Netanyahu and Avi Maoz
Netanyahu and Avi MaozLikud

Following MK Maoz's promise to cancel Jerusalem's Gay Pride Parade, Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu promised that, "the government led by me will not harm the LGBT community and the rights of every citizen in Israel. We will ensure equality for all citizens of Israel and work to improve everyone's lives." "This is our mission," he added.

As mentioned, Avi Maoz, chairman of the Noam party, who signed a coalition agreement with the Likud this week, told Itamar Segal in "Olam Ketan" that "the pride parade in Jerusalem should be cancelled. I will see to it that it happens. It's a disgrace. I am most adamant about this topic. It did not come up in the coalition agreements, but I am not hiding that of course I would like to cancel it."

"Have we gone crazy?!" he continued. "I have already submitted a bill to cancel this flaw, that even for an artistic event, public dancing will not be allowed. There can be no such thing. Do you know how much these parades harm the holy city of Jerusalem? You want to demonstrate? Go ahead. But an abominable, promiscuous parade in the open? After all, we're talking about the public space of the Jewish state! I feel that I am expressing the opinion of the majority of the residents of the State of Israel, who think that the parade should be stopped."

Many think that it is wrong to promote the Torah and the State of Israel as a Jewish state by coercion, and that PR campaigns and social agreements are the way to go.

"If I knew how to make an impact through outreach and advocacy, I would go there," he responds. "I chose the political path. We must not abandon this arena. The Knesset legislates the laws, and it is not concerned with approximation and education but with determining the norm and legality of the State of Israel. I claim that in the public sphere the people have spoken. This is not coercion! We are four weeks after the elections, and I am all At the time I said that the elections were between the agenda of a Jewish state and the agenda of a state of all its citizens."

What about public transportation on Shabbat - a matter that is seen as limiting individual freedom?

"There will be no public transportation on Shabbat. The railway works can be handled by gentiles, because they are not allowed to rest on Shabbat."

Do you think the status quo should be changed in the Jewish-religious direction?

"I will change everything that they violated in the status quo in their direction. I have patience. It will take time to improve things. It takes a year to build a house after approval. How long does it take to demolish a house? A bulldozer does it in a single day. They destroyed the Jewish identity of the country, and it will take time to fix."

"Don't judge us after a week but after three, four or six months. Then you'll start seeing changes. I have patience. I came here to get work done and I'm already rolling up my sleeves. I will work according to my views based on the clear mandate we received from the citizens of the country. Intimidation and shaming are their usual ways of dealing with things. They slander you and hang you in the city square. But I'm not afraid."

Finally, Maoz was asked if his party should also be involved with other matters of State such as the economy, security and welfare.

"I think I'm more concerned with security than anyone else," he replies, "because I demand that the department responsible for promoting women's opportunities be removed from the IDF, and that's the most important thing for Israel's security, more than anything else. I'm more concerned with internal security than anyone else, because I want to remove the brainwashing of the Abraham Initiatives Foundation - (an organization that promotes equal rights for Jews and Arabs). I am involved in education more than anyone else because I'm trying to removing all anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist education programs from the system. I am involved with the heart and soul of the issue. This is the most important job in the Knesset".

The coalition agreement between the Likud and the Noam parties was issued yesterday (Wednesday) with additional details to be decided upon in future weeks.

According to the agreement, the unit for external programs and promotion of partnerships in the Ministry of Education will be transferred to the Prime Minister's Office and fall under Maoz's control, so that he will be able to determine which entities and which external content enter the education system.

Along with outgoing Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton, former Education Minister, Shai Piron also had harsh words about the agreement.

Rabbi Piron said that, "the apparent agreement with MK Avi Maoz cannot go over quietly. It is an eclipse of the democratic, moral, and Jewish standards of our country. MK Maoz has one seat in the Knesset, a single faction, and he, and only he, will be tasked with determining our children's curriculum.

"Don't get confused, the question is not just whether certain secular organizations will be able to [push their agendas] in the school system. The question is even whether [more liberal-minded rabbis] will be able to make their voices heard. Don't get confused. This means that instead of conducting a proper debate on the concepts of education, we will receive instructions from the Commissioner of Culture. Don't get confused. This means full control over the decision-making of school principals, and above all, denying educators the power to shape students' identity.''

Piron said he is also concerned about the state of Jewish identity among Israeli students: "Yes, I too am troubled by the state of Jewish identity and national identity. Yes, I also suggest investing more in intra-school programs, and relying less on external factors.

''But change should come through dialogue, at a round table, in depth and not with slogans. Discussion should be held with the participation of educators and not over their heads. Repair does not entail demolition - certainly not destruction. This is entirely different from transferring power to a single person who has one seat in the Knesset and whose positions and opinions are foreign to the absolute majority of Israelis."

Piron claimed that the agreement harms the conduct of the Ministry of Education, which "will [be limited to] teaching math and English, while Avi Maoz educates our children. This is a sad and dangerous moment and must not be allowed to gain strength," he concluded.

Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton said that, "a person whose hate determines his way of thinking will control the content our children learn in school. The man with the darkest views will determine what our children are taught and which bodies will implement these teachings, handling a budget of over NIS 2 billion. This is a moral outrage that will harm the learning of all our children and dismantle the education system. Netanyahu's fire sale of the nation's values will be paid by our children."

Maigi, an LGBT youth group, added that: "the party that hates women, hates LGBT people, hates people with disabilities, and threatened to close [voluntary social justice organizations] should scare every parent, every teacher, every school principal. It is clear why they want to take over the minds and souls of Israeli boys and girls. If this happens and the Likud and Benjamin Netanyahu abandon our schools, it would be a very dangerous move that would cost the boys and girls of Israel dearly."