Yale Professor Blasts 'Blindness' of Israeli Education Minister Over School Textbook Report

Bruce Wexler, who supervised controversial report that cleared Palestinians of 'demonization', tells Forward that Israel 'is holding on to propaganda report it knows to be false.'

Professor Bruce Wexler, the Yale University psychiatry professor who designed the comparative study of Israeli and Palestinian school textbooks, has blasted the “blind spots” of Israeli Education Minister Gideon Saar, saying: “National leaders who have those blind spots make for poor and dangerous national leaders.”

Wexler’s outburst, reported in the Forward, came in response to the Education Ministry’s harsh condemnation of the report “Portrayal of the Other” that examined Israeli and Palestinian school textbook and found that both sides do not “demonize” the other, but are equally guilty of distorting history.

Israel, which has made the condemnation of the anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish content of Palestinian textbooks a focal point of its hasbara efforts against the Palestinian Authority, lambasted the report as biased, unscientific and unprofessional.

Wexler, an emeritus professor of psychiatry at Yale University who supervised the joint Israeli-Palestinian study told Nathan Jeffay of The Forward: “Frankly I think that the minister of education is a great example of the power of these unilateral narratives. That man cannot see beyond the blindness that has come in to his mind. National leaders who have those blind spots make for poor and dangerous national leaders.”

“It’s painful to think that the Israeli government would rather hold on, it seems, to a propaganda point that they know to be false than they would to get real change in the Palestinian books.”

Read the full report

Moti Milrod