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Education Ministry Directives to Schools Stresses Democratic Principles

The Education Ministry has issued a set of directives to the schools, stressing the need to teach students the principles of democracy. This, the Ministry said, should be the focus of education in the next school year.

Although no political movement was mentioned by name, the set of directives was clearly an attempt aimed at trying to cope with the growing support among Israel’s youth for the views espoused by Knesset member Rabbi Meir Kahane, head of the Kach Party.

The Ministry assigned teams of teachers to prepare a comprehensive education program for the promotion of democratic values. According to the Ministry, within this framework, proper representation should be given to the variety of views in Israeli society, as long as they are expressed in a cultural manner, and do not conflict with the law.

However, the directives specifically ban any activities which may constitute incitement, promotion of violence, or animosity against certain sectors of the population, a clear reference to the Arab population. Kahane’s Kach Party seeks the removal of all Arabs from Israel.

The teachers were asked to promote discussion of Jewish-Arab relations and to systematically act to help the students overcome their prejudice. The directives apply to the entire education system, from kindergarten all the way through the final high school grade.

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