PM Olmert
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Olmert: Only secular Jew can adequately manage haredi education

Addressing Knesset plenum regarding education crisis, PM slams haredi establishment: ‘If you (haredim) were allowed to manage haredi education, you would destroy it'

At a special Knesset session addressing the ongoing education crisis Wednesday, PM Ehud Olmert noted that the longstanding problems facing Israel’s education system cannot be easily resolved.


“Do you think that a 20-year crisis can be magically mended with a single resolution, with a single strike?” Olmert asked the Knesset plenum, not sparing jabs at the MKs who petitioned for the special Knesset session but failed to attend. The special Knesset meeting was called following a petition by 40 MKs, as indicated by the Basic Law: The Government.


Olmert also implied that the education crisis did not begin during his term his office, and thus runs far too deep to be ‘magically’ resolved with a single Knesset bill or resolution.


“Let’s put all of our cards on the table,” said the PM, “whoever thinks that a single political resolution, a single strike can reverse this state of affairs overnight is simply kidding themselves.”


The prime minister spared no punches for haredi education in particular. Addressing MK Yakov Litzman of United Torah Judaism, Olmert stated:” I will tell you what I had told your colleagues before…. If you (haredim) were allowed to run the haredi education system you would destroy it, because you would only hurt one another.”


Olmert furthermore noted: “The haredi children in Jerusalem had always thanked me for managing their education and said that they were lucky that I was not haredi. Only a secular Jew can manage Haredi education with any semblance of integrity.”


Litzman hits back

In response to Olmert's attacks, Litzman said: "There is no way that they're going to meddle with our education (system) and force us to insert the 'core issues.


"For almost 60 years we've been handling our own affairs. Suddenly, they want to get involved? We don't have drugs and violence in our schools. Finally, there is a good education system in this country and now they want to destroy this as well?"


פרסום ראשון: 01.02.08, 14:34
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