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Teacher summoned to hearing over leftist Facebook comments

A teacher in an Israeli public school, who has become the target of a hate campaign after she expressed leftist views on Facebook, has been summoned to a hearing at the Ministry of Education.

According to the teacher, following some messages she posted on a Facebook debate regarding an “alternative memorial day” (a pro-peace event taking place on the national memorial day for soldiers and terror victims), a group of rightwing Israelis traced her and wrote letters of complaint to the Ministry of Education. She was then asked to write a letter clarifying her position, and was invited to a formal hearing.

In a Facebook status on her wall, the teacher wrote (h/t Slippery Slope blog):

My dear friends, your support is heartwarming (…) for those who don’t have full knowledge of the details – some of you remember the debate on Yoni Rechter’s [an Israeli singer – N.S] wall when he made clear his intention to take part in the alternative Memorial Day… some of my messages on the same wall didn’t please a group of Kahanists of the lowest kind, one of them investigated who is XXX [the teacher's name - N.S.] and found out that I am a teacher and an educator in Israel, and sent a complaint to the Ministry of Education, claiming that among its staff there is a leftist traitor teacher. The school’s principal has learned of this, I was asked to write a letter of clarification, and my hearing is still pending. On top of the complaint to the Ministry of Education, the same group has also disseminated my pictures on the net, with hateful messages. Let’s pray for better days. Again, love and thanks to each one of you.

Last month, a group of settlers recognized another schoolteacher from Jerusalem as one of the participants in a demonstration near the settlement of Anatot (during this event, leftist protesters were attacked and beaten [Video], with the police standing by). The settlers demanded the teacher be sacked, and a campaign against her was launched on Facebook, with many of her students taking part.

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  • COMMENTS

    1. Whenever, in a democracy, the police or other powerful governmental groups (such as department of education) arrogate to themselves the power to curtail expression of political opinion or speech — usually on behalf of a local “1%” against a local “99%”, though in Israel it may be quite a different ratio — they go beyond what is — or should be — the law.

      If, in a democracy of sorts!), a law is passed which gives police (or department of education) the right and duty to suppress certain kinds of speech, then that “democracy” has “thought police” and “anti-free speech police” and is to that extent no longer a democracy, certainly not a democracy in which the voters may consider — and discuss — ANY legislative proposal.

      If, however, there is no such law on the books but the police (or DoE) arrogate to themselves the power to act AS IF THERE WERE SUCH A LAW, then you have something possibly worse — a dictatorship/tyranny masquerading as a democracy.

      We’re seeing things like this in the USA with the suppression of “occupy” activity, where the police seem to prefer to protect what they consider the “rights” of the “1%” to the desires of the “99%”.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Philos

      Pabelmont, I hate to disappoint you with regards to the Occupy protest but that’s the job of the police in any liberal-capitalist state. The idea that the state serves the interests of the majority of its citizens is a laughable mythology that we are all spoon fed from a very young age. The modern state was created for the rich and powerful and by the rich and powerful. Nothing fundamental has changed except the forms of repression are more subtle (and sometimes less so). What we have in Israel is an unsophisticated ruling elite that bludgeons its opponents in the broad light of day unlike their more savvy counterparts in Europe and the USA.

      Reply to Comment
    3. AYLA

      If this is the alternative memorial day that was in Tel Aviv (I’m assuming it is), then Moti Fogel, of the Fogel Family, also chose to spend his memorial day speaking there. I suppose he’s a leftist traitor? Nothing is more threatening to Israel right now than this notion.

      Reply to Comment
    4. RichardNYC

      @NOAM
      What were the comments? I would appreciate even a Hebrew version since Google will translate.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Henry Weinstein

      The way the Israeli Far Right’s Zealots depict to themselves ‘the Left’ aka ‘the Leftists’, which are behind everything turning wrong, controls everything in Israel – in the media, in the universities, in the judiciary, even on Facebook, not to mention subliminal messages in TV ads, YouTube videos – is the same way Antisemites depict ‘Jews’.
      It’s not the same hatred obsession, but it’s the same hysterical paranoia.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Piotr Berman

      I would be wary of Google translations.

      “With your Right you keep the spoon”
      [Google: with your right wing you keep the spoon]
      “With your Right you make the cross sign”
      [Google: with your Right you say farewell]
      “With your Right you work”
      “Vote for the Right”.

      Can you guess the original from Google translation:
      Next or people, to the rescue,
      Red Flag, Red Flag
      Next or people, to the rescue,
      Red flag will triumph.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Richard Allen

      Richardnyc, you really should learn Hebrew. Or move to Israel. At least then your knee-jerk Israel-right-or-wrong attitudes would at least feel informed or earned.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Bosko

      I am all for free speech. I am against teachers being hauled in for interrogation because of their political views.
      .
      Having said that, some of the posters who posted on this very thread should take a long hard look at THEMSELVES in the mirror and they will see that they have exactly the same tendencies in reverse. Some of you (you know who you are) have requested that people like me who hold different views than most of you here, should be banned. And if that does not work, then they try other shoddy tactics in a vain attempt to shut down differing points of view.
      .
      Yes, the heart of a totalitarian beats in some ( note, I said SOME) of you too who post here. You are no different than those on the right whom you rightly criticise

      Reply to Comment
    9. Bosko,
      Asking that someone be banned is false efficacy. We write comments and it really means very little. Getting someone banned makes it appear that we can effect things. All it really shows is that anger is infectous. It is deep primate to want to silence what is not us. One reason why I am not on site everyday is that I don’t want to activate that part of my brain. For then all I have is just another computer game, a bit more real, as I imagine my writer target hurting over my barb. At best, though, all I do is infect someone else with anger too.

      Reply to Comment
    10. Bosko

      Greg
      Fair enough. I already changed my mind about what I said above. I am also guilty of misjudging people’s motives at times. Having said that, I don’t think it will be as easy to resolve the differences of opinion that I have with a lot of people on this site. But hey, that’s life. We are all different.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Bosko,
      I wasn’t commenting on you but on those who have talked about banishment.
      Resolve differences? I’m old enough now to know how things end. I do not want to resolve differences so much as promote a society where differences can be resolved, to recur again in same or different form. We cannot eliminate differences; evolution disalows that. But we can make our differences change, so that we are not in a perpetual cold war, block against block. Our coalitions can change. If that can happen, we are not doomed to repeated our past unendingly. Or so I hope in faith.

      Reply to Comment
    12. Bosko

      Greg
      I agree with you. In fact, part of the reason why I decided to post here on +972, is because I am worried about the trend of dislike-hatred (yes, even hate) that seems to be creeping in between Jewish leftists and right wingers. I think it is a very dangerous trend. Every time the Jewish people met with disaster in our history, it was preceeded with such internal hatreds – Sinat Chinam. I don’t think we can afford the same mistake again. History will not give us another chance. So it would be best if we on the right and the left get our act together and stop treating each other as enemies. We can have our differences, but let’s not be enemies.

      Reply to Comment
    13. Well, Bosko, you are a player, I only on the outside, looking in. But I think you are completely right. There’s a zombie craze here in the States. I think of hatred like zombies: hatred bites you, you starting hating and biting too.

      Reply to Comment
    14. Bosko

      Yes, Greg, I can sense (from the distance) the same thing happening in the United States. I really hope it won’t escalate, for your sakes and for the sake of the rest of the world too.

      Reply to Comment

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