Abir Kopty مدوّنة عبير قبطي

You will never be free until you respect the freedom of others

Natseret Ilit: “There is no need for our children to be educated with Arabs”

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Only few days ago, Haaretz published disturbing, though not surprising, survey that was conducted among Jewish Israelis, where most Israelis supported Apartheid regime in Israel.
Among many disturbing data in the survey, 42% of the questionnaires said they don’t want to live in the same building with Arabs and 42% don’t want their children in the same class with Arab children.

Soon enough this is illustrated in real life.

According to Walla news website, parents of Jewish children in kindergarten “Lilach” in Natseret Illit (Upper Nazareth), are threatening to make a strike and shut down the garden, if the kindergarten will integrate in a project that will bring Arab children and Jewish ones together.
Kindergarten “Lilach”, in the city of Natzrat Ilit, was included in the pilot project of the Israeli Ministry of Education. The new project “know the different” is designed to connect between Jews and Arabs in order to promote “co-existence”. As part of the project, “Lilach” will host every week, the children from “Nitsan” kindergarten, to which Palestinian families in Nazareth Illit send their children. The project aims to expose the children to the culture of each side, and promote educational cooperation between the two.
The parents of Jewish children are trying to prevent such project from happening in any possible way. The chairman of the parents’ committee told Walla: “I won’t give a hand to make my daughter learn about the customs and traditions of the Arab community”. He added “it is enough to me that we live near each other, there is no need for our children to be educated with Arabs.” 
One of the mothers added: “I do not understand why my son should learn about Christmas customs or other non-Jewish ones. We live in Israel, a country with a Jewish character. There is no point in trying to educate our children differently. “
The Jewish parents resorted to the rabbi of Nazareth Illit, Rabbi Yesha’yahu Herzel, asking him to help convincing the mayor, Shimon Gabso, to cancel the project. The Rabbi told Walla, “The matter is examined. I understand the desire of parents. We have enough problems of integration in our own nation”. He then explained that “the parents are concerned that such relationship can cause problems in the future, such as assimilation, or exposure to non-kosher foods.”
The parents committee threatened the local council and the Ministry of Education to shut down the school year and closes the kindergarten, if no solutions are found. “We will make complete separation in the kindergarten,” said the Chairman of the committee.
The parents have a backup from elected figure in the city, Wolf Hartmann, city council member and a candidate for the mayor’s office, said: “We view this issue with great severity. I will appeal to the Minister of Education and present to him the severity of the problem. I have no doubt that this project will not happen.”

“Upper Nazareth” or Natseret Ilit was established in the mid 50s as a Jewish settlement on lands confiscated from the largest Palestinian city Nazareth and it’s neighboring Palestinian villages. With the years, many Palestinian families moved to live in Natseret Ilit. They are estimated to compose now 20% of the population in the city, which is seen by many racist movements and figures in the city as a “Threat” to the city’s Jewish character. Read more about the city and about another racist incidence.

If this is the environment Jewish children are raised into, in addition to the education system that teaches children to hate, and the militaristic society in which children are born, no wonder that most Israelis support Apartheid in Israel.

Author: abirkopty

Palestinian social, feminist and political activist.

2 thoughts on “Natseret Ilit: “There is no need for our children to be educated with Arabs”

  1. Thanks for this posting, it is sad to wake up this morning to such racism in the news. It hearkens back to memories of apartheid South Africa. Separate schools, buses, roads, services. Maybe it is wishful thinking that artists and musicians will boycott Israel en masse. But if they do not wake up to the fact that performing on the privileged side for Israel’s select people is allowing oneself to be used to endorse apartheid, then the end will arrive all the later, not sooner. To end it should be the goal. Though not the goal for governments (maybe never will be), it can be the goal for artists. True artists.

    Like

  2. Pingback: Natzrat Ilit: 'there is no need for our children to be educated with Arabs

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