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Friday, August 30, 2013

Israeli Curriculum for Arabs in Jerusalem, A Pragmatic move?

Last night as I was observing Arab families shopping in Yafiz, Sha'ar Binyamin, I couldn't help but notice how loving many of the fathers were towards their kids.  Suddenly I thought to myself:
"Would these fathers want their children killing themselves as a tool to murder Jews?"

Then I wondered if maybe I was just projecting my own love and value of life over ideology and hate.  Do the Arabs who promote terrorism and pass the evil onto their children shop in the Jewish-Israeli shopping center, Sha'ar Binyamin?  Do I meet, work with, serve a typical cross-section of Arabs or are these the less ideological, more pragmatic ones?

From body language and tones of voice, I can easily see many of the Arab parents admonishing their children to behave properly in the stores.  Many of the Arabs who shop in the Sha'ar Binyamin stores are forbidden to enter "Israel proper," sic, most of the State of Israel and nearby shopping/industrial areas like Mishor Adumim.  They need the right certification for that.

In the more than two and a half years since I began working in Yafiz, Sha'ar Binyamin there seems to be a slight rise in the percentage of Arabs who speak Hebrew with me.  Prior to that I used mainly English and pantomime to help them select clothing to buy.  Having a good grasp of Hebrew is a key tool for getting good jobs and a good education for the Arabs here.  The Arabs lucky enough to be employed at even the Israeli Minimum Wage jobs in Rami Levy Discount Supermarket make more money than a qualified teacher in cities such as Jenin and Shechem.  I've had discussions with Arab English teachers who told me how little a teacher makes there.

So I'm not at all surprised to read that five Arab schools in Jerusalem are switching to the Israeli school curriculum.
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- The director of education in Jerusalem has urged families with schoolchildren in Jerusalem to be aware that at least five Palestinian schools are switching to Israeli education materials.
Sameer Jibril said the Ebin Rushd and Abdulla bin Hussain schools were using Israeli education materials in the seventh and eighth grades. The Sour Baher school is using them for fourth, fifth and sixth grades, and the Ibin Khaldoun school uses it for seventh graders.

There are Arabs who are ambitious for their children and want the best possible education for them. By following the Israeli curriculum, it'll be easier for the students in these schools can more easily get into universities and get better jobs. 

Another reason the schools are switching to the Israeli Curriculum is that they will have a larger budget and higher salaries if they become part of the Israeli system.
The Israeli municipality in Jerusalem offered to increase salaries for teachers and principals who agree to implement the plans in their schools, the official said. The proposal would add about 2,000 shekels (about $550) per student enrolled in schools using Israeli curricula.

As we all know, money speaks; money speaks very loudly.

Statistics show that Arab family size is shrinking.  Many Arab families do still indoctrinate their children to do everything to oppose the State of Israel and are dangers to us, but my gut feeling is that more and more are pragmatically accepting Israel and don't want Arab rule.  They are in touch with their family and friends in Arab countries and know how difficult life is there.  That's not the life they want.  I also see over and over that local Arabs take visiting friends and family members to Sha'ar Binyamin to go shopping.  It's one of the major "must-see" sights and experiences when visiting.  The Arabs come on "shopping tours,"  oohing and ahhing over what we have to sell.  I've been told more than once that our simple family clothing store reminds them of America.

I see a great irony in the fact that despite Israel's foolish (and dangerous) decision in 1967 to allow the Arab schools in Jerusalem to continue with Jordanian curriculum, it's due to the Arabs' needs that almost a half a century after the Six Days War they are adopting Israeli educational requirements. G-d willing it's a step in the slow but sure path to a true peace.


Anonymous said...

It is important to remember that up until this very day, many AmerIndian parents on reservations, STILL educate their children that "their land was stolen", still maintain tribal identity, & etc. Yet the bottom line is, american Indians (well, the ones who can hurdle the fairly strict IQ screenings known as ASVAB) have one of the highest rates of enlisting in the US Army & Marines (very few have a sufficient score to make it into the Navy and almost none into the AirForce), and the tribal languages are severely endangered. I>E>, they are de facto assimilated beyond the point of no return.

The morale of the story is: a carrot and a stick. Bad behavior should be punished by IMMEDIATE expulsion to Gaza (Jordan signed a Peace Treaty and has the right to be treated with respect); but also - STRONG carrot-age. EG, cash rewards for passing Hebrew proficiency tests, etc. MAybe "extra" veterans benefits for Palestinians who enlist and finish a full honorable term of service. After all, the hareidi boys in the IDF are given plenty of dispensations and favors to make THEM "feel comfortable". So the precedent was set long ago!

the bottom line is one of my old mantras: an Alpha tribe doesn't whine and wring its hands - it DOES WHAT IT NEEDS TO DO to stay Top Dog.

I accuse those who disagree with this, of having a galut mentality.

Batya said...

The Europeans did steal Indian land and decimated the native population. Jews have a long documented connection to the Land of Israel.

Hidden Author said...

Yes the Jews had the land 2,000 years ago but why would the Arabs who lived in the land in the meantime give all that they had just so some *other* people could have their homeland back?

Batya said...

hidden, try history. The Arabs didn't govern, didn't take care of the land. Until the Zionists came, the population was shrinking; Arabs were leaving.