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Religion, Not Statesmanship

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Knesset member Rafi Peretz of the Union of Right-Wing Parties hasn’t yet officially been appointed education minister, but he has already declared that there is no effort at increasing religious influence in Israel. “It’s almost a fiction,” he said, hastening to add that he “respects everyone. I don’t intend to impose anything on anybody.”

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Neither part of his statement has any basis in fact. Secular schools are a key arena for efforts at increasing religious influence, through religious community activists, textbooks and various programs. Peretz’s predecessors in the job, most of whom were religious Zionists, made use of empty sweet talk to conceal their intervention in the secular state schools. Peretz’s exasperation is unconvincing. This leader of the Union of Right-Wing Parties — which includes the heirs of Meir Kahane — doesn’t respect the large segment of the population........

© Haaretz