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A Sentiment-Free Arabic: On the Creation of the Israeli Accelerated Arabic Language Studies Programme

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This article analyses the creation of the accelerated Arabic language studies programme in the Israeli-Jewish school system, ‘The Oriental Classes’, over the years 1950–67. The article investigates the networks that enabled and controlled the ‘Oriental Classes’, the main actors involved in its operation, the aims of this programme as well as the ways to achieve them. It argues that this flagship programme serves as an example of the dominant orientation with which Arabic studies have been associated in Israeli-Jewish society, that of political and military intelligence needs, and that this can add a new angle to our understanding of the way Israel perceives the Arab world, vis-à-vis its relations with the Arab ‘other’ and the Palestinian citizens of Israel.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Politics and Government, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel

Publication date: May 1, 2013

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