Avraham Poraz
CChair, Education, Culture, and Sports Committee
Member of the Knesset
Kiryat Ben Gurion, Jerusalem
Jerusalem, Israel
972-2-675-3931 (fax)

Ran Cohen
Chair, Committee for the Advancement of the Status of the Child
Member of the Knesset
Kiryat Ben Gurion, Jerusalem
Jerusalem, Israel
972-2-675-3979 (fax)

Dear MK Cohen,
Dear MK Poraz,

I am writing to express my deep concern about discrimination against Palestinian Arabs in Israel's public education system and to urge immediate action by the Knesset to equalize educational opportunities for all Israeli children.

I was disturbed to learn that the Israeli government allocates less funding per Palestinian Arab student than per Jewish student. The result of this discrepancy is that Palestinian Arab children attend schools with larger classes and fewer teachers than Jewish children. They get far fewer enrichment and remedial programs-even though they need them more-in part because the Ministry uses a different scale to assess need for Jewish children. Some Arab schools lack basic learning facilities like libraries, computers, science laboratories and recreation space. Many Arab communities lack kindergartens for three and four-year-olds. Palestinian Arab children with disabilities and the Bedouin from the Negev Desert are particularly disadvantaged and receive significant less funding and services.

Inferior education severely affects the lives and futures of Palestinian Arab children. They drop out of school at three times the rate of Jewish children and are less likely to pass the national matriculation exams for a high school diploma. Only a handful make it to university.

Israel has a fundamental duty to provide education without discrimination to all of its citizens, including those who are Palestinian Arab. As leading members of the Knesset with special responsibilities for children, I urge you to take immediate action to:

I request that you take all necessary steps to ensure that all children in Israel enjoy the right to education without discrimination.

Thank you very much for your consideration.

Sincerely yours,