Gideon Sa’ar speech 311.
(photo credit: Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP)
Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar praised on Monday the tent protest movement,
which “shows the existence of a social conscience,” and hinted through a
biblical parallel that his government should find ways to work with, and not
against, the protesters and their demands.
“We are living in a maelstrom
these days, that necessitates a very balanced attitude,” Sa’ar told attendants
at the opening session of the annual Bible-learning conference at Herzog College
in Alon Shvut.
“If you go to the Bible, you can find many parallels as to
how to deal with popular protest.”
“In Kings chapter 12 Rehoboam is given
two pieces of advice, from the old men and from the youth. Should he, to use the
words of Menachem Begin, be beneficial with the people, or harden the burden?
Unfortunately, Rehoboam acted on the harder line of advice, that of the
children, and said the famous line ‘my father chastised you with whips, but I
will chastise you with scorpions.’ The result of that was the split between the
kingdoms of Judea and Israel,” said Sa’ar, whose mother was a bible
“A double lesson can be learned from this – not only as far as
the result, but also with whom one should consult,” said the
Sa’ar addressed the claims against the protesters, as though
they represent an indulgent and demanding generation.
“We are a people
with two traits, one can be seen with criticism – Israel’s leaders, even Moses,
noted it – the fact that we complain. That is of course legitimate,” he said.
“The other aspect that characterizes us is the demand for social
“In that aspect, the slogans of the recent days are nothing new,
the messages of social justice are interwoven in the words of the prophets. The
biblical imperative of justice, the attitude to the poor, the stranger, the
orphan and widow – these are fundamental calls for repairing society.
we should be proud of them,” said Sa’ar.
The minister stressed, however,
that “the duty to mend is upon the political leadership, that needs to balance
the demands with what can and what cannot be done, and take into account the
results of the decisions.”
“Beyond all that can be said about the
protest, it shows the existence of a social conscience,” he added.
as the biggest Bible-learning event in the world, the five-day event will bring
together over a hundred leading bible teachers who will present a plethora of
scriptural- based lessons to an estimated 10,000 participants.
dealing with the variety of the Bible’s books from a broad perspective, coming
from a deep conception of observance taking into account the achievements of
science, research and culture, while dealing with the faith-related questions
this encounter can provide,” said the event’s director Rami Yanai.