The Israeli establishment went wild -- how dare these irresponsible parents take their children out of state-mandated school, and take them to political demonstrations? "It's abuse," they screamed, as Limor Livnat (then, Minister of Education) threatened parents who took their children out of school.
Newspapers clamored at us how terrible it was to bring children to demonstrations at the expense of school. How dare we call a strike and prevent our children from getting an education?
(fast forward to June 2006).
As the fruits of the Disengagement continue to rain down on the southern region of Israel surrounding the Gaza Strip, almost all their schools went on strike today in protest over the horrendous security situation. Every single parent kept their children home from school, and many went to a political protest in front of the Defense Minister Amir Peretz's home in Sederot.
Thousands of children were kept home by their parents for a political protest.
How come no one says anything?
Six-year-old Diana Rafaes, clutching her mother Alamaz's hand tightly, said "we went to school today, but they told is it was closed because a man was hurt in the Qassam attacks; so I went back home, and now I am with mom. When there's a Qassam run down from our apartment on the third floor to the second to hide until it's over."
Her mother Alama said, "The children are afraid; we all are. This is a terrible situation. You can't go to work in peace because there are hardly any jobs available; so you hold on and try to survive."
Mark Schneider, a local 12th grader, said "we haven't studied regularly for the past four years. I don't know how I managed to take the exams -- you sit down and suddenly, in the middle of a matriculation exam -- boom, a Qassam. And if there is no Qassam, you're always fearful that one may land at any given moment. It's simply terrible." (YNetnews)
Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael