Abraham Lincoln once said that, “The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.”
This hope is being echoed by the Israeli parliament – known as the Knesset – who have proposed legislation that would make it mandatory to instruct Israeli students in Arabic language and culture beginning in the first grade.
According to a report published by The Jerusalem Post, Member of Knesset Oren Hazan introduced this law. And he has quickly become its strongest proponent since the Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved it on Sunday.
Hazan has been pleading with his fellow Knesset members to approve the measure when it comes to a preliminary vote on Wednesday.
“In these days, when terror is on the rise and coexistence is undermined, it’s important to lower the flames among the nation’s citizens, and there is no better way to do that than by understanding each other’s language, to understand the culture and mentality of 1.5 million Arab citizens of Israel and hundreds of millions of Arabic- speakers in the Middle East,” Hazan said.
Hazan views teaching Israeli children Arabic language and culture as a major step forward in the effort to improve the tumultuous relationship between the two long-embattled nations.
“I have no doubt that when the Jewish population will understand Arabic, the way the Arab public understands Hebrew, we will see better days,” Hazan also said.
Hazan may be being a bit reductive here, but his general philosophy seems sound.
A future that includes more books and less bombs is one that is certainly worth striving for.
Banner Credit: Shane T. McCoy