The Influence of Government & Electoral System on Education in Israel

June 7th, 2011
 
On June 5, 2011, CECI’s “Forum for Government Stability” and Tel Aviv University co-hosted a conference at Kibbutzim College of Education, Technology and Arts. During the meeting, MK Yisrael Katz, Minister of Transportation and the Chairman of the Governance Committee, called for a change for Israel’s electoral system. He argued that direct elections of the Prime Minister are not enough, and we need to combine a regional element in the system.
 
This conference was a follow up of the May 25, 2011 meeting where Minister Katz addressed the Forum for Government Stability on topics that had been discussed by the Knesset’s Coalition Committee (established by Prime Minister Netanyahu in February).

 The topics included:

  • Examining the Presidential System
  • Increasing the electoral threshold (voter’s threshold)
  • Addressing the idea that the head of the larger party should be Prime Minister
  • The number of MKs that will be needed in order to dissolve the government
  • Comparing elected representatives to appointed ones
Minister Katz commented that the Coalition Committee recommends that the Prime Minister should be able to operate without constraints and the Ministers should be able to implement the policies they’ve decided upon. This would create a climate for a more powerful and stable government. He added that for some issues, such as raising the electoral threshold and the required number of MKs needed to dissolve the government when a “vote of confidence” is necessary, there is a possibility of getting a majority vote and a real chance for reform. This will contribute to a better functioning government system.
 
The June 5th conference participants included prominent individuals from academia and the education field. Also present were Izak Parviz Nazarian (CECI founder), Uri Lubrani, and Uri Dori. Panel member Professor Nimrod Aloni, stated that politicians do not have an interest in having the public be well educated and astute. “Politicians prefer the public to follow them without asking questions.” Aloni proposed to create another authority — a “state education authority” which will determine the educational goals.
 
Former Education Minister, Professor Yuli Tamir, also participated on the panel and stated that education has always been political. “There hasn’t been and will never be neutral education. There is a professional body called the Ministry of Education, and it sets the education policy and content.” MK Raleb Majadele addressed the conference by saying that privatization is a disaster. “Privatization is an open invitation to increase gaps and social alienation of the Israeli society. Crime, increased school dropouts, and violence are part of the social ills created by privatization.” MK Majadele added, “I will not sing the Israeli anthem because it doesn’t mean anything to me. The anthem is Jewish and not Israeli. When the anthem is Israeli, I will be the first one to sing it.”
 
CECI is addressing the connection between the lack of government stability and how it affects different aspects of life. CECI’s General Director, Yuval Lipkin, stated, “This conference is the first cooperation between CECI and the Kibbutzim College.” The goal of the conference was to discuss the connection between government stability and the challenges the education system has confronted during the last decade.
 

Below is the link to an article that was published on the Ynet website:

 

Minister of Transportation Yisrael Katz addressing the conference

From Left to right: Dr. Asaf Matskin, Former Minister of Education Prof. Yuli Tamir, MK Raleb Majadele

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