Members of the Knesset Education, Culture, and Sports Committee, headed by MK Amram Mitzna (Hatenua) visited a number of educational institutions in the city of Lod on Monday, the first day of the new school year.

The MKs spoke to students at the Elyashiv-Tzviya Yeshiva High School and at the ORT Zeil Vocational High School. They were also scheduled to visit the Rashedia” Arab elementary school, but the visit was postponed due to a strike in the local Arab education system. Jewish students told the lawmakers that Arab society must not be neglected.

Lod Mayor Yair Revivo told the MKs: ”We have decided to turn the city of Lod, where an amazing mosaic of cultures exists, into a place that is pleasant to live in. We have bright and educated teenagers that have more [practical knowledge] than the youth in Tel Aviv, and I have no doubt that you will be hearing positive things about this warm city in the near future.”

MK Mitzna noted that during the 16th Knesset he had expressed his willingness to resign and become the mayor of Lod, if then-Internal Affairs Minister Avraham Poraz so desired. ”As you know, this did not happen and I went to Yeruham instead,” Mitzna told Revivo. Mitzna said Lod`s investment in education was evident and promised that his committee would assist the city in achieving its education-related goals.

”The Education Committee has placed at the top of its list of priorities the narrowing of the gaps between the periphery and the center,” MK Mitzna said.

”The city of Lod is – for all intents and purposes – in the periphery, and our impression is that it is an exceptional city,” he added. ”Using education in order to deal with the city`s negative image was the correct decision. The problems you deal with will not be removed from our table.”

MK Ruth Calderon (Yesh Atid), who also took part in the tour, said ”wonderful students and teachers with a vision are dealing with a city where Jews and Arabs, new and veteran immigrants and seculars and religious people meet. Zionism is here!”