Is Israel’s Ministry of Education Encouraging Intermarriage?

This past year, over 27,000 Jewish students met with Arab youth in “Coexistence Meetings” sponsored by the Ministry of Education, according to a report from the State Control Committee.

The idea of these meetings, ostensibly, is to create nationalism through unity between groups by reducing racism. These meetings include Arab and Jewish students and are meant to help break down cultural barriers.
Karin Elharrar, Committee Chairwoman from the Yesh Atid party, praised the meetings saying, “The day someone doesn't suffer racial discrimination hasn't yet come. But the Education Ministry should enable that day to come by eradicating racism”.

According to the State Comptroller's report there is no master plan or any supervisor, teacher or coordinator personally responsible for its implementation. There is also no training nor measurable milestones of achievement.

So Karin Elharrar likes the program and wishes it would really get off the ground.

On the other side is the Lehava anti-assimilation organization, castigating the assimilation that the Ministry of Education is encouraging. “It's sad and ironic that the ministry helps fight assimilation abroad and encourages it in its own backyard. Meetings between Jewish youth and Arabs is a certain recipe for assimilation. Unfortunately there already have  been cases of intermarriage that began with these meetings.  The meetings to be encouraged should be between religious, Haredi and secular Jews. This is the dialogue to be encouraged not dialogue that leads to intermarriage.”


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