Tel Aviv and other Authorities to Oppose School Plans of Anti-LGBTQ Lawmaker

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister-designate agreed to give the authority of overseeing some of the content at schools in Israel to a far-right Knesset member notorious for his anti-LGBTQ stance.

This has prompted authorities in Tel Aviv as well as other local ones to push back against this decision.

The agreement

The agreement was made by Netanyahu with the only lawmaker in the Noam party, MK Avi Maoz and it gives him a budget of around NIS 100 million.

He will also receive a dozen employees, as he would be taking a new position of a deputy minister of a government agency part of the Prime Minister’s Office that would oversee the ‘national Jewish identity’.

Released last Wednesday, the text of the said agreement showed that authority will be given to this new body over the content that is taught in schools in the country, but is not part of the regular curriculum.

The agreement dictated that Maoz will have control of the unit of the Education Ministry that is responsible for partnerships and external teaching.

This means that non-official bodies that are hired for lecturing or teaching in Israeli schools will come under his authority.

The response

The local authorities in the capital city of Tel Aviv, as well as Hod Hasharon, Ramat Hasharon, Herzliya, Ramat Gan and Givatayim said that there would be push back if any of the liberal programs in schools are eliminated.

The Tel Aviv Municipality also said that any pluralistic educational programs or activities that the presumed incoming government cancels will be funded by the city.

Shirley Rimon Bracha, the head of the education department in Tel Aviv, sent a letter to school principals in the city, which is predominantly liberal.

She said that the expected appointment of Maoz is a management drama, but it could turn into a moral one.

She added that it was not a minor issue because they were all concerned about the one-sided and extremist intervention in the school curriculum.

Other details

An official of the municipality in Ramat Gan, Israel Zari said that the changes that Maoz implements will not be accepted quietly.

Zari said that lessons related to the gay community in schools and high schools were very important and they did not have anything to do with the left or right.

Yair Lapid, the outgoing Prime Minister, sent a missive to local council heads in which he said that the incoming government had forsaken the education of children and given it in the hands of the most backward and extreme people.

Lapid stated that the Noam party of Maoz was homophobic, racist and quite dangerous. He called on local leaders to not cooperate with the MK.

He added that local authorities now have the responsibility of the educational content that children will study in schools and they should keep the system liberal and respectable by using their authority.

Those belonging to the gay community have also shared their concerns about the position granted to Maoz.

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