Local opposition to the establishment of an Arab school in Upper Nazareth has been brought to the attention of the Knesset, where opponents were accused of racism by Arab MKs, The Jerusalem Post reported.
The Knesset Education Committee discussed the steadfast refusal of the city’s Mayor Shimon Gapso.
Committee chairman MK Amram Mitzna (Movement) characterized the mayor’s position as unacceptable, while Arab MKs led by Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List-Ta’al) and Haneen Zoabi (Balad) characterized it as racist.
Gapso defended his position, branding the proposal to build an Arab school in his city was a “nationalist provocation under the guise of human rights.”
Gapso said that the proposal is aimed at altering the status quo in his city, where for many years, Arabs and Jews have lived peacefully side by side, each with their own customs and way of life.
But, he warned, “I, and the tens of thousands of residents that are with me, will not allow this to happen!” adding that the school plan is part of a larger plan to “oust the Jews from the Galil.”
The mayor denied allegations of racism, saying that while racism is based on an assertion of superiority, “I am a Jew in Israel who wants to live among his nation — not because they are better, but because they are my people. If this is racism — the whole idea of [a Jewish state] is racist.”