Outcry: Teacher in Israel praises deadly terror attack

“God bless the heroes, and bless the hands that did the deed,” an Arab-Israeli teacher wrote of the terror attack that left five people dead.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Education Minister Dr. Yifat Shasha-Biton ordered that a teacher be dismissed immediately if it is found to be true that she praised the terrorist who killed five people in B’nei Brak on social media.

In response to a Facebook post by an Arabic report on the attack, the teacher reportedly posted on her private page in Arabic, “God bless the heroes, and bless the hands that did the deed.”

The teacher is being summoned to an urgent meeting by the director-general of the ministry, which expressed its utter disgust with the comment.

“We strongly condemn the defamatory words attributed to the educational staff member,” the ministry statement said. “People who give backing to terrorist activity and/or call for incitement and harm to Israeli citizens will not be part of the education system.”

The unnamed educator works in the village of Basma in the Triangle, a concentration of Israeli Arab towns and villages in the Samarian foothills. According to her Facebook page, she is from Umm al-Fahm, the hometown of the two terrorists who carried out the Tuesday terror attack in Hadera, murdering two and injuring a dozen in a shooting attack. She received her degree from the University of Haifa, is married and currently lives in Haifa.

On Sunday, the Knesset’s Education, Culture and Sports Committee discussed the subject of “terrorist teachers” following the revelation that the assailant who murdered four people in a mixed ramming and stabbing attack last week in Beersheba was a school teacher who spread ISIS propaganda to his students.

According to committee chair MK Sharren Haskel, “We want to make sure that educators involved in terrorist activities are immediately expelled from the education system.”

There is great danger in the fact that over a fifth of the Arab teachers in the education system were trained “outside the State of Israel,” she said. This includes institutions run by the Palestinian Authority that are “hostile to the state,” whose syllabi are not examined by the ministry that hires their graduates.

“We are receiving signals from the field about hundreds of teachers educating against the State of Israel, and their students absorb those terrorist teachers’ anti-Zionist values,” Haskel said. She demanded that the police pass on to the Education Ministry any information they receive about complaints of Arab teachers inciting to terrorism.

MK Orit Strook of the opposition’s Religious Zionism party went further, requesting that the committee resolve to disqualify anyone who received their education degree in the PA from teaching in any Israeli schools. If not, she warned, “We’ll see more terror attacks by those teachers or their students.”

Fadi Abu Shkhaydam, a Hamas operative who carried out a deadly terror attack in the Old City of Jerusalem in November 2021, was an Islamic studies teacher at an eastern Jerusalem school and a salaried employee of the Jerusalem municipality. Comments made by the terrorist’s students after he was killed raised questions as to what he had been teaching his pupils over the years.

A young boy who studied under Abu Shkhaydam told Arabic-language news site al-Qastal that “he was the best teacher. He never cursed anyone or called anyone a bad name, except the Jews, may God burn them.”

At the time, MK Itamar Ben-Gvir proposed a law that “a committee be established to allow the dismissal of [Education Ministry] staff members who are involved in supporting terrorism or are associated with a terrorist organization.”

The legislator told Israel Hayom, “Those who are not loyal to Israel cannot be teachers in schools. Those who support terrorism must be thrown out of the classroom.”