WASHINGTON (Aug. 31)
Rep. Thomas C. McGrath, Jr., New Jersey Democrat, proposed in a House speech today that Americans should help establish” a comprehensive Arab-Jewish elementary school” to promote integration in Nazareth, Israel. Rep. McGrath said that, on a recent visit to Israel, President Zalman Shazar agreed with him that a school to educate Arab and Jewish children between the ages of 12 and 18 would be “an excellent starting point” in promotion of Arab-Jewish mutual trust.
The Congressman said: “During my visit to Israel, I noted that Arab and Jewish children are now taught in separate schools. This system gives rise to the possibility that future citizens of Israel will be divided in their attitudes toward the state and widen the gap of suspicion that has existed between the two communities since the creation of Israel in 1948.”
Advocating an integrated school in Nazareth, where he indicated separate schools now exist for Arab and Jewish communities, the Congressman said it would help reduce “the tensions that exist between the Jews and Arabs within Israel.” He said: “This is a process we have seen working right here in the United States, where racial tensions and unwarranted fears have dissipated through everyday contact between youngsters of the Negro and white races in the classroom.”
Rep. McGrath told the House that a balance of military power “can at best provide only a temporary and unstable peace between the Arab states and Israel.” He advocated education as a means of building trust. “Matching jet plane for jet plane, missile for missile and gun for gun may stave off a military show-down,” he said, “but only mutual trust and respect between Arab and Jew — which once flourished in Palestine — can bring true peace.” He estimated the cost of the proposed Nazareth educational project at $665,000, and urged Americans to contribute toward realizing the proposal.