Palestinians Call Encouragment of Arab Enrollment at Israeli Universities ‘Racist’
Haaretz reported on Sunday:
The Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage Ministry is expected to provide special funding topping 20 million shekels ($5.2 million) for the small minority of schools that teach the Israeli curriculum in East Jerusalem, where nearly all the city’s Palestinians live.
Most schools in the city’s east teach the Palestinian curriculum, while graduates of those schools take the Palestinian Authority’s matriculation exam. But in recent years, more schools have begun offering the Israeli curriculum.
This lets students take the Israeli matriculation exam, easing their acceptance into Israeli colleges and universities. Surveys have also found that increasing numbers of East Jerusalem Palestinian parents prefer that their children study the Israeli curriculum to improve their children’s educational and employment prospects.
In Palestinian areas of the city there are 180 schools that are either government institutions or private schools that receive Israeli Education Ministry funding. Last year only 10 of those schools offered classes geared toward the Israeli matriculation exam.
That number is expected to rise to 14 this year, but at most of these schools only some of the students study for the Israeli exam, representing only about 3 percent of the students overall.
The Jerusalem municipality and the Israeli Education Ministry plan to stoke the modest trend. About a year ago, the ministry approved a plan for East Jerusalem that gives priority to schools teaching the Israeli curriculum.
Seems uncontroversial; Israel is trying to encourage Arab schools to use Israeli standards, which help students go to Israeli universities and become productive members of society.
Which naturally means that Palestinians are freaking out over this.
Wafa runs an overview of daily Palestinian newspaper stories, and this story was the top story in all major papers:
Al-Quds reported Higher Education Minister Sabri Saidam describing the Israeli request as a “declaration of war against the Arab and Palestinian existence in East Jerusalem.”
As far as I can tell, the plan does not take away existing funding; it is purely a reward, not a penalty. But the PA media is pretending otherwise, and the over-the-top statement by Saidam is par for the course.
In fact, Saidam went further, and offered free textbooks for schools that refuse to use the Israeli curriculum. His over the top rhetoric is below:
Saidam called this an ugly Israelization campaign, stressing the protection of the Palestinian national identity in the holy city by refusing all attempts of Israelization and policies to impose the Israeli curriculum and fight the national curriculum. The ministry renewed its call to all institutions and human rights organizations and media to address these unfair practices that affect the Jerusalem schools, especially nowadays, which is witnessing a war like no other against education in Jerusalem.
It gets better.
Ma’an reported: “The Higher Education Council denounced the racist practices of the occupation concerning the right to education in Jerusalem, led the onslaught being waged against the Palestinian curriculum and procedures by the occupation which seeks to attract Palestinian students to Israeli universities.”
Yes, the Israelis are violating human rights by trying to increase the number of Arabs that attend Israeli universities.
If that isn’t racism, what is?