Education minister wants field trips to W. Bank site

Likud MK Sa'ar says current political situation brings into question readiness for a Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria.

Saar 311 (photo credit: Sasson Tiram)
Saar 311
(photo credit: Sasson Tiram)
Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar said Tuesday that he supported the development of school trips to the West Bank archeological site of Tel Shilo, located near the Shilo settlement, according to Army Radio.
"It pleases me to hear that already, today, schools visit this site. God willing, more  schools will come," the education minister said during a tour of Samaria.
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The education minister said it was important for students to learn the biblical history of Israel in a tactile manner, and on-site.
Sa'ar, on a tour of West Bank Jewish communities, also expressed doubt that Israel should allow the Palestinians to establish a state of their own given the current political environment.
"The developments in the region, the strengthening of radical Islam, the one-sided behavior of the Palestinians in the international arena and the position of Palestinians regarding Israel requires us today to question the how wise a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria would be," Sa'ar said during a tour of Ariel. 
Sa'ar initiated a controversial program to bring students on field trips to the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron earlier this year drawing both criticism and praise.
Former education minister Amnon Rubinstein criticized Sa'ar over those plans, saying the education minister should leave school trips to department heads.
Rubenstein also took issue with bringing children to the city of Hebron without "showing them the price paid by Palestinians in Hebron."
Former MK and Gush Shalom founder Uri Avnery said that “Gideon Sa’ar has ceased to be the minister of education and turned into Israel’s minister of propaganda, aiming to instill an extreme right-wing ideology” into Israel’s school system.
Sa'ar rejected the criticism, saying it turned a historical issue into a political one.
Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely congratulated Sa’ar on the initiative.
“The city of Hebron is the first Hebrew city, and the Jewish people have been connected to it for 4,000 years,” Hotovely said. “It is appropriate that every student and citizen of Israel visits Hebron and learns about the legacy of the city of the Patriarchs. The education minister’s move to make Hebron into a site for official visits by the educational system is important.”