Ngo comments on the Initial Israeli State Report on Implementing the un convention on the Rights of the Child



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Proposals for Improvement



Five-Year Plan
In the 2000 budget, the Ministry of Education adopted a Five-Year Plan for the advancement of the Arab education system. The plan’s primary goal is to boost the percentage of high school students passing their matriculation exams by 50%.xlvii The plan was first implemented in the 2000-2001 school year, but rather than a thorough-going reform of the system, it merely began a series of stop-gap measures designed to boost standardized test scores.
The Ministry of Education allocated NIS 250 million over five years for the plan, less than a third of what the Follow-Up Committee on Arab Education in Israel estimated was necessary to meet the system’s immediate needs.xlviii The plan fails to reform curricula, repair infrastructure or address overcrowding. Instead, the sum total of the plan is to simply contract out small enrichment programs to private vendors, with little oversight or input from local educators. The privately operated classes are taught by outside staff, rather than local teachers. The vendors claim they can double as a valuable jobs program for unemployed teachers, but the effect on students of potentially substandard teachers does not seem to be a concern.xlix
Whether worthwhile or not, the programs serve a limited number of students: only half of the 570 Arab public schools in Israel were included in the plan’s first year of implementation, and only a small fraction of the students in each school were allowed to participate.l Instead of a wide-ranging attempt to address the serious inequities that pervade the Arab education system, the plan is a shell of extremely modest goals and even leaner implementation.
The “Bridging the Gaps” Committee
After the budget for the Five-Year Plan had already been determined, the Ministry of Education appointed a special committee to examine how to bridge the gaps between the Arab educational system and the Jewish educational system. The Committee published its recommendations in December 2000. It recommended structural reform of the Arab educational system to bridge existing gaps including: affirmative action in hiring Palestinian personnel for key positions in the Ministry of Education; the establishment of clear and equal criteria for the promotion of all personnel within the Ministry; a new method of budget allocation to more fairly account for the socio-economic status of targeted groups; allocating 25% of resources for enrichment programs to the Arab educational system; efforts to nurture Arab language and culture; and a means to compel private education groups to offer their programs in Arab as well as Jewish schools. Despite these recommendations, none of them have been implemented.li
The Katz Committee on Bedouin Education
The Arab Bedouin community in the Negev is by far the most educationally underserved group in the state. The Arab Bedouin have the highest dropout rate and the lowest matriculation scores within the Arab community and in the country at large. Then-Minister of Education Zevulen Hammer set up the Katz Committee in 1997 to study the Bedouin educational system and to design a five-year plan to improve it.lii The Committee recommended the establishment of school facilities like science and computer labs, libraries and gymnasiums; provision of educational services such as psychologists, academic counselors, and special education teachers; implementation of an enrichment program; identification of gifted and special needs children; the establishment of preschools in Bedouin towns comparable to those in targeted, underserved Jewish towns; and a plan for parents - especially mothers - to train them to be able to help their children. The Committee recommended building 146 classrooms every year from 1998 to 2003, with special attention paid to the needs of remote, unrecognized villages without sufficient transportation. The Committee also recommended training 100 Bedouin teachers a year for five years. Despite these far-reaching recommendations, few have been implemented.liii

1 The Arab population living within the Green Line today numbers approximately 1,127,500 comprising 18.6% of all Israeli citizens.

2Motti Bassok and Nadav Shragai, “Settlement Population Grows, but at Decade’s Slowest Pace.” Ha’aretz, 19 December, 2001.

1 A First Periodic State Report was due on January 11, 1998, but has not yet been submitted.

2 Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Initial Report of the State of Israel Concerning the Implementation of the Convention of the Child (CRC)” February, 2001. CRC/C/3/Add. 65.

To be fair, our NGO report suffers a bit from the same phenomenon. It is also caused by the desire to deal with the many articles of the CRC equally.



3 We thank Hila Yaniv of the Jerusalem Anti-Drugs Association for pointing this out to us.

4Gozansky, Tamar, Member of the Knesset. Interview, December 31, 2001.

5 Grass, Jutta. Monitoring the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Helsinki, 2001. Faculty of the University of Helsinki and the Eric Castren Institute, p. 113.

6 Interview with Maya Goldman, director of “Kesher”, Jerusalem. Since these rules are not well supervised the drivers do not always adhere to the rules of fastening seatbelts or wheelchairs.

