Israel Advances Legislation to Tighten Grip on Arab Schools

Israeli occupation significantly impedes education in occupied Palestine. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

The Israeli parliament (Knesset) advanced two bills on Wednesday aimed at tightening the grip over Arab schools in Israel and easing restrictions on firing Arab teachers, Israeli media reported.

According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, if approved, the bills would see the Israeli authorities upping the Israeli secret service’s background checks on school 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 organizations” and stipulate punishments for supporting them.

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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 that was canceled in 2005.

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


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