The new school year is about to begin and there is a lot of excitement. Ever since the current government took office, the education system has been under constant attack by the “influential” crowd, which has been none too happy with the direction that the education minister and his office have taken. It is too Jewish, too nationalistic, too historic, they say.
For over 40 years Israeli society has been subjected to an intense indoctrination onslaught, involving the "Ministry of Truth" marketing its special lexicon by way of media mouthpieces and the Israeli academia: Peace (which has instigated war), human rights (excluding the right of Jews to a national home and to self defense), rule of law (as long as the law adheres to the Left’s values), democracy (meaning a disregard for majority rule), pluralism (meaning giving room to all the minority opinions, even the most esoteric ones, but not to the majority opinion), silencing (after having grown accustomed to hearing only themselves, they become angry when voices that differ from their own appear in the media here and there), enlightenment (meaning ignorance of historical facts but a solid grasp on emasculating political correctness), etc.
In recent years, the conservative camp has started to fight back. The conservatives now realize that winning elections is not enough. They must govern, or, in other words, implement political and cultural ideas. That is the task they were given by the voters. Besides the ongoing ministerial work, the government needs to extricate the collective Israeli awareness from this indoctrination. And it begins with education.
One of the battles that have gained a lot of media attention recently is the dismissal (which has now been suspended by the labor court pending a special committee hearing) of the Education Ministry's civics education inspector, Adar Cohen.
Cohen was the political inheritance left to the ministry by former Education Minister Yuli Tamir, one of the founders of the Peace Now organization. Just like Tamir opportunistically appointed Professor Yedidia Stern to head the Education Ministry Committee on Civics Studies ten days before the election that ended her term as education minister. Just like the Planning and Budgeting Committee was opportunistically established in 1977 by an interim leftist government, during coalition talks, taking away much of the government’s authority over the budgets of higher education institutions. Just like in countless other cases, the aim was to plant mines along the conservatives’ path, making it impossible to govern as they saw fit.
When Cohen was dismissed from his post, the Left, as usual, sang from the same hymn sheet in the media. The narrative of lies they fed to the public was that Cohen had been “persecuted while fulfilling his duties” (an especially clever way of putting it, brought to us by Gil Bringer who first exposed the case in Makor Rishon). Cohen served as the civics supervisor for three years under the current education minister, and now suddenly the government has decided to persecute him?
Cohen didn’t just slip up once, he screwed up time and time again, approving textbooks rife with significant errors, issuing misguided messages aimed at covering his own ass, rewriting meeting protocols, and more. Education Ministry Director-General Dalit Shtauber described it as a “problematic behavioral pattern” adding that Cohen “said he did wrong, but tried to lay the blame on others.” The Civil Service Commission (the government’s human resources body) also concluded that Cohen had displayed “severe professional failures” and that “we must re-examine the professional suitability of this employee and decide whether to continue his employment in his current position.”
With a rap sheet like that, who could have possibly held on to a job? But Cohen has an army of supporters in the media: from Haaretz to Yedioth Ahronoth, by way of Army Radio and Israel Radio and all the television channels. These supporters haven’t taken the time to read the serious charges against Cohen (incidentally, I don’t get the impression that they read anything contrary to their own ideas in any kind of depth). Indeed, the Right has a lot to learn from the Left on banding together to protect one of their own.
Another important battle currently being waged in the education arena is the declaration that Ariel University Center in Samaria is officially the eighth Israeli university. The Left has completely lost its mind on this issue. The government has managed to overcome every obstacle on the path to approving Ariel’s official university status. The hypocritical objections voiced by the Committee of University Heads to the status upgrade will be remembered with shame, just like previous objections to the establishment of the existing universities. The self-promoting, short-sighted professors will be confronted by elected officials and the latter will bring about the will of the voters. The Ariel University will be established.
Here is an interesting hypothesis regarding President Shimon Peres: As long as his revered role model, Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, was alive, Peres was a hawk who put an emphasis on security and saw, for example, the hard-core ideological settlements in eastern Samaria as a necessary component for Israel’s future.
During the first years following Ben-Gurion’s death, the old man’s spirit continued to influence Peres’ political decisions. But then came the 1977 election upset (in which the Right took power for the first time after decades of left-wing hegemony), the savages rose to power, and the white tribe did everything to hold on to the power centers it still controlled (academia, media, state prosecution etc.).
The Mishna teaches us that a man shall always live close to his teacher, because it increases the likelihood that he will remain true to himself and not be tempted by false gods. But Peres looked behind him and didn’t see his old teacher. He then looked at his fellow hawks and realized that in terms of direct electorate and his legitimacy as the leader of the defeated camp, they would not get him where he wanted to go. He converted and became the great dovish hope of the Israeli Left.
And then, only five years after one of the most daring military operations in history – the rescue of hostages in Entebbe, which Peres orchestrated as defense minister – he opposed the bombing of the nuclear reactor in Iraq. And then came Oslo, and the welcoming of Yasser Arafat and his gang into Israel and the massive suicide attacks and so on and so forth, up until the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 and the wars that followed.
Someone recently pointed me to a typical Peres news story from April 2005, just before the withdrawal from Gaza, when Peres, in his capacity as vice prime minister, met with then-French President Jacques Chirac to discuss the “economic future of the region” after the withdrawal. Peres suggested international cooperation. Among other things, Peres suggested erecting a Club Med resort in Gaza in place of the Jewish settlements.
The blatant flattery piece, which ran in Yedioth Ahronoth, began as follows: “Why didn’t anyone think of it before?” Well, as we all know, the Jewish settlements in Gaza have been replaced by a huge “Club Mad” – a club of fanatics all gunning for one thing: the destruction of Israel. Since then, many more Club Mad franchises have popped up across the Middle East.
When Peres was appointed president, I was glad. It is best that he occupy his time with ceremonies and honors, collecting medals and hobnobbing with celebrities for the sake of Israel, rather than imparting his political vision on us. No thanks. We’re full.
Now, faced with media incitement against the state’s leadership on a purely military topic (a possibly Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities), which is supposed to remain outside the political debate, Peres could not resist. He couldn’t pass up the opportunity to rejuvenate the image of peace messiah that his waning camp has been trying to maintain. So he gave interviews to his tribe’s news channels, and put spokes in the wheels of the government’s efforts to stop Iran.