7 Benvensiti, E. “Applicability of Human Rights Conventions to Israel and the Occupied territories ,” Israel Law Review, 25 (1992) pp.25-35 and Benvensiti, E. “The Influence of International Human Rights Law on the Israeli Legal System: Present and Future,” Israel Law Review 28 (1994) pp. 136-151. See also Veerman, Philip and Gross, Barbara, “Implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza”, in: International Journal of Children’s Rights, vol. 3, 1995, pp. 295-332

8 Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), Comments on the Combined Initial and Second Periodic Report of the State of Israel Concerning the Implementation of the UN Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Jerusalem, 1998.

9 Message of Yasser Arafat, President of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization. May 1, 1991 “…You hold in your hands the documents on which our modern world bases its defenses and protection of children, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the historic document issued at the World Summit for Children in September of last year at the United Nations in New York. It is the right of Palestinian children to have applied to them the principles contained in this document, and it its their right to benefit from the provisions of these second article of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the right to have a nationality and an identity, and the right to a nation.”

10 Haj-Yahia,, Y.M., et al, Alleged Palestinian Collaborators with Israel and their Families. A Study of victims of Internal Political Violence, Peace Papers, no.12, Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace, The Hebrew University, 1999, Jerusalem.

11 In the year 1998 there were 224 organizations working for children listed by the Israeli Section for the Association of Third-Sector Research of the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. See also: Korazim- Korasy, Yossi, “Towards a new Balance between Governmental and Non Governmental Community Work: The Case of Israel” in Community Development Journal, 2000, vol 35, no. 3, pp. 276

12 Interview with Dr. Mike Naphtali, Director of Elem, (Youth in Distress). January, 2002. Tel Aviv.

13 Idem

14 Idem

15 We would like to thank Dr. Julia Mirsky, from the department of social work, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev for her input.

16 Dr. Mike Naphtali, director of (Elem) Interview

17 Israel National Council for the Child, et al. “The State of the Child in Israel 2001, A Statistical Abstract”

18 UNICEF and Palestinian Authority Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation. The Situation Analysis of Palestinian Children, Young People, and Women in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Ramallah and East Jerusalem, 2000.

19 Eldar, Akiva “Trampling the Law has become a way of life.” In: Haaretz, April 18, 2002

20 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 1995, submitted to the Committee on International Relations Department of State, Washington D.C., April, 1996, pp.1177-8.

21 Landau, Simha F., “Violence in Israeli Society: Its Relation to Social Stress,” Chapter in a book on Jews and Violence, Vol.18 of Studies of Contemporary Jewry, Oxford University Press (forthcoming).

22 Landau, Simha. Op.cit., see also: Samet, G., “Israel is a Tough Neighborhood.” Ha’aretz July 28, 1999, p.5.

23 Brenner, Ira. “A Psychoanalytic View of Israel’s “Split Personality” in: Mind and Human Interaction, Vol. 7, No. 1; February (1956), pp.44-51.

24 Karp, Judith. In: Bayefsky, Anne, The UN Human Rights Treaty System in the 21st Century, Dordrecht/ The Hague, Boston/London, Kluwer Law International, 2001.

25 Lazaroff, Tovah. Poll: 61% Concerned by Secular-Religious Tension, in The Jerusalem Post, December 10, 2001.

26 Gras, Jutta. Monitoring the Convention on the Rights, Helsinki, 2001, The Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki.

27 Third International Science Report, TIMSS 1999, Findings from IEA’s Repeat of the Third International Mathematics and Science Study at the Eighth Grade, Michael O. Martin, et. all. The International Study Center, Boston College, The International Association for the evaluation of Educational Achievement. December 2000.

28 Terje Roed Larsen in a press statement, Jerusalem: March 13, 2002 Gaza office UNSCO see also: Lamia Lahoud, “UN envoy sees glimpse of hope” in: Jerusalem Post, December 21, 2001

29 Idem, see also Arieh O’ Sullivan, UN Envoy Larsen: “Closure devastated PA economy: Draconian Measures didn’t Increase Israel’s Security Either” in: The Jerusalem Post September 7, 2001

30 BBC News, Friday, January 25, 2002, 15:54 GMT

31 Kimche, David. “ Peace Process Failure would be Disaster for Israel,” The Jerusalem Post, January 6, 2002.

32 Sharm El-Sheikh Fact Finding Committee (Suleyman Demirel, Thorbjiern Jagland, Warren B. Rudman, Javier Solana, Senator George Mitchell) April 30, 2001

33 Article 44.3 “the committee may request from State Parties further information relevant to the implementation of the Convention.”

