Education Ministry Cracks Down on Arab Incitement in State Schools

YERUSHALAYIM -
Education Minister Naftali Bennett (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

At least a dozen teachers have been sanctioned, while several have been fired, and several school principals have been dismissed or suspended, for inciting against Israel in state-funded schools. A report in Yisrael Hayom said that after months of investigations, the Education Ministry has begun cracking down on schools in the Arab sector that for years have been allowing teachers to turn students against the IDF and other institutions of the state.

The teachers work in state-funded schools in the Arab sector in Arab neighborhoods of Yerushalayim, as well as in towns and cities such as Umm el-Fahm, Usffiya and villages in northern Israel. The majority of cases were found in Yerushalayim neighborhoods such as Beit Hanina and Ras al-Amud. The schools are accused of celebrating the lives of terrorists, justifying attacks on IDF soldiers, and adopting the narrative of the Palestinian Authority of Israeli occupation of Yehudah and Shomron, as well as that of pre-1967 Israel.

In one case, a school in the Beit Hanina neighborhood of Yerushalayim produced a play in which one of the students, who played an IDF soldier, recruited a “collaborator” and, after extracting information from him, shot him to death. The death of the “martyr” served as an excuse for rioting and terror against soldiers and Israeli civilians. The teacher who produced the play, as well as the school’s principal, have been fired.

In another Jerusalem school, students participated in a competition to write poems and songs celebrating the lives of terrorists held in Israeli prisons for murdering Israelis. In another, students conducted a mock funeral for a “martyr” killed murdering Israelis.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett said that his office would continue to fight incitement, both outside the classroom and inside. “We have a very clear policy on this. Any expression of incitement against Israel, Israeli citizens, or the IDF will be met with the appropriate harsh response.”