Nurit Peled-Elhanan

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Nurit Peled-Elhanan
Nurit Peled-Elhanan.jpg
Nurit Peled-Elhanan in a meeting of the European Parliament
Born (1949-05-17) 17 May 1949 (age 70)
Occupationphilologist, professor of language and education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
RelativesMiko Peled (brother)
AwardsSakharov Prize (2001)

Nurit Peled-Elhanan (Hebrew: נורית פלד-אלחנן; born 17 May 1949 in Jerusalem) is an Israeli philologist, professor of language and education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, translator, and a human rights activist. She is a 2001 co-laureate of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought awarded by the European Parliament.[1][2] She is known for her research on the portrayal of Palestinians in Israeli textbooks, which she has criticized as being anti-Palestinian. She has also criticized George W. Bush, Tony Blair, and Ariel Sharon for fostering anti-Muslim views.[3][4]


Nurit Peled-Elhanan was raised in a leftist family in Jerusalem's Rehavia neighborhood. She described her home growing up as a leftist-Zionist home. Her grandfather, Avraham Katsnelson, signed Israel's Declaration of Independence.[5] She is the daughter of Matti Peled, an Israeli Major-General, scholar of Arabic literature, a member of Knesset and a noted peace activist. Elhanan's daughter, Smadar, was killed at the age of thirteen in the 1997 Ben Yehuda Street Palestinian suicide attack in Jerusalem.[1]

Her brother, Miko Peled is an activist for Palestinian rights, and author of the 2012 book, The General's Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine.[6]


Peled-Elhanan is a professor of language and education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a 2001 co-laureate of the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.[3][2][4][1] She has translated Albert Memmi's Le racisme (1982) and Marguerite Duras' Écrire (1993) into Hebrew.[7][8] Her book, Palestine in Israeli Books: Ideology and Propaganda in Education, was released in the U.K. in April 2012.


On Israel[edit]

In Palestine in Israeli School Books: Ideology and Propaganda in Education, which was released in the UK in April 2012, Nurit Peled-Elhanan describes the depiction of Arabs in Israeli schoolbooks as racist. She states that their only representation is as "refugees, primitive farmers and terrorists," claiming that in "hundreds and hundreds" of books, not one photograph depicted an Arab as a "normal person."[3]

The Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education criticized Peled-Elhanan's paper, "The Presentation of Palestinians in Israeli Schoolbooks of History and Geography 1998–2003", which was based on seven schoolbooks, for being "highly selective [in its] use of source material, leaving out all references which contradict [its] thesis," "[a] deliberate misinterpretation of facts" and "[i]naccurate, distorted, and even downright [based on] false evidence." The author Arnon Groiss concluded that "Peled-Ehanan's claim regarding this point is clearly false ... This heavily politicized and thus biased approach distorts the material to produce a picture to her liking." Groiss further criticized the work of Peled-Elhanan for stretching the definition of racism to include cases that researchers would normally categorize as ethnocentrism. To date, the paper has not been published by scholarly journals.[9]

Elhanan criticized Israeli writer A. B. Yehoshua for comments he made in reference to the cultural gap between Jews and Arabs that Yehoshua said was the reason they could never live together. She said that in her eyes Ehud Olmert, Ehud Barak, Ismail Haniyeh, and Hezbollah are equivalent: "They enjoy watching children die." When asked about an incident in which residents of a neighborhood in East Jerusalem had a barbecue near a Jewish neighborhood during Yom Kippur, shouted through megaphones and attacked Jews returning from synagogue, Elhanan said that the occupation and lack of neighborhood services generated hate and "hate creates things like that."[1]

On the USA and United Kingdom[edit]

Elhanan has stated, "The ones that are hurt are never the ones that deserve it. Was George Bush killed in the Twin Towers disaster? No. He ought to have been killed."[1]

In 2007 she implied that Bush, Tony Blair and Ariel Sharon were destroying the world and accused the United States and United Kingdom of "infecting their respective citizens with blind fear of the Muslims, who are depicted as vile, primitive and bloodthirsty, apart from their being non-democratic, chauvinistic and mass producers of future terrorists."[10]


  1. ^ a b c d e Hyman, Yuval (7 January 2009). האם השכולה שתומכת בפלסטינים [The bereaved mother that supports the Palestinians]. Nrg Maariv (in Hebrew). Retrieved 15 June 2012. היא גדלה בבית עם אופי שמאלי מובהק בשכונת רחביה. 'גדלתי בבית ציוני-שמאלני', היא מספרת." "לפני כשנה התראיין הסופר א. ב. יהושע וטען כי ליהודים וערבים אין סיכוי לחיות יחד בגלל פערי תרבות. 'איזה כיף ליהושע שהוא מצא את התשובה', היא מגיבה בציניות גלויה, 'שהוא יכול לשבת בחיפה ולהרגיש ממש טוב. כיף להיות א. ב. יהושע. אני חושבת שזאת שטות ממדרגה ראשונה'." "אהוד אולמרט, אהוד ברק, אסמאעיל הניה, חזבאללה, הם בשבילי כולם אותו דבר. הם נהנים לראות ילדים מתים." "לאור הכיבוש האכזרי, לאור הרמיסה, לאור זה שבבית צפפא אין שום שירותים קהילתיים בכלל, זה יוצר שנאה, ושנאה יוצרת דברים כאלה." "מי שנפגע זה אף פעם לא מי שמגיע לו. באסון התאומים ג'ורג' בוש נהרג? לא. הוא היה צריך להיהרג.
  2. ^ a b "Projects - Nagel institute". Nagel Institute for the Study of World Christianity at Calvin College. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  3. ^ a b c Academic claims Israeli school textbooks contain bias
  4. ^ a b "20 years of the Sakharov Prize: Human rights and reconciliation".
  5. ^ "About Miko".
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 May 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Bibliography on Arab and Muslim Antisemitism". Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism. 2005. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
  8. ^ גלעדי, אמוץ (27 August 2010). "אני יודעת כל מה שאפשר לדעת כשאין יודעים דבר". Haaretz. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
  9. ^ Comments on Nurit Peled-Elhanan’s paper: “The Presentation of Palestinians in Israeli Schoolbooks of History and Geography 1998–2003” Archived 5 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Paul, Jonny (21 August 2007). "UN conference to be hosted by the European Parliament draws harsh criticism". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 17 June 2012.