Racial School Segregation in Israel

Jewish Supremacists “led” the fight against racial segregation in the U.S. and Europe, but apply strict racial segregation between Arabs and Jews at schools in Israel, a new report has revealed.

Writing in the liberal-leaning Haaretz newspaper in Israel, Princeton graduate and correspondent Rivka Cohen said that “In one clear step, Israel’s Education Minister has demonstrated that the separate Jewish and Muslim school systems have nothing to do with preserving an autonomous space for Jewish and for Arab culture, but rather – plain segregation.

“According to Israel’s Student Rights Law, educational facilities must not be segregated on ethnic or political grounds. In the case in question, Noar KeHalacha v. Ministry of Education, a group of Sephardi families protested the separation of their daughters from their Ashkenazi peers in two different academic tracks,” the article continued.

Quoting a Jewish judge, one Justice Melcer, the article points out that the court’s decision allowed for the “filtering school choices according to a strong religious preference, such as a child seeking admission to “an Orthodox Jewish school or a religious Arab school” – and what should be seen as a far wider application of discriminatory entrance policies to an unspecified range of Jewish or Muslim schools.

“These ambiguous criteria would allow Arab students to be excluded from any Jewish school considered to be “a certain kind of Jewish school,” potentially including public state secular schools in the Jewish sector. The same would apply to Jewish students seeking enrollment in Arab schools.”

The article goes on to point out that “Israelis may well feel incredulity on reading that a Jewish student might seek enrollment in the Arab sector, or an Arab student in the secular Jewish one. This itself is a warning sign of the ease with which widespread segregation is accepted as natural in Israel’s schools.”

The effect of the court’s ruling was to say that the segregation of Sephardi and Ashkenazi children, even if it is partial and officially voluntary, is illegal, but the near-absolute segregation of Arab and Jewish students is legitimate.

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