Creating new perspectives since 2009

Israel to tighten grip on Arab schools, ease restrictions on firing Arab teachers

June 1, 2023 at 11:50 am

A picture shows an empty classroom at a school in the central Israeli coastal city of Netanya, on March 13, 2020 [JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images]

The Israeli Knesset advanced two bills yesterday that stipulate increasing the security grip over Arab schools in Israel and easing restrictions on firing Arab teachers, local media reported.

According to Haaretz, if approved, the bills would see the Israeli authorities upping the Israeli secret service’s background checks on staff and making it easier to fire teachers who affiliate with or support anti-occupation Palestinian groups.

The bills refer to the anti-occupation groups as “terror organisations” and stipulate punishments for supporting them.

Critics of the bills say they pose serious threats to freedom of expression and would undermine the right of teachers to condemn the aggression of the Israeli occupation.

One of the bills proposes the reinstatement of a permanent Shin Bet representative to the education ministry – a position which was cancelled in 2005.

In a previous report, Yedioth Ahronoth revealed that Shin Bet has a say regarding the recruitment of new Arab teachers.

READ: Netanyahu, Ben-Gvir agree to sack teachers who criticise Israel occupation