A relatively unknown - to the public, that is - "culture basket" has been encouraging post-Zionism in the Israeli school system for 20 years -- until an expose led to the director’s dismissal last week.
The "culture basket'' is the list of speakers and enrichment workshops or performances in the fields of art, music, dance, drama, literature and sculpture that are subsidized or paid for entirely by the Education Ministry if invited to appear before students. The subsidy of performances from the 'basket''s approved list leads principals, who are financially limited, to choose enrichment from it. The concept of a "culture basket" is mostly unknown to the general public, but those in the educational system are well aware of it.
The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel said it discovered several months ago that Bruria Beker, director of the “national cultural basket" for the past 22 years had been using government funds for education programs that included appearances in schools by a group billing itself as "The Bereaved Families Association." In fact, the group’s official title is “The Israeli -Palestinian Bereaved Families for Peace."
The parents gave lectures to 11th and 12th students who heard post-Zionist messages encouraging youth not to serve in the IDF. The organization, outside of school, cooperated with Arab anti Zionist civilians during the counterterrorist Operation Cast Lead campaign and met with wanted Arabs in order to 'promote tolerance and conciliation'.
Other groups have accused Beker of being the “commissar” of culture who prohibited certain performances in schools without setting out clear guidelines.
Education Minister Gideon Saar dismissed Beker after investigating the claims, and said a special inquiry would determine which groups are allowed to speak in schools.