Jewish Israeli parents protest after school hires Palestinian teacher

An Israeli primacy school welcomes pupils wearing protective gear and respecting distancing measures upon return to school after the COVID-19 lockdown (Emmanuel Dunand - AFP)

Middle East Monitor  /  August 25, 2021

Jewish Israeli parents with children in a primary school in Herzliya complained after the educational institute hired a Palestinian teacher, Israel’s Channel 12 reported.

In a letter addressed to the principal, they argued that their objection to the new Arab teacher hired by Nof Yam school’s administration is related to the Israeli Education Ministry’s own goals. According to the ministry’s website, these goals include “educating to Jewish and Zionist values and the unique values of our tradition in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence.”

The new teacher will fail to educate their children in these values, they said, because she identifies as Palestinian.

Israeli entrepreneur and singer, Nicol Raidman, whose son attends the school, took to Instagram to condemn the complaints from some parents as racist.

She wrote: “A good teacher should not be judged on their years of experience, their religion, ethnicity or political views but on their ability to enter the hearts of children and leave behind a ray of light.”

Raidman added that she considers herself strongly right-wing, but “there is no connection between political views and racism!”

She called out the “hypocrisy” of her neighbours, “who vote for the left and fly the flag of equality and yet oppose an Arab teacher.”

According to Haaretz, the principal has arranged for the Palestinian teacher to be monitored by a veteran teacher as well as by the school’s administration and a Jewish teacher will be teaching the students Hebrew and the Torah.

The Arab teacher will now be referred to as the “homeroom and math teacher”, while the Jewish mentor will be the “Hebrew teacher”.

The principal claims the new arrangement has nothing to do with the parents’ complaints, and that the teacher accepted it willingly.