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Jewish kindergartens to start each week with national anthem

The recent spike in ultra-nationalist legislation is by no means confined to MKs and grand issues like separation of powers and freedom of speech:

The Education Ministry has released new regulations stipulating that beginning next year, all kindergarten teachers in the Jewish sector will start each new week with raising the flag and singing the anthem. They will also be required to teach national symbols to the children once a week, so that by Independence day (within six months) all the children know the national anthem by heart…. the ministry told Haaretz these regulations will not be implemented in the Arab sector,  adding the pre-school department of the ministry was still holding consultations to see how these changes can be applied there.

What can you say to that? Israeli satire is becoming more and more prophetic by the day.

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    1. JUMP

      Saluting the flag at the beginning of school, teaching children about national symbols, and giving legislators a veto over the judicial nomination process. You are right to be very afraid — Israel is turning into…America.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Noam W

      I distinctly remember, in kindergarden Givataim, not quite a settlement in the late 70s, that we learned the national anthem by heart. I believe that the vast majority of my fellow students are much to the left of center not withstanding.

      Let’s not become Pavlovian about state symbols.

      Reply to Comment
    3. RichardNYC

      I’m getting this weird nostalgia from my American primary schools days…there was a routine every day in the mornings…I think it went something like…”I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United State of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

      Reply to Comment
    4. max

      I presume that personal experience is a strong factor when dealing with emotional elements, and national symbols are very emotional.
      I also found an interesting article that argues that modern communication promotes the interdependence of nationalism and
      supranationalism and their mutual growth.
      In other words, extreme right meets and feeds extreme left, and vice versa 🙂

      Reply to Comment
    5. Noam W

      On the other hand, not everything done in the US is so great. Maybe if Americans didn’t repeat “under god” every morning, the US wouldn’t be the only developed country in which a third of the population thinks evolution is definitely not true.

      Reply to Comment
    6. RichardNYC

      @Noam W
      Yes, it was definitely saying “under God” every morning that shaped my core religious beliefs. I also remember becoming a lutheran the second I was sworn in on a bible. American state-sponsored religious hypnosis is pretty overwhelming I guess.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Tactical Nuclear Housecat

      This comment has been deleted for violating the rules of the site.

      Reply to Comment
    8. richard Allen

      @RichardNYc–that’s a cute little joke you’re making there, and I agree that in the grand scheme of things, Israeli school children singing HaTikva is fairly harmless, but objectively, pledging allegiance to a piece of fabric that is merely a symbol is fairly creepy and gross.

      Reply to Comment
    9. yudit

      Let children be children, at least for a while.

      There is enough time to teach them about history, politics etc in the future.

      Reply to Comment
    10. Carrie

      I did it every day in school here in the US and I didn’t become a zombie. I think this article is an hysterical overreaction to something that is done across our country and has been for decades.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Mitchell Cohen

      I, for one, am glad to hear Kindergarten students will learn the Hatikva. If we are afraid to teach anything having to do with Zionism in our schools, what is the point of having a country? Kol HaKavod, Gideon Sa’ar!!!!

      Reply to Comment
    12. annush

      From the wall greets Erich Honecker. The pupils stand up before the first lesson. “For peace and socialism. Be ready, always ready!” One pupil announces if the class is complete or anybody(by name) is missing for the lessons.

      As the lesson goes on…
      Teacher: “Why do we love the German Democratic Republic?”
      Pupils: “Because we love our homeland!”

      Other options for improving school or kindergarden:

      – using a red scarf to underline belonging and organize children in groups to teach them political structure or ideas
      – letting children line up by size during the sports lessons, the biggest first, the smallest last, and show them how to achieve order and structure (…)

      later on there are other possibilities like denying the right to study to children of parents who are not supporting the social ideas; or closing borders and keeping the “folk” inside as the world outside is anyway just full of socialism (state) -enemies.

      Why not teach children, that the world is such an interesting surrounding with possibly something like 195 national anthems, each different and special itself?!

      Reply to Comment
    13. What’s the problem? When I was growing up in the United Kingdom, some thirty years ago, we had to sing the national anthem at school every week. This began in kindergarten where we, not only learnt the words to God Save The Queen off by heart, but were also taught about our nation’s symbols and emblems for the very first time.

      Even though we did not take part in any flag raising ceremonies at kindergarten, we were expected to take part in flag raising ceremonies involving the whole school from the age of eight. I remember, in particular, taking part in a whole school flag raising ceremony when Prince William was born in 1982. I was only aged eight at the time but I’ll never forget the sense of patriotism I felt when, at the command of our headmaster, every child in the school stood to attention and saluted the Union Flag – in honour of the baby.

      I believe very strongly that teaching children about nationalism is an important part of their spiritual, moral and social development. This is particularly so in countries and nations which one day expects these children to perform some sort of National Service or military duty. I can only speak from my own experience but, by the time I had reached the age of thirteen, I couldn’t wait to join the Cadet Force and do my military duty.

      Reply to Comment