Sunday, May 31, 2015

Should Jewish Children Learn Arabic?

י״ג לחודש השלישי תשע״ה

Freshman MK Oren Hazan (Likud) seems to think so...
Arutz 7: Bill: Compulsory Arabic Classes from First Grade
MK Oren Hazan (Likud) thinks all Israeli kids should know Arabic – to lessen fear. Support from Left and Right.

Gil Ronen, May 27, 2015

MK Oren Hazan
Freshman MK Oren Hazan (Likud) has sponsored a bill that would make it mandatory for all Israeli schoolchildren to study spoken Arabic, from first to 12th grade.

The trigger for Hazan's decision is apparently the Defense Ministry's announcement that it has frozen plans to offer separate buses for Jews and Arabs in Samaria.

"In our daily reality, with Jews riding the buses in Judea and Samaria and hearing the Palestinians – they are usually afraid,” Hazan said. “With global terrorism and radical Islam on the rise, the lack of knowledge and understanding leads to fear.”

Army Radio reported that the bill has been received with enthusiasm by both Left and Right. MK Meretz's Issawi Frej signed the bill in support, and said: “This bill is a process that I have been accompanying for a year. I can only hope. Everything has a chance, it depends on who's behind it. Since Oren Hazan is a Coalition man and knows how to work and dig – there's a chance that it'll pass.”

Other MKs who signed the bill include Yinon Magal (Jewish Home), Anat Berko (Likud) and Merav Ben Ari (Kulanu).

(Tip: Life In Israel)
Esser Agaroth (2¢):
I'm not against the idea of students learning Arabic in school, nor even for them to learn it for several years, or for it to be a requirement. After all, the more we know Arabic the more the people will be able to hear for themselves just exactly what the Arabs think and feel, with their own ears.

Although, I do believe that pedagogically, the first grade is too young to begin studying Arabic, when students are still making regular mistakes in Hebrew, and in an increasing number of schools, expected to begin studying English as well.

I also do not buy the "to lessen fear" argument. Although most Jews make their way around Yehudah and Shomron (Judea and Samaria) on buses for convenience sake, many do ride the buses or safety reasons. They ride bulletproof buses to protect themselves from the Arabs. So, actually inviting the Arabs to join us on the bus, completely defeats the purpose of the bulletproofing, don't you think?

Furthermore, the kids getting around by tremping (hitchhiking), the Jews who are not afraid of Arabs, have been demonized for not being afraid of Arabs, and for daring to defend themselves from their "neighbors."

Do you really think that the government wants "to lessen [our] fear?"

And speaking of our "neighbors," Jews learning Arabic will also make it easier for Arabs and Jews to get together socially. Even more so, the Arabs connecting with these Arabic-learning Jews would be those non-Hebrew-speaking Arabs, who despise everything about Israel, such as Hebrew being its official language.

Social interaction leads to dating, which leads to a romantic connection. How many more cases of abusive Arab husbands battering their Jewish wives will result from MK Hazan's proposal? And what about the increase in cases of young, Jewish men being seduced into meeting their prospective Arab girlfriends in Ramallah, only to meet with a torturous death?

As one who grew up in the U. S., very close to the Mexican border, and in the bilingual city in denial, San Diego, I know first-hand just how practical it is to learn the language of a neighboring country.

But where do we fit it in? Who's gonna pay for it? How will students cope with learning two foreign languages simultaneously?

And just who do you think will be hired to teach our children? Arabs?

Jerusalem parents of special needs kids have already been expressing concerns over their children being driven to and from school by Arabs from East Jerusalem neighborhoods. "Expressing concerns" is an understatement.

What about the Arab employees caught trying to poison customers at restaurants in Jerusalem and Ramat Gan?

What about the Arab employee who blew up the cafeteria at Hebrew University in 2002?

What about the Arab employee who shot up the Merkaz HaRav Kook Yeshiva High School in 2008?

Will you trust these new, Arab teachers of Arabic? Will they go through background checks? Will that matter? Do you really want to take that chance?

I do not know about you, but this proposal does not lessen my fear of Arabs. It only makes it worse.

No comments:

You Might Also Like...