Knesset to tour one of poorest Arab Israeli villages to help improve education

“This community suffers the most from state neglect, mainly in the areas of education and housing,” says MK Ahmad Tibi.

Jisr e-Zarka (photo credit: TAMAR DRESSLER)
Jisr e-Zarka
(photo credit: TAMAR DRESSLER)
The Knesset Education, Culture and Sport Committee decided this week to visit the Arab village of Jisr e-Zarka next month in an effort to improve one of the country’s poorest communities.
The decision followed a discussion Monday initiated by MK Eitan Broshi (Zionist Union), who toured the community two months ago, and MK Ahmad Tibi (Joint List), who demanded that the government take a decision to specially deal with the town just as it has in Taiba and Lod.
“This community suffers the most from state neglect, mainly in the areas of education and housing,” Tibi said during the Knesset discussion.
Tibi, who has visited the town, the last remaining Arab coastal village in Israel located south of Haifa and just north of Caesarea, a number of times, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday he has requested that Transportation Minister Israel Katz fix the roads there.
Morad Amash, head of the municipality, meanwhile, said during the discussion: “The situation requires the establishment of a committee to examine all matters related to the entire education system in the community.”
The 2013-2014 high school graduation rate in Jisr e-Zarka was only about 26 percent.
“There is a systemic failure and total neglect,” said Muhammad Lutfi Jourban, head of the parents’ committee in Jisr e-Zarka, noting that 65 percent of residents live below the poverty line and of the 1,400 households in the community, 1,200 receive welfare benefits.
“There is no future and there is frustration in the population. There are high school dropouts and lack of trust by the residents,” he said.
MK Broshi commented that “the level of education in the place is so low there is no chance to get out of this sad state.”
“The education system is a key tool for improving the situation, and precisely in this area there is neglect,” he said.