ASIA/ISRAEL - Christian schools strikes against "discriminatory measures" of the government

Jerusalem - Christian schools in Israel will begin a number of strikes as of today, September 1, just when the new school year begins in the Country. Through the extreme measure of suspension of all school activities, they intend to protest against the policies of the Jewish State against them, considered "discriminatory". This was reported by official sources of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, reconstructing the reasons and the various steps of the dispute that has long seen Christian schools and Israeli policies in contrast.
At the root of the protest there are budgetary constraints imposed by the Jewish State. In a few years, government grants to Christian schools fell by 45%, forcing the institutions to increase the school fees paid by families, often with low incomes, below the national average.
According to the coordination bodies of Christian schools, these measures threaten the very existence of educational institutions animated by Churches and Christian communities in Israel. The exhausting negotiations - lasted eight months - between the Committee of representatives of Christian Schools and the Israeli Ministry of Education did not lead to solutions considered acceptable. The Ministry asked the transformation of Christian schools in state schools. A proposal which was rejected, because according to the representative bodies of Christian Schools, it would have led to the end of the original contribution provided by the educational reality, and would have inflicted "a tragic blow to the Christian presence in the Holy Land".
On May 27, the Christian schools of Israel - attended by 30 thousand students, of whom only half are Christians - had staged an unprecedented demonstration to denounce the discriminatory policies .
Before the final failure of the negotiations, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin had summoned the representatives of Christian Schools and the Israeli Minister of Education Naftali Bennet for groped mediation . The Office of Catholic Schools in Israel, which had initially expressed a positive view compared to the presidential initiative, has now issued a statement, sent to Agenzia Fides, where it is defined as a ploy "to take time" and "put an end to the protest". The strike - the statement said - will be suspended only when the demands of Christian Schools are fully satisfied.