The Education Ministry has decided to suspend an elementary school culture studies program after learning it featured a story by a writer who belonged to a terror group, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Wednesday.
The story, titled "The Little Lamp," was penned by Ghassan Kanafani, who served as the spokesman for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Kanafani was killed by a car bomb in Beirut in 1972.
The program, which is being taught in hundreds of elementary schools, was put together by the Abraham Fund Initiatives, a group promoting co-existence between Arabs and Jews in Israel.
It aims to teach kids about Arab culture.
The text caused an uproar among parents of fifth grade students who were asked to read it and write a paper about it. The parents turned to the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel, which then petitioned the Education Ministry to eliminate the program. The group further asked the ministry to reexamine its ties with the Abraham Fund.
Education Ministry Director Dalit Shtauber has decided to suspend the program pending a probe.
Amnon Be’eri-Sulitzeanu, the Abraham Fund's co-executive director, said the group wasn't aware of Kanafani's association with the Popular Front, but stressed that the program did not deal with the author in any way. He further noted that the story was approved by the Education Ministry in 2009 – to be taught to high school students. The ministry denied the text was featured in an approved lesson plan.