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Israel: Arabic Will be Taught in Public Schools Beginning in First Grade

arabs.jpgA bill that will compel teaching Arabic to students in Israel’s public schools passed its preliminary reading in Knesset on Wednesday, 15 Cheshvan. If the bill is passed into law, schools will have to begin teaching Arabic beginning in first grade.

MK (Likud) Oren Chazon explains his backing of the bill, stating “We must understand when Arabs speak whether in relation to soccer, songs or culture”. He feels learning Arabic will permit children to become better acquainted with their Arab neighbors and knowing Arabic will facilitate living side-by-side.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett was also counted among those lawmakers backing the bill.

Some parents asked to comment explain that while they have no problem with the children learning Arabic, this should not begin until 4th or 5th grade as to give them sufficient time to master a working knowledge of Hebrew before introducing other languages.

After passing its preliminary reading the bill is now in the Knesset Education Committee to prepare a final draft and its will then be voted on in its first of three readings in the Knesset plenum.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

12 Responses

  1. Israel is in the Middle East. While most hilonim dream of moving to America (and need to know English), most religious Jews plan to stay in Eretz Yisrael, meaning Arabic is much more useful. Like it or not, Israel’s neighbors are all Arabic speaking. One should note that Arabic is very similar to Hebrew, whereas the other likely foreign languages to learn are all Indo-European (Aryan) languages with totally different grammer and vocabulary.

  2. So now those kookoo Palestinian sympathizers who demonstrate against “quote” the zionist state can have free public school education!!!

  3. Arabic is only useful if you are doing business with Arabs. Assuming the world will be oil independent by the time these kids grow up, the only business left to do with Arabs would be buying and selling suicide belts. So why are we wasting these kids’ precious time?

  4. Knowledge of Arabic is very useful for those serving in the military and in the security forces and for getting an unfiltered understanding of the Arab world. Beginning to study it in first grade may be overkill but is high time that Arabic be part of the required curriculum in Israel.

  5. Also it’s useful when you have Arab workers to tell them to scrub the toilet nice and clean with a tooth brush since that’s all there good for.

  6. Imagine on a bus an Arabic speaking Jew overhears a discussion between Arabs on planning yet another pigua – forget soccer & culture, that’s just PC nonsense. This could save lives. I agree that Arabic should be left until later grades, though.

  7. Well now all the chiloni kids will be able to tell their Arab assailants “I don’t want to die today” and the Arabs will understand what they’re saying!

  8. #1 I support teaching Arabic, however English is important for everyone to know, its become the worls language, people who speak differnt languages speak english to each other, its the language of commercer, the language of diplomacy, the language of travel.

    Even if you stay in Israel and never leave, there are plenty of visitors who come and speak english and its important to be able to communicate with them. When I was recently in Israel I was shocked at the lack of english spoken except in Hotels and in a few areas dedicated to tourists. They spoke better english in Eastern Europe than they did in Israel

  9. the Zionist government wants Jews and Arabs to intermarry so there can be peace in our time so they want this to lead to more intermarriage.

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