1 O’Donnell, Dan, “The Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Reservation Generation,” The International Children’s Rights Monitor, vol. 9(1) 1992: pp. 8-14.

2 Law proposals were made by DCI—Israel, The Association of Civil Rights in Israel, and The National Council for the Child. See also: Reali, S. “The rights of the child will be implemented in Israeli law,” Ha’aretz, April 19, 1995.

3 Interview with Mr. Abu Kafi, the chairman of the Regional Council for Palestinian Bedouin Unrecognized Villages in the Negev, in Beersheba on January 6, 2002

4 Interview with Ephraim Cohen, Manager of Manpower for No’ar Ha’oved Vehalomed, Tel Aviv, December 25, 2001.

5 Kadman, Y. “Children’s Rights: Their Historical Development and Enactment into Law in Israel” in Children’s Rights in Israel: A Collection of Articles and Sources, p.13.

6 Schiff, Z. “A Reserve of Discontent,” Ha’aretz, November 10, 2000.

7 The Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel, 2000. Pp. 13-14. We thank Dr. Yaacov Kop of the Center for meeting with us

8 Aaron Gafny, “Summary of Findings and Policy Alternatives” in: Yaakov Kop, ed., Israel’s Social Services, Jerusalem, 1999. The Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel, p.19.

9 Interview with Member of Knesset Tamar Gozansky, Chairperson of the Knesset Committee for the Advancement of the Status of the Child, July 31, 2001

10 Barzilai, Amnon “Cutbacks in Welfare for the Sake of Defense.” In Haaretz, April 10, 2002

11 Gafny, Arnon, “Summary of Findings on Policy Alternatives,” in Israel’s Social Services, Kop., Yaakov, ed., The Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel, p. 19

12 Konar, Etti; Swirski, Shlomo; Yechezkel, Yaron. Israel: A Social Report, Adva Center, Tel Aviv, 1999.

13 Swirski, et.al., op.cit.

14 idem

15 CNN (TV). Item by correspondent Gerald Kessel, January 16, 2002.

16 Shifer, Varda. Ha’aretz, March 5, 1998.

17 Interesting that a parallel development takes place in the West Bank and Gaza

18 Information by Economist Professor Yitzack Galnoor of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

19 Ibid.

20 The National Council for the Child, The State of the Child in Israel—Statistical Abstract 2000, p.29.

21 MK Tamar Gozansky, Effects of the Government Budget for the Year 2002 on the Situation of Children in Israel: Position Paper. November 13, 2001.

22 Rudge, D. The Jerusalem Post, August 31, 2001.

23 The Coalition is a group of almost 70 Israeli NGO's working together to present its Alternative Report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the child (see appendix for list of all organizations involved).

24 DCI—Israel and Tel Aviv University's Center for Legal Aid in Human Rights was in correspondence with the Ministry of Justice about a possible petition to the Supreme Court between the months of May 2000 and July 2000. The Ministry of Justice claims that they had been working on a draft of the Report since 1995. DCI—Israel and the Ministry of Justice agreed that a Report would be submitted by the end of 2000, thereby avoiding a petition.

25 Parliamentary Question by Dedi Zucker, MK no. 03/0976/A/024 November 23, 1987, the Knesset

26 Shlomo Shoham “Commisioner for Future Generations, Destination and Ways of Action”, Jerusalem, The Knesset, February 13, 2002.

27 Weinblatt, Jimmy, et.al. ‘Social Services and their Development’ in: Kop, Yaakov, ed., Israel’s Social Services, Jerusalem, 1999. P. 128.

28 DCI- Israel has on the Hebrew part of www.dci.org.il a list of many local committees and their members

1 Section 3 of the Guardianship and Legal Capacity Law (1962).

2 The National Council for the Child, Ibid, p.5.

3 Table X in the Initial State Report

4 The table with laws pertaining to children and adolescents which we adapted from a document from the National Council for the Child.

5 Detrick, Sharon. A Commentary on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, The Hague, “Kluusen Law International,” pp. 58-59, 1999.

6 Israeli National Council for the Child. ‘The State of the Child in Israel, A Statistical Abstract 2000’ Jerusalem, 2001, p.73.

7 Initial Periodic Report of the State of Israel Concerning the Implememntation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Ibid, p.130.

