As children all over Israel headed back to school on Sunday, September 1, it’s expected that they will immediately start to feel the effects of the appointment of far-right and religious fanatic Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) leader and Yamina (To the Right) Knesset candidate Rafi Peretz as education minister.
In the high school grades, students will be taught the text of the racist “State-Nation Law” and debate “what it means to be a Jewish state.” Peretz contends that it’s very important to teach our historical rights as a sovereign state, as articulated in the law.”
Hadash MK and Joint List Knesset candidate Yousef Jabareen called on principals and parents to resist any attempts to teach high-schoolers about the law. “We reject this attempt to integrate Peretz’s racist ideology into the curriculum,” Jabareen said.
MK Ofer Cassif saud: “The minister of education is inching the system for educating our children ever-closer towards becoming one of extreme brainwashing. The very same education minister, who added the racist Nation-State Law to the high school curriculum, prefers not to address the overcrowding of classrooms, improving teachers’ pay or strengthening the educational system – but only to add more and more religious and racist content.”
In a report Wednesday night, August 28, Channel 13 news aired controversial excerpts from lessons at a “pre-military academy” that the education minister founded and led until he became the head of the Jewish Home party earlier this year. The report related how hundreds of videos from lessons at the Otzem Pre-Military Torah Academy were taken offline shortly after Peretz entered politics. The lessons, it said, encouraged a fear of secularism and called for converting the secular to a religious lifestyle. During one lesson, Peretz himself said, “I’m telling you we are in the middle of huge steps, huge steps toward the return of prophecy to Israel…. Instead of universities, in that period in the past there were schools of prophecy. We will slowly get back to that.”