Or Schwartz
The Jerusalem Post
August 18, 2010 - 12:00am

The Ministry of Education on Tuesday instructed preschool kindergarten teachers not to attend a Nakba studies seminary held by the extremist left-wing organization Zochrot, according to the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel.

The seminary, intended specifically for preschool teachers, was held on Tuesday and discussed the subject of "nakba," and whether the topic should be taught to kindergarten children. The central issue of the seminary was the study plan of the subject.

Representative of the Legal Forum, Advocate Hila Cohen, demanded Minister of Education Gideon Saar halt Zochrot's activities within the education system and that he contact educators to call on them not to attend the group's seminary. Preschool teachers were told by their ministry of education superiors not to cooperate with the extremist left-wing organization.

Cohen wrote to Saar, explaining the content of Zochrot's study programs, and said the group included "adherent statements and empathic messages with the feeling of disaster the Arabs felt while the state of Israel was declared." Quoting from one of the study programs as evidence of their intent, Cohen wrote that Zochrot teaches that, "The Nakba is part of us...The Nakba took place mostly at 1948 and it included the destruction of most of the Palestinian villages, thus turning their inhabitants into refugees and destroying the rich Palestinian life existing here."

In addition, the Legal Forum, also vocalized complaints against Zohar Sitner, a lecturer in one of Zochrot's programs, which according to the group's publication, works as a preschool teacher. The Legal Forum demanded Saar investigate whether Sitner is employed under his supervision, whether the students' parents were aware of her participation in Zochrot and its programs, and the possibility of the program being taught as part of her class.

"Zochrot is a private organization not authorized by the ministry of education," said the ministry of education in response. Sima Hadad, the preschool department supervisor, reportedly informed educators employed by the department of education that the Zochrot seminary is not part of the ministry's programs and that the groups activities are a private initiative and should not be cooperated with as part of the preparation for the coming school year.

The Legal Forum was reportedly pleased with ministry of education's quick response to the incident. "The state of Israel cannot allow the ones wishing to destroy it to act among young school and preschool children," said CEO Nahi Eyal. "It seems there is no limit to the extreme leftist organization's impertinence, asking to influence innocent children by way of irresponsible teachers. The Nakba learning program for preschool children is clear aid to our enemies going after the destruction of the state of Israel."


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