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Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Wiping Palestine off the Map

The Israeli government will remove references to what the Palestinians call the "catastrophe" of Israel's creation from textbooks for Arab schoolchildren, the country's education minister said Wednesday.

The reference to "al-naqba" or catastrophe, what the Palestinian's call their defeat and exile in the war over Israel's 1948 creation, was controversially inserted by a dovish education minister for the first time in 2007.

The phrase remains contentious six decades after Israel was founded.

"No other country in the world, in its official curriculum, would treat the fact of its founding as a catastrophe," Education Minister Gideon Saar told Israel's parliament on Wednesday.

Israeli Arab lawmaker Hana Sweid accused the government of "naqba denial." More