About 20 million shekels will be allocated by the Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage Ministry, seeking to increase number of schools teaching Israeli curriculum in Arab neighborhoods; 'Pupils in East Jerusalem deserve to learn in adequate structure because it's their right,' human-rights group says.
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.
In contacts between ministry officials and the city, the stress is funding for physical improvements such as computer rooms and sports facilities to schools teaching the Israeli curriculum. Lower down the list is expanded instructional time.
Nisreen Alyan, a lawyer for the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, said there should be no connection between funding priorities and whether the Israeli curriculum is taught, noting that the Palestinian curriculum was used with Israeli approval. "Pupils in East Jerusalem deserve to learn in adequate structure because it's their right," she told Haaretz.
But the Jerusalem municipality said there was increasing demand for the Israeli curriculum, and many schools were not offering it, hence the special funding.
Jerusalem Affairs Minister Zeev Elkin added that the approach was to provide employment-related skills including Hebrew lessons and preparation for the Israeli matriculation exam.
“The idea is very simple. We want to help the school that is prepared to go in these directions to improve the employment integration of its students,” Elkin said. “We’ve seen the desire and demand from the parents, and we believe that market forces will work in this case.”
For 60 years, the establishment, media and courts have colluded to hide the truth about this ugly affair that dismantles the Zionist story we like to tell ourselves.
If the issue of the missing Yemenite Jewish children did not involve an ethnic as well as a criminal angle, it would have been resolved a long time ago. But who will dare admit that many Jewish children were abducted from their parents by other Jews, in a phenomenon with racist overtones, right after the Holocaust? Thus, the story is buried deep underground, evidence is destroyed and the public is lied to for over 60 years.
There were abductions of Yemenite Jewish children, and these were deliberate and systematic. One can learn about them first of all from the testimonies of the parents. Anyone disbelieving them should examine the filters through which they allow reality to permeate their consciousness. I immediately believed these parents when I first interviewed them in 1994 on Israel Radio. Their testimonies were clear and incisive, unless you believe that Yemenite Jews are chronic fantasizers. That would dovetail with statements such as “we established this state and you should be grateful that we’ve brought you here,” which I’ve been hearing lately.
When a woman gives birth to a healthy baby who is shown to her, and right after that a doctor comes in and tells her that since she “pressed too hard” the baby was stillborn, one doesn’t need a high school diploma to realize that the baby was kidnapped. When 40 babies are sent together from the Atlit transit camp to Jerusalem for “immunization” and they never return, any reasonable person understands that what happened was not “immunization.” If three Yiddish speakers arrive at the baby dorms at the Ein Shemer camp in the evening hours, after most staff members and mothers have gone, and collect babies from their cribs before disappearing forever, even a Yemenite speaker can understand that something is rotten.
There are many more such testimonies. One can add to these reports by Knesset members in the 1950s and 1960s, telling of sales of children for money and a “black market for children.” There are also the words of Justice Shneur Zalman Cheshin in that period, describing fictitious adoption papers that were granted by wily ruses. One realizes that this was a covert and comprehensive scheme.
It’s not as far-fetched as it may sound today. It’s hard to convey the depth of racism toward immigrants from Yemen felt by leaders of the Jewish community, among them, David Ben-Gurion himself, as well as various administrators who dealt directly with immigration and absorption of newcomers. Horrified caregivers and nurses reported that Yemenites don’t feed their children unless there are leftovers after the adults finish eating; that they give them coffee (their coffee was made from the caffeine-free husks of coffee beans, laced with cinnamon and ginger, but nurses heard ‘coffee’ and passed out); that Yemenites don’t really care if they have one child more or two less. Thus you get “moral legitimization” for transferring babies from “unfit” parents to those who are fit, as if people who considered themselves gods were handling babies as if they were playing Lego. The media were overall sympathetic to the establishment, gleefully disseminating the same racist message, as if the state’s leaders, doctors, nurses and heads of the medical establishment all sprang out of the same ideological womb, with a common heart beating in all of them. The media thereby legitimized the removal of these children from their parents.
