The way the prime minister intervened in the issue of the Shevah Mofet high school in Tel Aviv highlights what has long been one of his main tactics – unraveling the complex fabric of Israeli society and inciting the various groups in it against each other, usually while renouncing his own responsibility. Neither the facts nor the law prevented Benjamin Netanyahu from acting like an online troll, as Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai aptly put it.
The compulsory education law obliges local governments to provide education to every child, from the age of three, regardless of his civilian status. This year 13 first-grade classes and 46 kindergarten classes opened for migrants and refugees children throughout Tel Aviv. Not all of the foreign first-grade students go to Bialik Rogozin, the main school for migrants and refugees children, due to lack of space.
Because of the expected rise in the number of asylum seekers and migrants children and the shortage of suitable buildings, the Tel Aviv municipality plans to use the building of Shevah Mofet school for the foreign children who live in the area. Some 80 percent of the high schools 900 students live outside Tel Aviv, in Lod, Holon, Bat Yam, Givatayim and other towns.
They dont have to study in the schools current building in south Tel Aviv. If the school is indeed unique and hallowed, as Netanyahu claims, let the government he heads locate an alternative place for it in the city. In any case, the school is to continue operating in its current format this year, with no change.
After Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman spoke about the matter at the cabinet session on Wednesday, Netanyahu was the first to spot the potential for political capital and released a statement saying he objects to closing (the school) and turning it into a school for infiltrators children.
It appears that as far as the prime minister is concerned, the foreigners children should be sent to remote prison facilities.
The problem requires a government investment – both in the migrants and asylum seekers, many of whom cannot be deported, and in the veteran residents of south Tel Aviv. Such an investment would reflect a desire to help all the sides. The prime ministers statements demonstrate that he intends to do the exact opposite.
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