The key to a strong, democratic nation lies in its schools, says the daughter of Israel's former prime minister.
As we read of the turmoil across the Middle East, we in Israel see the picture from a different perspective. We are bordered in the North and South by instability, war, horror. The world sees a struggle within the Arab community for freedom, for democracy, and yet for years they turned a blind eye. Israel, my homeland, is the only democratic society in the Middle East. A society truly free that survives amidst a region filled with totalitarianism, suppression of basic rights and demonic acts committed against the citizenry. A society that has thrived not because of a strong defense, but because of an open and free education—it is my belief, that this is the key to truly affecting change in this world. Educate.
The roots of Israel’s focus on education were actually born from necessity, but were firmly grounded throughout the state’s growth. In the years since World War II, Israel saw an unprecedented amount of new immigrants entering its society, including people from all walks of life, from across the world and Europe. Many of these people never knew freedom and democracy in their lives and they came to Israel to find their new hope. They spoke many languages, yet they lived as one. Over time, education was what turned a diverse society into a vibrant nation, and it can do the same for other countries if done openly, transparently and uncensored.