One could of course argue that all the committees set up to examine the issue determined that none of this really happened. Let’s ignore the first two, in 1967 and 1988, irrelevant committees that had no authority, and focus on the state commission of inquiry. Never has there been a commission of inquiry in Israel which has gone to such great lengths to pursue a clear objective of not finding anything. Paradoxically and woefully, it revealed numerous findings that pointed to systematic and deliberate abductions. However, the commission made great efforts to ignore these findings, submitting an embarrassing and shameful report in 2001, limping along with excuses and meanderings only for the purpose of absolving the state from any responsibility for the affair, while avoiding greatly shaming it.
Behind the scenes of this commission there was an apparatus meant to conceal evidence, one which would do honor to any totalitarian state: Archives were destroyed, documents were falsified, witnesses reported that they had been threatened and important testimonies were heard behind closed doors. Aside from a handful of journalists, such as Ehud Ein-Gil from Haaretz and Kalman Liebskind from Makor Rishon, no one bothered reading the commission’s report, let alone examining its veracity.
Thus, the families were thrice betrayed: Once by the powerful, violent and arrogant establishment of the 1950s, then, by the courts and finally, by the media. Three power hubs, which in a democracy are supposed to sustain a system of checks and balances, instead embraced each other in a hug, unparalleled in the annals of the state, and which only Yemenite immigrants who had “arrived from the Middle Ages” could have generated. Human rights groups and enlightened fighters for the liberty and welfare of Palestinians, foreign workers, and virtually anything that moves joined in the arrogance of power brokers, suffering from a blind spot that has persisted for over 60 years.
This affair is not a “Yemenite Jews affair” but a black stain on the blue and white flag. It reflects collective guilt and a comprehensive and ongoing moral failure.
This is what needs to be done now: Expose the entire truth, analyze it, understand it, mourn it and cry out over it. Ultimately, forgiveness may follow. This will be painful. The kidnapping affair dismantles the Zionist story we like telling ourselves, of the miraculous State of Israel, moral and gracious. The continued whitewashing of the affair shatters everything we believe we are today.
The building, belonging to the Dawabshe clan whose relatives were killed in last summer's infamous arson attack, was seriously damaged; Israel Police says no evidence of politically motivated crime.
A house in the West Bank village of Duma was torched on Tuesday night, Palestinians reported, blaming Jewish settlers who allegedly hurled firebombs at it - a claim the police contest.
The house, belonging to the Dawabshe family whose relatives were killed in an infamous arson attack in the village last summer, was seriously damaged, but no one was injured in the incident, the report said.
Mohammed Raiq Dawabshe, the father of the family, was lightly hurt as a result of smoke inhalation. He said that he and his family were asleep when he heard noises from the building's surroundings followed by the noise of a light explosion. He added that he and his family managed to escape the house and that he was hurt when he tried to prevent the fire from spreading across the house.
According to Ghassan Daglas, who monitors settlers' activities in the northern West Bank, two firebombs were hurled by settlers at the building, which was then set alight.
Israel Police said that there was no evidence of politically motivated crime at the scene, but that the background to the incident seemed to be criminal.
Palestinian fire fighters reported the incident and their activity at the site, but didn’t provide details on the circumstances of the incident and whether it was a case of arson or if a technical fault led to the fire.
read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.73217
Sgt. Elor Azaria is facing manslaughter charges for shooting Abdel Fattah al-Sharif, who was killed while lying wounded on the ground.
Hundreds attended in Hebron the funeral of Abdel Fattah al-Sharif, a 21-year-old Palestinian assailant who was shot in the head by an Israeli soldier while lying wounded on the ground. The funeral took place more than two months after the March incident following the transfer of the body to the family on Friday evening.
Although Sharif's family demanded the immediate return of his body, it was withheld by Israeli security authorities. An autopsy was also carried out as part of the investigation of the case. The body was transferred to Hebron's Al-Ahli Hospital Friday evening.
On Saturday, a military procession was held from the hospital to Sharif's parents' home and from there ultimately to a cemetery in the west of Hebron, with the participation of Palestinian police officers. Along the route, hundreds of young Palestinians shouted praise for Palestinians killed by Israelis security forces. Onlookers also shouted their condemnation of Israel and the occupation.
