Among the report's findings: The Zionist Orthodox school system employed more unqualified teachers than Israel’s secular public schools and than Arab schools. (Haredi schools, even when they are funded by the state, are officially private, not public, schools and are therefore not covered directly in the comptroller’s report.)
State Comptroller Joseph Shapira (right) presents his annual report to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and Knesset State Control Committee Amnon Cohen on Wednesday, May 8 (photo credit: Knesset spokesperson)
Scathing State Comptroller’s Report Blasts Israel’s Health, Absorption, Education And Interior Ministries
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Israel’s State Comptroller Joseph Shapira issued his annual report yesterday afternoon. The scathing report, which runs a a full 2,000 pages, was given to the Speaker of Knesset Yuli Edelstein in a formal ceremony and released to the press.
For the first time in Israel’s history, the report was released in two languages: Hebrew and Arabic. Before this, reports had only been issued in Hebrew.
According to the Times of Israel, the report found a high level of public corruption along with huge deficiencies in treatment of minorities and vulnerable populations, in the absorption of Ethiopian Jews (as I reported yesterday), in Israel’s education system and, frighteningly, in hospital sanitation.
What follows are the report’s ‘highlights’:
• As many as 6,000 patients die every year in Israeli hospitals due to infections they contracted while hospitalized. An estimated 1,000-4,500 of those deaths could have been prevented if the hospitals followed correct hygiene procedures. (Israel's Ministry of Health was under haredi control during the period the report covers, although that may not have impacted the hospitals' hygiene issues.)
• Many of Israel’s hospitals are not prepared for earthquakes or properly hardened to protect them from missile strikes.
• 40% of Israeli teachers are not trained to teach their subjects. This is especially true for geography, civics, literature, history and math teachers.
• Two-thirds of math teachers in Jewish schools do not have a math degree.
• One-half of math teachers in Arab schools do not have a math degree.
• The Zionist Orthodox school system employed more unqualified teachers than Israel’s secular public schools and than Arab schools. (Haredi schools, even when they are funded by the state, are officially private, not public, schools and are therefore not covered directly in the comptroller’s report.)
• The Absorption Ministry’s five-year-plan for the absorption of Ethiopian Jews is a colossal failure, in large part because most of the money allocated for it never reached the people it was meant to help – the Ethiopian Jews themselves.
• The problems educating Ethiopian Jews are deep and widespread, in large part because unnecessary bureaucratic obstacles that include the failure of the Education and Absorption ministries to coordinate keep Ethiopian students from receiving the help they want, need and are entitled to. As a result, fewer than 1% of Israeli university students are Ethiopian Jews even though Ethiopian Jews make up about 2.6% of Israel’s population.
• Ethiopian Jews are highly motivated to serve in the IDF. Even so, more than 20% of Ethiopian soldiers dropped out of the military in 2010, and significantly more Ethiopian Jews spend time in military prison than other groups. (This may be due to the racism and discrimination they face even in the IDF.)
• More than 90,000 children in Israel are undocumented, including the children of foreign workers, refugees, and illegal immigrants.
• These undocumented children are often imprisoned in detention centers that endanger their welfare.
• Single Israeli parents did not receive the amount of state benefits they should have. Government ministries failed to coordinate their programs meant to help single parents, and the ministries often pushed single parents into the workforce when the single parents wanted to stay home with their children.