Thousands protest slashing of public funding for Christian schools in Israel

Police say about 2,500 striking demonstrators have gathered outside the prime minister’s residence in Jerusalem to protest against the slashing of funds for Christian schools.

Christian school administrators accuse Israel of cutting their funding as a tactic to pressure them to join the Israeli public school system — a move they say would interfere with the schools’ Christian values and high academic achievements.

Some 33,000 students in 47 schools have been on strike since the school year began on Sept. 1. Arab lawmakers joined students, parents and principals at Sunday’s demonstration.

Protesters complain of discrimination since Israel continues to fully fund large private school networks that cater to ultra-Orthodox Jews while it slashes the Christians’ budget.

Ragheed Massad, a student from Nazareth, said “there is no equality for our schools.”

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