Education Committee Considers Bill to Ban Terrorist Convicts and Supporters from Education System


​The Education, Culture and Sports Committee, chaired by MK Yosef Taieb (Shas), convened on Tuesday and began to discuss the Supervision of Schools Bill, sponsored by MK Amit Halevi (Likud).

Halevi, the bill’s sponsor, said, “The bill is intended to fix severe gaps existing in the Supervision of Schools Law. A teacher who is linked to terrorism has real and terrible influence over his students. He fills their minds and hearts with evil, and this harmful influence has the potential [to last] for many years. A person who identifies with terrorism and hasn’t yet been convicted should also be prevented from entering the school’s gates. This is a mechanism that existed in the past, and it should be restored.”

The bill proposes that the guidelines of the Israeli curriculum, according to circulars issued by the Education Ministry’s director-general, be binding for all schools that operate by law in Israel and are subject to the ministry’s supervision. It is further proposed to restrict the employment of an education worker who is linked to terrorist activity, including the following: Making the issuance of an employment permit conditional upon the lack of a security record with such linkage; suspension of the permit if the worker is indicted for a terrorist offense or if the director-general has become convinced that the worker has displayed identification with a terrorist organization or with an act of terrorism; revoking the permit if the worker has been convicted of a terrorist offense. Prior to the debate, the Finance Ministry conveyed its position, stating that the budgetary cost of the bill is estimated at tens of millions of shekels.

A representative of the Prime Minister’s Office said in the meeting: “The Shin Bet does not view the population of teaching personnel as a threat, so they are not subject to a sweeping evaluation. The point of departure should be the opposite. They should not be subject to a sweeping evaluation. The power to determine who is worthy of being a teacher or what sanctions should be taken against him is in the hands of the Education Ministry.”

MK Avichay Buaron (Likud) said, “I am surprised by the position of the Prime Minister’s Office. The incitement of the morning becomes a terrorist attack in the afternoon. There is justification for a preliminary check. As far as I am concerned, all of Israel’s teachers can be checked. The Education Ministry’s director-general can gain an impression for himself from what he sees on social media, and not to wait for a file that the Shin Bet sends him.”

MK Limor Sonn Har Melech (Otzma Yehudit) said, “No one disputes the purpose and the importance of the bill. In Palestinian textbooks, the Jewish people are erased. Children grow up into this, and that’s how we finance the murder and annihilation of our people. This bill is vital, and even existential.”

Education Ministry official Liron Sfard said, “In every criminal incident of a terrorist offense committed by teaching personnel, we receive an alert in real time. We have strong ties with the Shin Bet and there is pinpointed transfer of information from them to us as needed. The existing laws already provide a response to the criminal aspect. This should be distinguished from the administrative aspect.”

Halevi opposed the use of administrative authority, saying that “this is too broad, and it turns the law around.”

The bill proposed by MK Halevi was merged with a bill sponsored by MK Tzvika Fogel (Otzma Yehudit), which seeks to form a committee that has the power to dismiss teaching personnel who are involved in support of terrorism or are associated with a terrorist organization, and establishes a prohibition on supporting and belonging to a terrorist organization and disseminating terrorist propaganda at school.

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