Bintel Blog

Israel's Education Minister: 'Ghetto' Conditions at Petah Tikva Schools.

By Nathan Jeffay

  • Print
  • Share Share

It is one of the most emotive education stories to hit the Israeli media in a long time. There are 109 Ethiopian immigrants in Petah Tikva near Tel Aviv who don’t know where they are going to school when studies start tomorrow, because the local religious schools won’t take them.

Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar today spoke of schools creating “ghetto” conditions in this report and video and opposition leader Tzipi Livni is on record saying that the schools “don’t act according to the basic principles of equality. Sa’ar has cut state funding to the schools, which are all semi-private meaning this constitutes a loss of 60% to 75% of their income.

In Petah Tikva, children and parents demonstrated, carrying signs saying “enough with discrimination,” “enough with racism,” and “since when do schools teach racism?” Ethiopian-born Kadima lawmaker Shlomo Molla has called on the Education Ministry to “complete the puzzle and take away the three racist schools’ licenses.”

What makes this such a strong story in the media is the fact that in an Israel of complex questions and political uncertainty this is a news item about what appears to be a clear-cut wrong which provokes the same response from almost everyone, pretty much regardless of political orientation.

However the schools claim that they are misunderstood and say that all immigrant students require extra assistance in school, and that Ethiopian students, who come from a very different educational culture, have a greater reliance on special educational methodologies and resources than others.

Claiming it is about manpower not racism, the schools said yesterday that they had reached a compromise agreement with the Petach Tikva municipality that would see them take a third of the pupils if personal Education Ministry-funded study programs were provided for each pupil. The rest of the students were to be placed in other local schools. Saar rejected this proposal, claiming that given special immigrant-only classes that some pupils would have ended up in are “a kind of small ghetto for pupils of a certain origin.”


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Israel

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.