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Creeping Zhdanovism

In response to the editorial, "Preserve the free press," Decem

As an expert on the history of the Soviet Union, I am getting a whiff of creeping Zhdanovism here. The sad situation for people like me is that most of the population of Israel, including about a million who have come here from Zhdanov's homeland, doesn't care in the least.

Prof. Shimon Redlich

Modi'in

Underachieving Arab students

A wealth of books, articles surveys and academic papers have been written about the ills of Arab education in Israel and the modest and even disgraceful achievements students score on the matriculation exams, the Growth and Effectiveness measures for Schools (Meitzav ) exams and the international TIMSS and PIRLS exams.

Thus far little has been written about the part played by the Arab leadership over the years with respect to these "achievements." Arab heads of municipalities, Knesset members and school principals should take a probing, critical and courageous look at what is happening, examine their consciences and admit they have failed miserably in managing improving Arab education.

The Arab leadership's main failure, in my opinion, is that it has not managed to comprehend fully the function of education as something that can determine the fate of individuals and a public. It appears that the investment needed in Arab education is first and foremost the development of long-term and professional scientific management strategies instead of short-term and changing political and clan-focused strategies of an electoral nature.

Kamal Muad

Arabeh

An option for Arab voters

In response to "Poll: Half of Israeli Arabs don't intend to vote in January elections," December 12

The indifference to the election on the part of Israeli Arabs is not a new phenomenon. I often hear complaints to the effect that the Arab political parties do not really represent their electorate. Clearly, many Arabs take an interest in the same issues that interest Jewish Israelis and therefore the non-Arab parties could be relevant to them as well. They are concerned about the problems of unemployment, housing, health and education; they are also concerned about the increasing violence in their society, just like Jewish voters. In addition, they want to feel equal to the rest of Israel's citizens.

If that is the case, why not give the non-Arab parties a try? I assume that most Arabs would tend to vote for parties of the center and the left, the very parties that need more votes in order to defeat the existing leadership. This has happened in other countries, such as the United State, where President Barack Obama won two elections after he chose to represent the minorities and those on the center and left of the American political spectrum. We should encourage the Arabs to join us in our efforts to replace the current government with a government that will help all its citizens to live in peace and prosperity.

 

Dvora Notman

Haifa