Initiatives to support Christian schools in Israel continue, which instead of re-opening its doors to students at the beginning of the new school year, a strike has begun against the political choices of the Jewish State against them, deemed discriminatory. In Nazareth, in front of the Basilica of the Annunciation, a crowded demonstration of solidarity took place yesterday afternoon, September 1, with the mobilization of Christian Schools, which also saw the participation of His Exc. Mgr. Giacinto Boulos Marcuzzo, Patriarchal Vicar of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem for Israel, along with a large group of priests, religious men and women. Mgr. Marcuzzo repeated clearly that Christian schools do not ask for privileges, but only justice, while the crowd of demonstrators – composed mostly of teachers, school staff and families of students – waved placards and banners with slogans written in various languages, which also denounced the deliberate intention of the government to put at risk the very survival of educational institutions animated by the Churches and Christian communities in Israel.
The budgetary constraints imposed by the Jewish State are at the root of the protest. In a few years, government grants to Christian schools have declined by more than 45%, forcing the institutions to increase the school fees paid by families, often with low incomes, below the national average. The 47 Christian schools in Israel are attended by 33 thousand students and employ 3 thousand teachers. State subsidies, which until a few years ago covered 65% of the fees, have been dramatically reduced and now do not even cover 30% of the expenses.