The Israeli Education Ministry has published new guidelines to Israeli kindergarten school teachers to raise the Israeli flag and sing the Israeli anthem every week with their students. The directive is part of new guidelines for Israeli kindergarten teachers published last week, according to Haaretz.New Israeli Education Ministry guidelines have directed Israeli kindergarten teachers to instruct their students to raise the flag and sing the anthem every week in school every week. The plans will not be implemented in Palestinian Israeli schools.
The plans should come into effect come the new school year in September.
Nowhere in the new directive are their guidelines for teachers regards teaching democratic or liberal values.
Reacting to the news, which comes during a long line of controversial Israeli laws aimed at suppressing dissent in Israeli society including the Boycott and Nakba laws, Prof. Gabi Solomon of the University of Haifa, an Israel Prize laureate for education, said that ‘it looks like a competition between members of the Likud to see who can push us faster into the arms of fascism’.
Prof. Yaron Ezrahi, a professor of political science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, offering a tongue in cheek analysis of the directive, said it should be implemented earlier. ‘Instead of wrapping the babies in a white sheet, they should wrap them in an Israeli flag, and hang Israeli flags over every bassinet, and make sure that in the delivery room they play ‘Hatikva’ in the background,’ Ezrahi said.
In January Israeli teachers petitioned Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar to take action against the rising levels of racism among Israeli students targeted against Palestinians and Arabs.
Israeli teachers, speaking to YNet, gave personnel accounts of the racism they encountered in Israeli classrooms and spoke of skipping controversial sections in civics class to avoid inciting heated discussion.
‘The teachers are truly despaired, they are exhausted, and some of them feel that mentally, dealing with the students is difficult,’ said Myriam Darmoni-Sharvit, head of the civics faculty at the Center for Educational Technology. ‘When they are in the classroom, they feel like they are in a battlefield, which is why they often act to ‘survive’ and choose to skip chapters or teach the material through dry dictation in order to keep the calm.’
The Education Ministry has been working heavily to increase Israeli student’s Jewish and Zionist outlook. Minister Gideon Sa’ar has initiated a range of new programmes in schools towards this goal including school trips to the City of David in the Palestinian district of Silwan in Jerusalem, trips to Hebron as well as adopting a grave of a Israeli soldier killed in combat.