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Israeli Parliament Votes Down Request for Inquiry into Education

The Israel Parliament voted down today a move designed to precipitate a debate and an inquiry into charges that the government had discriminated against religious education.

Itzhak Raphael, a deputy of the United Religious Party, who asked for the debate proffered a long list of alleged abuses including charges that religious parents in new settlements were pressed not to register their children in Orthodox schools. Other religious deputies asserted that new immigrants in some settlements had petitioned for religious schools.

A spokesman for the government deplored the injection of politics into education. He asserted that the Ministry of Education had received requests from recent immigrants to transfer their children from religious to secular schools because in rural areas the religious schools had lower educational standards.