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Right to Education

Hadash: Exempt Arabs from Jewish studies

Written by admin  •  Tuesday, 21.04.2009, 22:22

Knesset Member Afu Aghbaria sends Education Minister Sa’ar enraged letter slamming new curriculum focused on Jewish heritage

Knesset Member Afu Aghbaria (Hadash) demanded Tuesday that Arab heritage be introduced into the national education system’s curriculum.

Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar declared upon taking office that he will reinstate Jewish heritage studies into the curriculum, prompting Aghbaria to send him a letter detailing his reservations over the new plan.

“I hope students in Arab schools will be exempt from this curriculum, meant only to celebrate

Afu Aghbaria Photo: Dudi Vaaknin

Zionism,” he wrote, further urging the Education Ministry to teach Jewish students about the Arab villages destroyed by Israel.

“I would expect you to push for tours of Arab communities – those standing and those turned to rubble. The unrecognized villages of the Negev should also be toured.”

Aghbaria also criticized the fact that the new curriculum was prepared without consulting Arab figures. “Arabs make up about one fifth of Israel’s population. Naturally, they do not share the Zionist vision, which is at the heart of your new plan.

“It is hard to assume that the Education Ministry wishes to bolster the Jewish roots of students raised in line with Islam, Christianity and the Druze religion,” he added.

The Hadash MK also voiced his astonishment about the fact that this was Sa’ar’s first decision in office: “I hope and expect you to initiate a different plan, one which emphasizes the need to strengthen and improve the frail ties between the Jewish majority and Arab minority. This kind of plan may induce a positive reform among both communities.”

As for Sa’ar’s proposed plan to compel all schools to conduct tours of Jerusalem, Aghbaria wrote: “Regardless of the legal status of Jerusalem, which is disputed according to international law, I would expect you to push for a plan which includes tours meant to advance good neighborly relations between Jews and Arabs.

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