After Sharif and an accomplice stabbed a soldier in Hebron in March, video footage made public showed that security forces had already subdued Sharif, who was seen lying on the ground when he was then shot in the head by Sgt. Elor Azaria, an Israeli army medic who is now facing manslaughter charges over the incident.
At the funeral, Sharif's father, Yusri Sharif, said the family had insisted on holding a large funeral befitting of what he said was his son's stature in death. The father said the trial of Azaria was designed to mislead international public opinion, adding that he does not believe that justice would be served in the case.
In related developments, the Israel army returned the body of a Palestinian woman who had tried to stab Border Police personnel last week near Givat Ze'ev, north of Jerusalem, at the Ras Bidu checkpoint. The Border Police force became suspicious of the woman as she approached the checkpoint. An investigation found that they then followed procedure in an effort to arrest her, including firing into the air. She reportedly continued to advance toward them, and drew a knife from her bag, at which point the border policemen shot and killed her.
Earlier last week Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan instructed the police not to return any more bodies of terrorists from East Jerusalem to the Palestinians. The directive came after hundreds of people took part in the funeral procession of Alla Abu Jamal, who had carried out a car ramming and knifing attack in Jerusalem in October that killed Rabbi Yeshayahu Krishevsky.
"I saw the infuriating photographs from the funeral, in which the terms imposed by the police and assurances from terrorist's family were violated, and a funeral was held with numerous participants, in which calls of incitement and support for terrorism were heard. The families of the terrorists lied to the High Court of Justice after they pledged to meet the demands of the police, and it is a shame that the High Court believed them and pressured the police to give back the bodies by Ramadan," Erdan wrote on his Facebook page in explaining his decision to halt handing over the bodies.
read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.721955
In anti-BDS Move, Italy Bringing Huge Academic Delegation to Israel
Dozens of researchers and academics from the two countries will meet in 'unprecedented' response to campaign to boycott Israeli universities.
In a move that Italian officials say aims to counter calls for boycotts and sanctions against Israel, Italian researchers and academics will be meeting with their counterparts in Israel this week for a series of joint conferences and other cooperative events.
A series of 10 simultaneous conferences will be held across Israel between Tuesday and Friday. Dozens of researchers will be sharing the latest discoveries in fields ranging from robotics to plastic surgery.
“It’s an unprecedented effort to respond concretely on a very delicate issue,” Francesco Talo, the Italian ambassador to Israel, told Haaretz. “We believe that research and universities should be free and open to dialogue and exchange.”
While the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement in Italy has been less successful than elsewhere in the West, it has been pushing for local universities to cut ties with Israeli institutions.
Earlier this year, some 300 Italian academics signed a petition calling on Italian universities to cancel cooperation agreements with Haifa’s Technion and other Israeli universities.
“We thought that the best answer would be action: to concretely do exactly the opposite of what some people ask us to do and bring a significant number of Italian researchers and academics to Israel,” Talo told Haaretz in a telephone interview on Sunday. “Everybody is free to say what they want, but we will respond with actions.”
Rome has frequently voiced its opposition to the BDS campaign. During a visit to Israel last year, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said in a speech to the Knesset that whoever boycotts Israel “is boycotting himself” and “betraying his own future.”
New treatments for heart disease
The delegation to Israel will be the largest ever brought by Italy, including more than 60 researchers, as well as representatives of the Italian Conference of Rectors, which gathers the leaders of major Italian universities. The group will be led by Education and Science Minister Stefania Giannini.
The conferences will focus on different topics in the sciences and the humanities, including new treatments for heart disease; the use of robotics to help elderly and disabled people; the latest advances in plastic surgery; research into cures for rare diseases; bioethics, psychology and economics.
The conferences, most of which will be held in Tel Aviv, are free and open to the public, although some require registration.
On Thursday morning the entire delegation will gather at the Peres Center for Peace in Tel Aviv, where three cooperation agreements in the fields of material sciences and biophysics between Italian and Israeli universities will be signed.
The events are meant to coincide with Italy’s national day, which falls on Thursday and will be marked with other celebrations, including the presentation in Israel of the recent Italian translation of the Talmud and a festival of Italian folk dancing in Tel Aviv.
read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.722160