8 Combined Initial and Second Report of the State of Israel Concerning the Implementation of the United Nations Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), 1997, p.84. see also Pinhas Shifman, State Recognition of Religious Marriage: Symbols and Content. in: Israel Law Review. Vol. 21, Summer-Autumn (1986) pp.501-521

9 Lutzk, Daphna. “Proof Positive, Under 18-Youth Find Purchasing Alcohol in Pubs and Kiosks ‘As Easy as Buying a Coke,’ ” in: Ha’aretz, February 25, 2002.

10 Tishby, Orya, et all. “Help-seeking Attitudes among Israeli Adolescents,” in: Adolescence, vlo. 36, no. 146, summer 2001.

11 Nadler, R. “Help Seeking Behavior as Coping Resources,” in: M. Rosenbaum (ed.), Learned Resource on Coping Skills, Self-Control, and Adaptive Behavior, New York, 1991, quoted by Tishby, et all.


12Terech, Gideon and Keidan, Dina. The Child and Youth Center- Ashdod: Jerusalem, 1999. National Insurance Institute, Research and Planning Administration.

13 The Information/walk-in center for Ethiopian adolescents was initiated by the Israel Association for Ethiopian Jews. See: Philip Veerman and Hephzibah Levine, Implementing Children’s Rights on a Local Level: Narrowing the Gap Between Geneva and the Grassroots, in: International Journal of Children’s Rights, (2001), vol.8, no. 4, pp. 373-384.

14 Lang, Getit; Freud, Amir; Zohar, Odelia; Sapir, Hadar. A preparatory document for conference session: “Children Between Health and Sickness” February 19, 2002: The National Council for the Child

15 Interview with Hanny Comaneshter and others of the Ministry of Communications, Broadcasting, and Regulatory Authority, Tel Aviv, January 20, 2002.

16 Samaan, George and Veerman, Philip. “Children’s Right to Legal Representation, A Review of DCI- Israel’s Legal Aid Project; In: Israel Children’s Rights Monitor, vol. 3, November 1992, pp. 35-43.


17 Veerman, Philip and Waldman, Adir. In: International Journal of Children’s Rights.vol 4/ issue 2, (1996) pp.147-160 And: Immanuel, John. “Palestinian Teens imprisoned with adults, In: The Jerusalem Post; January 2, 1996.

18 Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), In Hostile Hands: Palestinian Prisoners at Megiddo Compound. Tel Aviv: December, 2001

1 Combined Initial and First Periodic Report Concerning the Implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and political Rights, p.37.

2 Justice Aharon Barak (President of the Supreme Court), “The Constitutional Revolution: Protected Fundamental Rights,” Law and Government,1:1, (August) 1992.

3 Karp, Judith, “The Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty, Biography and Power Struggle,” 1(2) Mishpat Umimshal 323 (1993).

4 Dakwar, Jamil, of Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, in interview, January 6 2002, Shfaram.

5 Dakwar, Jamil, Ibid.

6 The Arab Association for Human Rights, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. A report presented by the Arab Association for Human Rights to the UN CESCR Committee on Israel’s Implementation on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Nazareth, 1998

7 idem

8 ACRI, The Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Comments on the Combined Initial and First Periodic Reports Concerning the Implementation of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Committee, July 1998.

9 Beit Yles ruling 22/82 P.D. 43(1) 441.

10 C.A. (Jerusalem) 11258/93 Na’ama vs. Kibbutz Kalya.

11 ACRI. Idem. P.130.

12 Memorandum of the Association of Forty, The Association for Recognition of the Unrecognized Arab Villages

13 Ibid.

14 The Center for Bedouin Studies and Development, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Newsletter,. Vol. 1, August, 1998: p.1.

15 Berman, Robby. “Israeli Official Slurs Bedouins” in The Jewish Week, July, 19, 2001see also Reinfeld, Moshe. Bedouin Education Unit head dismissed” in Haaretz, March 26, 2002.

15a The Center for Bedouin Studies and Development. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Newsletter, vol. 1, Autumn, 1998, p.1.

16 Information provided by the Association of Fourty (unrecognized villages).

17 Dayan, Aryeh. ‘Two Laws for Two Peoples, Three Arab Teens and Three Jewish Youngsters were Arrested for Taking Part in Recent Ethnic Clashes in Nazareth and Afula. While the Arabs are Still in Jail, the Jews were Released to Gauge Arrest’ In: Ha’aretz, November 7, 2000.



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