"Forcing the anthem on Arab students is a kind of rape," said chairwoman of the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee's education committee, Dr. Hala Asfanyuli, on Wednesday.
"If there is an attempt to force the Tikva anthem on Arab schools and Arab pupils, it will akin to a kind of attempted rape of their identity," she continued.
The new Education Ministry program, launched last week in a festive ceremony, seeks to examine the various aspects of Israel's national anthem, Hativka, be they historical, literary, or musical. The program also offers students options to do their final projects on the subject. The goal of the program is to arouse empathy and commitment to the anthem and its values.
The kit is comprised of a book and two CDs of 40 rare historic recordings of the anthem ranging from concentration camps to the declaration of the state, from concert halls to local rock clubs, from Barbra Streisand to Israeli rap group Subliminal.
In a letter to Education Minister Gideon Saar, the Arab education committee wrote, "We are strongly opposed to such initiatives that do not have any benefit and only deepen the alienation of Arab students and teachers.
"We call upon the ministry and the honorable minister to respect the cultural and national uniqueness of 25% of the students in the country, and their right to education befitting the reality of their lives both as citizens of the state and as part of the Arab Palestinian people."
The Education Ministry has yet to issue a response to the letter.