The Education Ministry on Tuesday ordered kindergarten teachers not to attend a
daylong seminar organized by the Zochrot organization about the introduction of
Nakba studies to kindergartens across the country.
The seminar, intended
for preschool teachers, was held on Tuesday and discussed a study plan on the
Nakba, and whether the topic should be taught to preschool
Program raises Jewish identification
Why are our schools at war with the students?
Zochrot (“Remembering”) was founded in 2002 and is based in Tel
Aviv. Its aim is to promote awareness of the Nakba (“Catastrophe”), the Arab
name for the creation of the State of Israel in 1948 and the subsequent flight
The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel, represented by
attorney Hila Cohen, demanded over the weekend that Education Minister Gideon
Sa’ar halt Zochrot’s activities within the education system and call on teachers
not to attend Zochrot’s seminar.
Cohen wrote to Sa’ar, describing the
content of Zochrot’s study programs, and said they included statements and
messages identifying “with the feeling of disaster the Arabs felt when the State
of Israel was declared.”
Quoting from one of the study programs, Cohen
wrote that Zochrot teaches that “The Nakba is part of us... The Nakba took place
mostly in 1948 and it included the destruction of most of the Palestinian
villages, thus turning their inhabitants into refugees and destroying the rich
Palestinian life existing here.”
The Legal Forum also complained about
Zohar Sitner, a lecturer in one of Zochrot’s programs, who, according a Zochrot
press release, works as a preschool teacher.
The Legal Forum demanded
that Sa’ar investigate whether Sitner is employed under the ministry’s
supervision, and whether her students’ parents were aware of her participation
in Zochrot, the nature of its programs, and the possibility of the Nakba being
taught as part of her class.
“Zochrot is a private organization not
authorized by the Ministry of Education,” the ministry said in
Sima Hadad, the supervisor of the ministry’s preschool
department, informed teachers on Tuesday that Zochrot is a private initiative,
the seminar is not part of the ministry’s programs and that they should not cooperate
with the NGO as part of preparations for the coming school year.
Legal Forum said it was pleased with the ministry’s quick response.
State of Israel cannot allow people “wishing to destroy it” to be active among
young school- and preschool children,” Legal Forum director Nahi Eyal said in a
statement. “It seems there is no limit to the extreme-leftist organization’s
impertinence, asking to influence innocent children by way of irresponsible
teachers. The Nakba learning program for preschool children is clear aid to our
enemies going after the destruction of the State of Israel.”