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Jan 2, 2008

Quote of the Day (qotd): Education Reform

There is an interesting rule in the Knesset. The Members of Knesset are not actually obligated to show up for discussions or votes. Many spend more time outside of the Knesset than in, and many miss the discussions and votes on a regular basis. Do not get me wrong, I am sure that most of the time most of those MKs staying away from the Knesset during important discussions are busy with other pressing matters (related tot he commitees they work on and the like) outside of the Knesset building.

The exception to the rule is when 40 MKs sign a petition, they can force the Prime Minister (who generally does not show up) to come and be present at a discussion, and explain his position.

40 MKs signed a petition forcing Olmert to show up to a discussion about the education crisis, including the recent strike by the teachers, and the current ongoing strike by Uiversity professors.

While discussing the crisis, Olmert lashed out saying that the crisis has been in existence for over 20 years and many governments have failed in the task and it cannot be solved in one agreement and with one strike. It is something that needs a lot fo work and a lot of perseverance.

He lashed out at various groups for their parts in the crisis and their unrealistic expectations.

One of the groups he lashed out at was the Haredim. He said to the Haredi MKs, and this qualifies for the Quote of the Day, "If God forbid we woudl let you control your education system, you would destroy it because you would each be harming the other. Only someone like me can deal directly and honestly with the Haredi educational system. The Haredi children of Jerusalem always thanked me "How fortunate that you are not Haredi". Only a secular Jew like me can deal honestly with the problems in the Haredi educational system."

While Olmert is probably right that giving control of Haredi education to a member of a Haredi party would probably destroy it and they would fight with each other even worse, I find it funny that he says only a secular Jew can deal with Haredi education.

If that is true, why have the problems not been solved? Until now it has always been dealt with by secular Jews, yet the problems were never solved (one could even say they were created within the system secular jews et up) so I do not understand how he has the gall to make such a statement.
And it is even funnier that he thinks Haredim saying "how fortunate you are not Haredi" is a compliment. Simply nobody wants to be associated with him!


  1. Maybe I'm stupid, or ignorant, but I still can't figure out not only how the histadrut could have signed an agreement which lowered wages (hourly,) but how come the members haven't cancelled their membership?
    It makes me wonder about their intelligence.

  2. I recently read on a blog about some of the problems in the haredi-run educaational system. Maybe you should take a look at it. An outsider has a better chance of dealing with the system since he is not burdened with all the additional baggage (read: narishkeit) that an insider has.

  3. yoni - the system has plenty of problems, and Olmert is probably right that if Haredim ran the system they would eat each other alive with infighting, but let's get real. The system has been run for 60 years by secular people and it is in shambles (might be an exaggeration, but it is full of problems), so to say I am the only one who can solve the problems because I am a secular jew is a little on the side of "yohara"

  4. Rafi,

    From what Olmert said (referring to it as "your educational system") it seems that he was referring to chareidi education, not the educational system in general.

  5. I did not notice that nuance. could be...


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