Bennett establishes 'first Arab college' in Israel

At Jewish Home meeting, Education Min. announces academic college to 'keep leading' the work for Arab sector from his last gov't role.

Hezki Baruch,

Naftali Bennett
Naftali Bennett
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Education Minister and Jewish Home chairperson Naftali Bennett on Monday announced at a Jewish Home faction meeting that he is establishing the "first Arab college" in Israel.

"For the first time in the annals of the state of Israel we are establishing a general academic college in an Arab town," said Bennett. "This is history for the Arab sector and this is history for the state of Israel."

"The higher education council that I stand at the head of convened yesterday to approve publishing a public appeal for instituting a budgeted academic framework in an Arab town in the north of the country," added the minister.

"There is no doubt that the Arab public lacks an excellent academic institution to match the demand and advance equality in Israeli society. This process will continue the trend of lessening the gaps that we are leading. As I worked as Economics Minister in the field of employment for Arab women - so too I am continuing now as Education Minister."

Bennett's comment refers to his post in the last government, when he oversaw a $2.5 million program integrating Arabs in the hi-tech industry. In March 2013, he told the Europe Israel Press Association (EIPA) that the issue of increasing the number of Arab women in the workforce is "his baby."

On Monday Bennett explained his goal in founding the Arab college, saying, "there is no reason and it isn't right to send young Arabs to study in Hevron or in Arab states. Sometimes this creates radicalism and the right thing is for Israelis to learn in Israel. This is good for them as individuals and good for the entire Israeli society."

Bennett in August launched a $7.9 million plan to teach Arab students Hebrew in kindergarten, to improve Arab employment and economic power.

Indicating the thinking behind his launching the various programs for the Arab public, Bennett claimed last November that "99.9% of Arab citizens are loyal to the state of Israel." That estimation was thrown into doubt by a poll just days after it was made, which found that roughly a third of Israeli Arabs supported the terror wave that was taking place at the time, blaming Israel for it.

Likewise last month, a poll found 57% of Israeli Arabs feel the radical Islamic Movement in Israel that is funded by Hamas represents them faithfully, and 18.2% of Arab Muslim citizens of Israel said they do not consider Islamic State (ISIS) to be a radical terrorist organization, and that they are not ashamed of the brutal jihadist group.




top