Leyada high school does Hebron

How a single school trip politicized education, subverted democracy, encouraged violence.

February 6, 2012 14:30
view of Hebron

view of Hebron_311. (photo credit: David Wilder, the Jewish Community of Hebron)

There are so many disturbing aspects to the story of Leyada high school’s visit to Hebron last week that it’s hard to know where to start. But I’ll focus on two: blatant politicization of the education system, and police officers setting policy in the government’s stead.

 First, the facts: The Education Ministry recently began promoting school trips to Hebron, due to the city’s significant role in Jewish history. Leyada, a high school affiliated with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, didn’t want its students visit Hebron unless they were also exposed to what the school’s administration views as Israel’s unacceptable treatment of the city’s Palestinians. Incredibly, the ministry then agreed that in addition to touring Hebron’s historic Jewish sites, Leyada could take its students on a political indoctrination tour led by a radical left-wing nongovernmental organization, Breaking the Silence, whose specialty is collecting anonymous (and hence unverifiable) testimony from soldiers about their own or their comrades’ “abuse” of Palestinians and disseminating it abroad to generate international pressure on Israel.


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