Israeli daily, Haaretz, reported that Arab teachers and students at the Kfar Sava medical center are not allowed to use their mother-tongue despite the fact that Arabic is one of Israel’s official languages. Arab families of children hospitalized at the medical center filed a complaint to the hospital’s management.Israel’s education ministry has a department at the Meir Medical Center that allows the hospitalized children ages. 3- 17, to partake in lessons and educational activities if their medical condition permits it, Haaretz added. The idea behind these lessons is to provide the children with the ability make up, even partially, for missed school lessons.
Jewish children are instructed by Jewish teachers at the medical center, while one teacher, sometimes helped by a student, instruct Arab children, therefore, Arabic lessons are taught in Arabic.
According to Haaretz reported, an Arab assistant teacher asked an Arab teacher in Arabic about the activities of the children at the medical facility, but the supervisor ordered them to stop using their mother tongue, and to speak in Hebrew.
The Arab parents were angered by the issue, and complained to the hospital managements informing them that this issue made them feral humiliated and alienated, adding that a hospital is supposed to be a place for co-existence.
They also said that Arab children hospitalized at the center would have a more pleasant stay at the when they hear their language spoken around them, similar to hearing Hebrew.
Haaretz said that the hospital said that the classroom is run by the Ministry of Education, and that it has no say in classes taught at the center, and asked the ministry to “deal with the situation”. On its part, the ministry said that it’s never instructed anybody to forbid teachers from discussing issues in Arabic, adding that all Arab children at the medical center receive lessons from Arab teachers.
Commenting with the issue, the Mossawa (Equality) Center (The Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens in Israel) said that it demanded the Medical Center to provide explanations on the issue, as Arabic is an official language in Israel, and that what happened is not only racist, but also forbidden by Israel’s Law.
In a recent report, the Mossawa center, said that state facilities in Israel are the most racist institutions in the entire country, and that these facilities are participating in the worst forms of discrimination against Arab citizens.