Anti-Military Organizations Don’t Belong in Israeli High Schools

Dec. 15 2016

Last week, controversy broke out in Israel over the education ministry’s attempt to stop high-school principals from inviting representatives of Breaking the Silence—an organization that disseminates flimsy allegations of IDF “war crimes”—to speak to their students. Yoaz Hendel explains why the high-school principals are in the wrong:

The main argument made by principals who wish to let the organization’s representatives speak to their students is the freedom to listen to different opinions. That’s an important argument, but it [does not apply to primary and secondary] education. . . . Why? Because, before learning about complicated things, one must learn about simple things. Before making bridges and rafters, foundations must be laid. When I send my kids to school, I want a Zionist education that encourages them to join the army, contribute, be good citizens, and mainly to feel that they are right. . . .

[Most of Breaking the Silence’s activities are licit] in a democratic state with full freedom of speech, but why [allow them in] the educational system? Are high-school students deeply familiar with the Zionist story? Do they understand what the pioneers sought to create here? Do they know the meaning of an exemplary society, of the orchards planted by the pioneers, which created thousands of jobs for the Arabs in the area? Do they know about the Zionist effort at co-existence and about the bloody response on the Arab side?

There is no reason to fear claims against Israel and its policies. Everyone here will [eventually encounter such claims]. But in the meantime, let teenagers grow up in peace; let them be right. This is a right which is as important as the freedom of political organizations like Breaking the Silence to criticize us.

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Read more at Ynet

More about: Breaking the Silence, Israel & Zionism, Israeli education

Condemning Terrorism in Jerusalem—and Efforts to Stop It

Jan. 30 2023

On Friday night, a Palestinian opened fire at a group of Israelis standing outside a Jerusalem synagogue, killing seven and wounding several others. The day before, the IDF had been drawn into a gunfight in the West Bank city of Jenin while trying to arrest members of a terrorist cell. Of the nine Palestinians killed in the raid, only one appears to have been a noncombatant. Lahav Harkov compares the responses to the two events, beginning with the more recent:

President Joe Biden called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to denounce the attack, offer his condolences, and express his commitment to Israel’s security. Other leaders released supportive statements as well. Governments across Europe condemned the attack. Turkey’s foreign ministry did the same, as did Israel’s Abraham Accords partners the UAE and Bahrain. Even Saudi Arabia released a statement against the killing of civilians in Jerusalem.

It feels wrong to criticize those statements. . . . But the condemnations should be full-throated, not spoken out of one side of the mouth while the other is wishy-washy about what it takes to stave off terrorism. These very same leaders and ministries were tsk-tsking at Israel for doing just that only a day before the attacks in Jerusalem.

The context didn’t seem to matter to some countries that are friendly to Israel. It didn’t matter that Israel was trying to stop jihadists from attacking civilians; it didn’t matter that IDF soldiers were attacked on the way.

It’s very easy for some to be sad when Jews are murdered. Yet, at the same time, so many of them are uncomfortable with Jews asserting themselves, protecting themselves, arming themselves against the bloodthirsty horde that would hand out bonbons to celebrate their deaths. It’s a reminder of how important it is that we do just that, and how essential the state of Israel is.

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Read more at Lahav’s Newsletter

More about: Jerusalem, Palestinian terror