Give it a rest

November 24, 2016 23:02

Jeff Barak, formerly of this parish, has made a few very good points in his Jerusalem Post columm about the stupidity of those who passed the boycott law or who support the politicisation of the Israeli national anthem.

Education Minister Gide’on Sa’ar wants all non-haredi Jewish kindergarten-age children to know the words to Hatikva, the national anthem, by heart before Independence Day next year, and the Education Ministry has already issued a chilling directive on how to foster our children’s “national identity.”

This kind of forced patriotism recalls unhappy memories of certain European political movements in Germany and Italy in the past century, and has no place in a modern kindergarten.

If the Education Ministry was really serious about strengthening young people’s pride in this country, it would invest more in improving literacy and basic math abilities, rather than the ability to memorize a not-particularly impressive piece of 19th century verse.

JUST AS the Boycott Law forces me to give up some of my favourite Israeli wines (as to protest the law’s passing I will now actively seek not to buy produce that originates in the West Bank or Golan Heights), the Education Ministry directive is also turning the national anthem into a political issue.

But of course they aren't serious about about strengthening young people’s pride in Israel because if they were, they'd put a lot more money into improving declining standards of literacy and maths. But they don't have that money because it's been squandered on maintaining a military occupation and colonialist policies on the West Bank, just to satisfy the zealot minority.

November 24, 2016 23:02

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