The United Nations guarantees haredi rights to an independent educational system in Israel, claims MK Meir Porush (United Torah Judaism).
In a recent interview with Merkaz Igud HaTatim, a journal distributed to haredi educators across Israel, Porush revealed what purports to be an official United Nations decision concerning cultural autonomy in Israel.
If verified, the document would be the first known official recognition by the international body of haredi rights to cultural autonomy within the Jewish state.
The decision was reportedly reached by the UN during the winter of 1947/1948, following lobbying efforts by a delegation of Agudat Yisrael representatives.
The delegation is said to have included Yaakov Rosenheim, Aharon Goodman, and Moshe Porush (Meir Porush’s grandfather) among others.
According to Porush, the document obligates “The State [of Israel] to provide proper education to Arabs and to Jews, each according to their language and traditions. The right of each community or group within a community to maintain their own educational institutions for their members in their own language shall not be violated or impinged upon, so long as they fulfill general educational requirements the state may impose.”
Porush hailed the document as a vindication of haredi demands for total educational autonomy.
“Based on this document that representatives of Agudat Yisrael worked to have passed by the UN, today we have the right to require educational independence for haredi education. On that basis I’m working as Deputy Education Minister to ensure independence for haredi education.”
It is unclear, however, which decision Porush cited in the interview. Without details about the nature of the document and which body of the UN adopted it, the legal power of the decision, if any, cannot be ascertained.