-opener, especially if you come to the table with negative perceptions about Israel. The clip is from mid-May, 2013. Black Israeli students are sent to Cape Town to counter the notion of Israeli Apartheid. The students spend close to a week in the South African city, talking about their lives in Israel with those they meet. This clip is from a presentation the students made to some 200 audience members.
Suggested Lesson Plan
In terms of using this clip in the classroom, a teacher might begin with a question, “Is Israel an Apartheid state?” and then allow the students to respond. The teacher can draw out the students by asking open-ended questions, or questions that elicit more than a yes or no response. For example, “In what way does Israel practice Apartheid?” and “What is occupation?” and “Why does Israel insist on recognition as a Jewish State?”
After the discussion has gone on for 15 minutes, show the students the clip, then ask them the same questions you asked at the beginning of the lesson. To wrap things up, ask students if the video has changed their minds. Here are some questions you might add:
- How did the clip change your viewpoint? Why?
- What do you think of Israel now?
- What do you think of the Arab narrative now that you’ve watched the film clip?
The great thing about this lesson plan is that it teaches young people not to accept at face value, everything they hear, but to remain open-minded and to look for sources that counter accepted notions. It teaches students critical thinking. This lesson plan is also suitable for students from around the age of 10 through college age.
This clip may or may not change their minds. But it will get them thinking. It will get them to explore and consider other views.
And that’s all Israel really wants: a fair hearing.