Education Minister Yuli Tamir has been much in the news. Two weeks ago she went on a well-publicized visit to authoritarian Singapore to learn the secret of its school system's success.
Tamir summed up her visit in an interview with Yediot Aharonot, saying, "What most entranced me about [Singaporean schoolchildren] was that while there is discipline, it doesn't look like repression. I didn't see fear in the children's eyes."
It makes sense that this would be the aspect of Singapore's education system that most impressed Tamir. Her moves back home are all aimed at foisting her political agenda on schoolchildren while blocking all forms of dissent. Dissent, after all, could make her agenda appear repressive.
Tamir's political agenda has been alternately described as pro-peace, anti-Zionist, pro-democracy, anti-democracy, pluralistic and anti-Semitic.
To understand what her agenda actually holds in store for our future, we need to move beyond labels and assess her policies themselves.
Last December, Tamir ordered that from now on, all maps of the country in new textbooks must clearly demark the 1949 armistice lines. As Tamir sees it, the demarcation of the 1949 armistice lines is crucial for advancing peace. Speaking to Ha'aretz, she said, "We cannot demand that our Arab neighbors mark the borders from 4 June 1967, when our own Education Ministry has erased them from the textbooks and from the students' consciousness."
SINCE ISRAEL has applied its laws to the entirety of unified Jerusalem and to the Golan Heights, it is clear that the reason they don't appear in school textbooks is because they are irrelevant to the study of Israel's borders. Aside from that, when the cease-fire lines were drawn, neither Israel nor any of its neighbors accepted them as borders and, moreover, in the peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, those lines did not serve as the basis for determining the borders between them. And so, not only does her move ignore Israel's own determination of its sovereignty, it also ignores historical fact.
As one of the founders of the EU-funded radical Peace Now movement, Tamir opposes all Israeli building beyond the 1949 lines. Her animus was given expression this month with the Council for Higher Education of Judea and Samaria's decision to upgrade Ariel College to the status of university center. Immediately after the institute, which confers bachelor's and master's degrees on its 8,500 students, changed its name to the Ariel University Center of Samaria, Tamir pledged to cut off its government funding and to ignore any correspondence with the institution if it referred to itself as a university center.
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.
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