After Attacks, Israeli Schools Confront Hate - the Tech
The classroom conversation, as some two million Israeli children started school on Monday, was part of a national hand-wringing over the Aug. 16 beating in Zion Square, which was described as an attempted lynching that left 17-year-old Jamal Julani near death. The education minister instructed all junior high and high schools to conduct a lesson on the episode, which revealed festering wounds regarding race, violence, and extremism.
Israel has been struggling with myriad internal conflicts involving identity and pluralism. As the ultra-Orthodox population has grown, there have been battles over women’s role in the public sphere and whether Yeshiva students should remain exempt from military service. A surge of illegal immigration by African workers led to a fierce backlash this spring, raising questions of tolerance. And there have been a spate of mosque burnings and vandalism in Palestinian villages in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
Monday’s effort to draw a lesson, perhaps a healing moment, came as the nation was shocked again when a court held two 12-year-olds and a 13-year-old in connection to the firebombing of a Palestinian taxi on the same day. The youths live in Bat Ayin, a religious Jewish settlement, and the taxi was hit on a nearby road. The driver and his five passengers were wounded, two seriously.