Rabbi Gafni Urges Assoc. for Civil Rights to Stop
Interfering With Chareidi Education
By Yechiel Sever
MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni expressed astonishment over the activity
of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), which,
instead of standing by the citizen and defending his rights,
chose to send a letter to the Knesset Education Committee
regarding a matter wholly unrelated to its activities, in an
effort to interfere with the curriculum at chareidi
educational institutions. The Association for Civil Rights in
Israel is supported by the New Israel Fund (NIF) among other
sources of funding.
The committee received the letter containing a request to
interfere with the curriculum at Torah-based institutions
during Chanukah, of all times.
"During an age in which government education is in a state of
decline while chareidi education is succeeding, even in the
international school surveys," wrote Rabbi Gafni, "in an age
of violence and drugs at government schools compared to
remarkable discipline in the chareidi educational system, to
rise up in such a blatant manner against this education
system, which is not just for a handful of families, but for
a large section of the Jewish public with proven ideology --
this conduct is inappropriate. I'm not asking for your
assistance or your advice on how to educate our children. If
the education system in Israel, which unfortunately is at the
bottom of the ranking in the Western world, does not choose
to learn from the chareidi education system the [worthwhile]
things it has to offer, [at least] don't interfere.
"We must examine ourselves to discover how it happens that in
matters related to the chareidi public systems go off track.
How is it that people from the Association for Civil Rights,
who battle in a manner worthy of respect for the sake of
civil rights, when it comes to the chareidi public they join
forces with the government authorities that undermine their
basic rights? How is it that those who sing the praises of
democracy and its achievements, when it comes to the chareidi
public, democracy fades away and equality vanishes in a wispy
smoke of excuses?"
At the end of his letter Rabbi Gafni urges the Association
for Civil Rights to retract the letter it dispatched on the
issue of chareidi education in order to continue cooperating
and defending citizens, which is the Association's primary
activity, and to prevent the majority in control from taking
over and harming the ways of the life of minority groups,
which is the essence of democracy.