pr 08-06-04

Adalah's Newsletter
Volume 67, December 2009

Adalah to Education Minister: Requiring 'Loyalty to the Values of Zionism' as a Condition for Senior Posts in Education Ministry Perpetuates Subordination of the
Arab Educational System in Israel

On 01 December 2009, Adalah sent a letter to the Minister of Education, Gideon Saar, and Attorney General, Menachem Mazuz, demanding the immediate removal of the requirement that candidates for posts within the Education Ministry should be loyal to the values of Zionism from the terms and conditions of all job vacancy announcements. The letter was prepared by Adalah Attorney Sawsan Zaher.

In all of its recently-published bids for new senior staff positions, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has cited the criterion of loyalty to the values of Israeli society and culture as a condition for accepting candidates. The criterion that the applicant “is a person with a positive attitude towards the values of Israeli and general culture” appears in the bids in a section on personal suitability, including in bids specifically targeted at the Arab minority and the Circassians. Adalah argued in the letter that as the dominant culture in Israel is Jewish-Zionist culture, this requirement implies that the applicant must be loyal to the values of Zionism. Indeed, for certain positions a further, more extreme condition is added, namely that the candidate must comply with “the values of the Jewish community.” This condition is a flagrant violation of the rights of Arab applicants as members of the Arab Palestinian national minority.

Adalah argued that the job descriptions indicate that the advertised positions call for professional, academic skills and experience, and that the political and ideological views of applications are irrelevant; the stipulation of the loyalty condition thus indicates that the MOE is seeking to entrench a Zionist narrative within the Arab educational system.

Adalah added that the imposition of the criterion of loyalty to the values of Zionism on all applicants for positions in the MOE is in violation of the constitutional rights of Arab citizens of the state to dignity, equality and freedom of employment. It also stands to further reduce the percentage of Arab citizens of Israel employed by the MOE, which currently stands at just 6.2% overall, and far lower at senior levels, while Arab citizens constitute 20% of the total population of Israel.




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