Education Minister Naftali Bennett on Monday evening told Arutz Sheva that the Bedouin teachers who joined the Islamic State (ISIS) and spread its teaching in their schools had “crossed a red line”.
It was cleared for publication earlier that in a joint operation with local police, the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) had arrested six residents of the town of Hura in the Negev who formed an ISIS cell. Investigators said that four of the six, who were teachers, used their positions to try to brainwash children and encourage them to join ISIS as well.
"When I heard about it before it was cleared for publication – it surprised me very much," Bennett said on Monday evening. "It turns out that ISIS’ method is to project its ideology all over the Arab and Muslim world and that there are passionate people who are imitating their actions and that is what happened in this incident."
"This crossed a red line,” Bennett said of the teachers’ involvement in inciting schoolchildren to terrorism. “In schools, in the Israeli education system. No less. When a teacher enters a classroom, it is the holy of holies, and there is an exploitation here of the status of the teacher, and I view it with the utmost severity.”
"In addition to the steps being taken by the justice system and the Shin Bet, I immediately instructed the Director General of the Ministry of Education to invite anyone connected to and who has knowledge of this to a hearing, and all parties involved will be fired from their jobs and their teaching license will be revoked. Whoever has done such a thing is not worthy of being a teacher in Israel,” he continued.
"We monitor the curriculum in all sectors [of Israeli society]. This is about the children of Israel,” added Bennett when asked about similar phenomena in the Arab sector. “I have responsibility for the 2.2 million students in Israel. Arabs, Jews, orthodox and secular, and I take that very seriously."
The Education Minister also referred to the incitement against Israel by some of the Arab MKs and said, "The representatives of the Arab public should focus on the Arab public and care for their education and civil services. They are hurting themselves when they join flotillas and act against Israel."