Israeli left looks to impose state education on newborns

Opinion. Campaign to regulate education of infants part of leftist ploy to seize power to raise children away from parents.

Gil Ronen ,

Photo: IStock

The idea behind the children's homes in the old kibbutzim, where the entire community would raise its children rather than their parents, refuses to die.

The left-wing organization 'Anu' (We), which has ties to the New Israel Fund, sent an email to journalists in Israel today, with a link to the questionnaire on "The Public Debate on Early Childhood Care."

"In the past year, a large group of organizations has joined together to raise the issue of state responsibility for children from birth until the age of 3," the email reads."We would appreciate if you could answer a brief survey on the subject."

Journalists are asked to say how much they are aware of the lack of public frameworks for children up to 3 years old, and about the lack of supervision in frameworks for children between birth and age 3. In addition, they are asked "And have you heard of the Coalition for Congenital Education?"

It should be noted that the extreme left advocates centralization and government control not only in the economic sphere, but also in the family and educational spheres. In Israel, the Jewish state, the family is a supreme value, and therefore on the left they know that it would not be wise to come directly and tell people, "We want to take the children from their parents' authority and educate them in our institutions."

Last year, the Knesset narrowly voted down a proposal, ironically drafted by right-wing MKs, which included a provision dramatically reducing the rights of parents as the natural guardians of their children.

Tucked away in a bill intended to equalize the rights of fathers and mothers in cases of divorce, the proposed legislation would have ceded substantial powers to social workers, who would have been empowered under the law to remove children from homes which did not educate them in such ill-defined areas as their "responsibility in society". The law also would have allowed social workers to enforce parents to respect the equally vague notion of a child's "freedom of thought, expression, conscience, and religion."

Despite the failure of the bill in 2016, other proposals significantly eroding the rights of parents to decide how best to raise their children have been implemented in recent years.

One of the measures was taken following the social protest of 2011: As part of the implementation of the Trajtenberg Committee's recommendations, the government decided to implement a law that was presented as a "free education law from the age of 3". The public, which was happy to receive something for free, supported the law, but did not notice that it also includes the word "obligatory" alongside the word "free". As a result, children from the age of 3 (and sometimes from the age of 2 years, 9 months) are now required to study in out-of-home frameworks.

Another step taken is to raise difficulties for parents who wish to remove their children from the kindergarten before the end of the school day.