Israeli lawmakers approve bill for mandatory Arabic studies

Published October 25th, 2015 - 04:15 GMT
The bill would require Israeli schools to teach the Arabic language beginning in first grade. (AFP/File)
The bill would require Israeli schools to teach the Arabic language beginning in first grade. (AFP/File)

Schools will be required to teach Arabic from first grade, according to a bill by MK Oren Hazan (Likud) that the Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved Sunday.

Hazan said that by backing his bill in the middle of a wave of terrorism, the government and Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who supported the proposal, are signaling to the public that they want coexistence and calm. The Likud MK encouraged lawmakers from the coalition and opposition to put politics aside and vote for the bill when it goes to a preliminary Knesset reading on Wednesday.

“In these days, when terror is on the rise and coexistence is undermined, it’s important to lower the flames between citizens of the country, and there is no better way to do that than by understanding each other’s language to understand the culture and mentality of 1.5m. Arab citizens of Israel and hundreds of millions of Arabic-speakers in the Middle East,” Hazan stated.

The Likud MK called Arabic studies from a young age a bridge between different parts of Israel’s population.

“I have no doubt that when the Jewish population will understand Arabic, the way the Arab public understands Hebrew, we will see better days,” he added.

By Lahav Harkov


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