web analytics
September 22, 2014 / 27 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

When the Education Minister Misplaced Hebron

There's no better explanation a student can receive as to why he lives in Israel, than a visit to Hebron. Unfortunately, the new Education Minister does not think so.

children celebrating the returning of Torah scrolls

Photo Credit: Gershon Elinson/Flash90

Most people don’t realize how close we were to losing Kever Rachel (Rachel’s Tomb) in Bethlehem during Oslo.

Not understanding the historical and religious significance of this holy site, and according to some, not knowing about it at all, Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin had originally included the Tomb site in Area A, the section of the Land of Israel that was to be handed over to the Arabs.

Only heartfelt pleas by MKs Chanan Porat (Mafdal) and Menachem Porush (UTJ) succeeded, at the last minute, to rescue our matriarch’s resting place from falling into Arab hands, and likely, the same despicable desecration and destruction that befell Joseph’s tomb in Shechem (Nablus) after the Arabs had received control of that site.

In 1997, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave away 80 percent of the city of Hebron to the Arabs as part of the Wye River Agreement. Today, 97 percent of Hebron is off-limit to Jews. Even now the occasional call can still be heard to expel the Jews from the remaining 3 percent of Hebron, so it would all be handed over to the Arabs.

In 2005, 10,000 Jews were expelled from Gush Katif and northern Shomron.

A common refrain heard from soldiers, police and even the moving people who were evacuating Gush Katif residents was how “normal” the towns of Gush Katif appeared, because they had expected them to be desolate caravans and outposts in the desert.The average Israeli had no idea just how beautiful and robust those places were, and how much they were like every other town in Israel.

In today’s news, the EU is trying to force Israel to divide our land nearly in half using economic threats, and, much like in the case of Gush Katif, only relatively few Israelis know what a magnificent urban sprawl of Jewish life has risen there.

In March 2011, Education Minister Gidon Sa’ar (Likud) introduced a pilot project requiring that, along with a requisite visit to Jerusalem, every student, at least once between the first and twelfth grades, would visit Hebron, the city purchased at full price from the gentiles by Abraham, where our patriarchs and matriarchs are buried.

There was the typical outcry from the radical left, but Sa’ar went ahead with the pilot, and religious and not religious students began to visit Hebron, many for the first time in their lives.

The trips were not used for “indoctrination”, nor for “whitewashing” history. Students were encouraged to have open discussions on the history and politics surrounding the city. Two thousand students have participated in the program to date.

The Hebron pilot was successful and set to expand, and its significance cannot be overstated.

We’ve already seen that it’s easy to throw away or ignore the loss of Kever Rachel, Hebron, and Gush Katif, when you’ve never been there. Too many of our students have a difficulty explaining why they live in Israel and why they aren’t “occupiers”.

But when a student learns in school about his ancestors and his shared history, and then visits the site he has just learned about and discovers that it’s just a short bus ride away from his home, it’s no longer just a textbook fact to be forgotten after the test, it’s a reality that can’t be discarded or ignored.

What Gidon Sa’ar accomplished, and was set to accomplish was astounding.

But what Gidon Sa’ar began to build, the new Education Minister who replaced him, Shai Piron (Yesh Atid), managed to destroy effortlessly.

Upon entering office, Minister Shai Piron introduced a new program, where Hebron is just one of a group of possible sites schools may visit. Other sites, that Piron equated in importance to Hebron, are development towns in the Negev, the Jordan Valley, and “other sites of importance”.

In short, Piron took a unique educational moment, and filed it under “irrelevant.”

I call on Minister Piron to reinstate the program for mandatory visits to Hebron for every school. The importance of this trip, connecting Jewish students to their history, to the birthplace of Jewish civilization, to understanding why they are in Israel, is as important for their education as it is for this country’s future.

About the Author: Stephen's company, WebAds, builds and manages online newspapers and websites to high volume readership and profitability.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “When the Education Minister Misplaced Hebron”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Palestinian Authority unity government chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Quiet negotiations with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu?
Israeli PM, PA Chairman in Secret Talks?
Latest Indepth Stories
ISIS Released Map

Israel would love to be in the coalition,but it’s never going to happen, because, in the end, most of America’s allies would walk away if Israel were on board officially.

IDF lone soldier and  David Menachem Gordon (z"l).

Why has his death been treated by some as an invitation for an emotional “autopsy”?

Starck-091914

SWOT analysis: Assessing resources, internal Strengths&Weaknesses; external Opportunities&Threats.

Kohn-091914

Strategy? For the longest time Obama couldn’t be bothered to have one against a sworn enemy.

Seventeen visual skills are needed for success in school, sports, and everyday life.

We started The Jewish Press. Arnie was an integral part of the paper.

Fear alone is substantial; without fusing it to beauty, fear doesn’t reach its highest potential.

Fortunate are we to have Rosh Hashanah for repentance, a shofar to awaken heavenly mercy.

Arab leaders who want the US to stop Islamic State are afraid of being dubbed traitors and US agents

National Lawyers Guild:Sworn enemy of Israel & the legal arm of Palestinian terrorism since the ’70s

A little less than 10 percent of eligible Democratic voters came out on primary day, which translates into Mr. Cuomo having received the support of 6.2 percent of registered Democrats.

The reality, though, is that the Israeli “war crimes” scenario will likely be played out among highly partisan UN agencies, NGOs, and perhaps even the International Criminal Court.

Peace or the lack of it between Israel and the Palestinians matters not one whit when it comes to the long-term agenda of ISIS and other Islamists, nor does it affect any of the long-running inter-Arab conflicts and wars.

Rather than serving as a deterrent against terrorist attacks, Israel’s military strength and capabilities are instead looked at as an unfair advantage in the asymmetrical war in which it finds itself.

More Articles from Stephen Leavitt
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event.

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event

Cinema City Kids Theater

There’s a battle going on for Jerusalem’s soul, and Cinema City proves you don’t need to compromise on Shabbat or Kashrut to be a success.

A soldier called up to talk to my 5 year old son…

Your generous donations are helping soldiers continue their search for the kidnapped boys. Thank you.

Please give a donation. It goes to support our IDF soldiers searching for Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frankel.

Why is the state of Israel so afraid to apply sovereignty over Judaism’s most holiest site, and what can we do about it?

Our servers were overwhelmed yesterday by an article picked up on the Drudge Report. We love that!

The hotel was great, but the best part – the kids were kept so busy, we actually had a vacation!

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/education-minister-stops-a-program-connecting-youths-to-their-past-and-future/2013/07/16/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: