Teach Jews Some Arabic
The Jerusalem Post has a report that the education system here wants to get serious about teaching Arabic to all kids. I love this idea. I wish they’d properly teach English, Arabic and Hebrew to every kid here.
You know what I think would happen if all Israelis learned Arabic? Israelis would notice how much they really hate us on their official media channels and they’ll notice that they rarely hate Zionists and often hate Yehud. We wouldn’t have to wait for MEMRI and PMW to translate everything.
Do remember that a sizeable number of Jews do come from homes that used to speak Arabic, I know the children of current generations of Sephardic and Misrachi Jews have declining Arabic but some still learn it (or learn to understand it). And these are often the right leaning voters the left are scared of.
So be careful what you wish for, happy-clappy, coexisters: I’m far from convinced that if we understand our neighbours better, we’re more likely to be able to live peacefully.
And remember, a larger number of Arabs (especially the ones who want to succeed and have a productive life) learn Hebrew. And this, somehow, has lead to an absolute refusal to allow one Jew to live in their dreamed for State of Palestine? How much coexistence did that give rise to?
I also think there is a religious aspect to this: learning the Koran is forbidden for Dhimmis and I suspect there would be more than a few on their side who’d be horrified if we started teaching our kids Arabic en-masse. Because some of us would pick up the Koran and look at that too (and even though most of the English translations are relatively honest) the Arabic is far less ambiguous on subjects like how harshly a husband can beat his wife.
Wider understanding of both Islamic and modern Arabic culture would convince most Israelis that there is very little chance of an accommodation.
For the record I think it’s astonishing that my kids aren’t taught Arabic.
Jerusalem Post: Ministers approve mandatory Arabic studies from first grade
A bill approved on Sunday by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation would make it mandatory for schools to teach Arabic from the first grade.
The measure was introduced by MK Oren Hazan (Likud), who said that in supporting the legislation in the middle of a wave of terrorism, the government was signaling that it seeks coexistence and calm.
Education Minister Naftali Bennett was also among the bill’s supporters.
Hazan encouraged lawmakers from the coalition and opposition to put politics aside and vote in favor of the measure when it is put to a preliminary Knesset vote on Wednesday. He saw Arabic studies from an early age as providing a bridge between different parts of Israel’s population.
“In these days, when terror is on the rise and coexistence is undermined, it’s important to lower the flames among the nation’s citizens, and there is no better way to do that than by understanding each other’s language, to understand the culture and mentality of 1.5 million Arab citizens of Israel and hundreds of millions of Arabic- speakers in the Middle East,” Hazan said.
“I have no doubt that when the Jewish population will understand Arabic, the way the Arab public understands Hebrew, we will see better days,” Hazan also said.