Tomb of Patriarchs 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Minister Gideon Sa'ar defended his newly-unveiled plan to bring school
children to the Tomb of the Patriarch in Hebron in an Army Radio
interview on Wednesday.The education minister said he
wanted the youth to know as much about their history, about King David
for example, as they know about Big Brother or Beauty and the Geek (reality television shows).
The point of the tours, he said, is to
create a historic connection with a place that Jews have lived in
throughout all the generations.
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about whether the children should be taught also about the problems
faced by the Palestinians of Hebron, Sa'ar quickly dismissed the notion,
saying it would turn a historical and educational issue into a political
one. He added that full security arrangements will exist.
Sa'ar's interview, former education minister Professor Amnon Rubenstein
took issue with the idea of taking children to see the Tomb of the
Patriarchs without "showing them the price paid by Palestinians in
Rubenstein also said he thinks it is very bad for an
education minister to involve himself in matters such as field trips. He
noted that there are managers and heads of departments who are closely
engaged with schools and their principles on those issues.
Former MK and Gush Shalom activist Uri Avnery responded to Sa'ar's plan
on Wednesday, saying: "Gideon Sa'ar ceased to be the minister of
education, and turned into Israel's minister of propaganda, with the
purpose of instilling an extreme right-wing ideology into the Israeli
Avnery continued, "Every year we hear the heart rendering stories of
pupils whose parents can't afford the fee required, and therefore can't
participate in the school trips with their classmates, and feel ashamed
and humiliated. Instead of helping these cases, Minister Sa'ar opens wide
the public treasury to finance 'trips' which are nothing but a
political provocation in the service of the settlers."