(April 25, 2019 / JNS) Haute École Pédagogigue (HEP), a Swiss teacher-training institute in Lausanne in the French-speaking Canton of Vaud, has modified a teacher-training seminar on the Israeli-Arab conflict to address accusations that the original speakers trafficked in blatant anti-Israel and anti-Semitic views. As the result of community activism, the April 29-30 course designed for high school teachers will now be balanced to include pro-Israel perspectives.
The controversy began last summer, when HEP advertised an October course titled: “1948: Knowing and Teaching the Palestinian Nakba [‘Catastrophe’].” The term nakba is often used by anti-Zionists to refer to a so-called “holocaust” perpetrated against Palestinians upon Israel’s War or Independence. Original speakers included Israeli academics mainstream pro-Israel analysts consider to be anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian propagandists. They include Shlomo Sand, a professor at Tel Aviv University and author of The Invention of the Jewish People; and Ilan Pappé, professor at University of Exeter and a regular at pro-Palestinian events who calls for a boycott of Israel.
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