Christian public schools across Israel are on strike. Students, parents and teachers from the Christian Arab population have demonstrated non-stop opposite the home of Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon in Haifa.
“The children are sitting at home and the government does nothing,” read the demonstrators’ placards. “We also want to celebrate the new school year, just as you celebrate the Jewish New Year,” shouted others.
School officially started on September 1, for everyone but the 33,000 students of the 47 Christian public schools after the government failed to comply with their demands.
The Christian schools were allocated some $56 million for the upcoming school year, and the government is now trying to reach an agreement over an additional $25 million grant.
School strikes at the start of the academic year are not at all uncommon in Israel, and usually are related to budget issues. This year it is the Christians, but in years past state-run secular schools and ultra-Orthodox Jewish schools have taken similar action.