Muslim schoolgirls (illustrative)
Muslim schoolgirls (illustrative) Israel news photo: Flash 90

The Knesset’s Education Committee had a stormy meeting Tuesday as MKs debated the “status quo” agreement under which the state gives partial funding to “non-recognized” schools.

Dr. Tzvi Tzameret, the former Director of Pedagogic Affairs in the Education Ministry, revealed several problems caused by the current system. Among the shocking revelations was the fact that Israel funds schools affiliated with the Islamic Movement.

The Islamic Movement is the Israeli branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. The movement does not recognize Israel. The Israel-based wing of the movement refers to itself as the “Inner Palestine” branch.

Tzameret warned that the state’s role in the education system has all but disappeared, and that the core curriculum is “non-existent.”

“There are twenty education systems in the hareidi sector alone,” he said. “It’s not only in the hareidi sector… In my time more than 1,000 non-recognized official schools opened, and it’s worrisome.”

“It’s unbelievable that there are 157 subjects for the Bagrut [Matriculation tests]. It’s coming at the expense of the core curriculum. We must create a core curriculum,” he added.

During the meeting an argument broke out between MK Shlomo Mula and Avraham Layserson of the hareidi school system. Mula accused the hareidi school system of racial discrimination, to which Layserson replied, “We have no discrimination. Ethiopians learn in our schools, as long as they underwent full conversion.”

His response angered Mula, “Ethiopians aren’t Jewish according to the hareidi system?? What do they need to convert for?” he asked.

Addressing concerns over the core curriculum, Layserson stated that the belief that hareidi Jews do not learn the required subjects “stems from lack of knowledge, and from the fact that the public gets information from the media, which hates Torah.” The independent hareidi system “teaches subjects like science and language,” he said.