Photo credit: Majdi Fathi/TPS
More than 22% of Arab teachers in the Israeli education system received their training outside the country, and in particular in the Palestinian Authority. This information was discussed in the Knesset’s Education, Culture and Sports Committee during a special session on “terrorist teachers”.
The Education, Culture and Sport Committee met on Sunday for a discussion on ‘terrorist teachers’ following terrorist attacks in recent months in Jerusalem and Beersheba by terrorists who were also teachers in the Israeli system who were educating students.
The chair of the committee, MP Sharren Haskel, who launched the session, said that “education is the most important thing for our society, and we want to ensure that educators involved in terrorist activities are immediately removed from the educational system”.
“More than 22% of Arab teachers in the education system received their training outside the State of Israel. We are receiving indications from the field that hundreds of teachers are educating against the State of Israel and that their students are absorbing the anti-Zionist values of these terrorist teachers. Hebron universities issue training certificates to teachers, but there is no oversight of the content these teachers receive in institutions hostile to the state,” she warned.
She called on the police to develop ways to transfer intelligence and information about complaints about incitement by teachers and procedures for monitoring incitement on social media.
She also demanded that the Ministry of Education provide her with information on cases in which an incitement hearing was conducted in the past year.
MK Meir Porush expressed concern that further instances of incitement could take place in the education system, saying that “in the past few months, two teachers became terrorists and murdered Jews; we have to assume that there are more such teachers educating on terrorism these days.
During the debate, participants expressed concern about the lack of framing of the values and messages taught to Arab students. MK Ruth Wasserman Lande said she “has been following developments in Arab society for years. We must take the pulse and quickly identify teachers suspected of activities hostile to the State of Israel.
According to data presented to the committee, about 5,500 teachers who teach in schools in the Arab sector have been trained in the PA, and this is classified as overseas training.
MK Orit Strock warned that “if we don’t stop absorbing teachers into Israel who have studied in the Palestinian Authority, we will see more terrorist attacks by those teachers or by their students.”
She proposed that the country not license teachers who have studied PA.
MK Itamar Ben Gvir comments that the terrorist who carried out the Be’er Sheva attack last week and killed four Israelis in a series of IS-inspired stabbings had been part of the education system for years .
“The police and the education system should answer for the fact that this terrorist was part of the education system. Today, dozens of teachers, possibly even hundreds, are under investigation for suspected involvement in terrorist activities,” he said.
Tzipy Weinberg, director of the foreign academic credential assessment department at the Ministry of Education, admitted that the ministry does not check the course content learned by PA-trained teachers when they are certified.
Yehuda Sharabany, from the Zionist movement Im Tirtzu, replied that “it is unthinkable that the Ministry of Education does not check the curriculum thoroughly, only in an ‘administrative’ way, and automatically recognizes the diplomas issued by educational institutions. teaching in the Palestinian Authority This policy of turning a blind eye must end before it is too late.
In the past year, only two warnings have been received by the education system about teachers against whom terrorism-related criminal charges are pending. Adv. Liron Sfarad of the Ministry of Education’s legal department said that “as soon as the information reaches the Shin Bet Ministry of Education, there are legal tools to remove the suspected teacher from the educational activity.”
Lior Tuvia, director of the Department of Education’s security department, said that in the past nine months his department had conducted five hearings and there had been no cases of dismissal.
Yaakov Avitan of the Israel Police said the police have a system that reports in real time to education authorities on individual cases.