Prof. Ruth Gavison
Photo: Douglas Guthry

Prof. Gavison: Secular education's ignorance endangers State

Speaking at Mandel Leadership Institute, Hebrew University law professor warns against secular nescience, segregation of Arab and haredi education

The cultural ignorance of the secular education endangers the State's strength, Professor Ruth Gavison warned Sunday evening at the graduation ceremony of the Mandel Leadership Institution in Jerusalem.


The Hebrew University law professor also warned against the lack of joint civil studies in the different streams of education.


Gavison complained that students of the state education system are unaware of the importance of a Jewish state and do not know why the battle for its existence has yet to end.


"There is nothing which determines the State's strength more than the education it gives the young generation," she said.


"In a state like Israel, educational policy should reflect the national, religious and cultural plurality, but also the joint objectives of the entire state. In practice, Israel gives preponderance to the multitude of minority groups, and fails to sufficiently stress the joint civil core, and the education for a rich identity of the Jewish-Zionist enterprise's key group – the Zionist group which does not observe mitzvot."


'Haredim unwilling to integrate into society'

In an overall and harsh attack on the Israeli education system, Prof. Gavison went on to say that "in the Arab sector there is complete freedom to defy the legitimacy of the State's Jewishness, to argue that Israel must give up its Jewish uniqueness, and even to renounce basic duties of taking part in the civil life.


"This is a dangerous trend, both for the State and for the stability of the delicate link between majority and minority in Israel," she added.


"The haredim, on the other hand, are unwilling to introduce core citizenship studies and integrations into the economy and society, and a significant number of them do not serve in the army and are not integrated into the workforce. This trend was recently backed by the political system for coalitional considerations."


She then stressed the problematic character of the secular society. "The secular Zionist majority in Israel does not receive parallel education which is rich with identity, but rather a neutral education fitting the perception of the civil state. This majority is not given tools to significantly deal with the identity problems and the rightness of the way, which are a critical part of the ongoing success of the Zionist battle today.


"The combination of these trends endangers Israel in terms of its chances to survive in the long term as a state defending the Jewish people's right for self-definition, which is both democratic and defends its residents' human rights, and thriving."


The graduation ceremony was also attended by Education Ministry Director-General Shlomit Amichai, billionaire and philanthropist Morton Mandel, graduates of the Mandel Leadership Institute and leading education officials from the different sectors.


פרסום ראשון: 09.08.08, 07:47
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