Israel to subsidise schools which teach its curriculum in east Jerusalem


Israel is aiming to fund more schools in east Jerusalem which teach the Israeli rather than the Palestinian curriculum, according to Haaretz.

The move is controversial because east Jerusalem isn't part of Israel proper and is considered by the international community to be part of the territory occupied by Israel. It is supposed to be the site of the capital of a future Palestinian state, and its residents are mostly Palestinians – both Muslim and Christian.

Now, the Israeli Education Ministry is reported to be ready to give extra subsidies to schools in east Jerusalem that teach the same programme as schools in Israel. This funding won't be made avaialable to schools that continue to teach a Palestinian curriculum.

The Ministry is yet to comment officially on the matter.

The move will be seen as provocative, because many on the Palestinian side will perceive a further attempt to 'Israelize' east Jerusalem. This process involves Jewish settlements (illegal under international law) being built in east Jerusalem, the use of the Separation Barrier to cut off east Jerusalem from the West Bank, and investing more in infrastructure in west Jerusalem than in east Jerusalem.

For his part, Israeli minister Naftali Bennett said he wants "to provide a strong tailwind to any school that chooses the Israeli curriculum. My policy is clear: I want to aid the process of Israelization." Israel declared Jerusalem its eternal, undivided capital in the 1980s – a move which hasn't been recognised by the international community.

This latest development comes on the back of last year's strike by Christian schools which was based on their status and funding by the Israeli government.