An Israeli teacher is facing calls for his dismissal after he was allegedly seen in a viral video showing a scuffle between an Israeli soldier and Palestinian women and children during a protest in the West Bank.
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“There is no place for a person who attacked Israel Defense Forces soldiers in the education of our city’s children,” Yisrael Zinger, mayor of the city of Ramat Gan where the teacher Herzl Schubert works, said Sunday.
In a conversation with the director of the ORT school system, which operates the ORT-Rabin High School which employs Schubert, Zinger insisted the teacher be summoned for a hearing before school starts on Monday.
"Ramat Gan's education system sees great importance in the maintenance of political neutrality by the teaching staffs, in order to allow pluralism and real discourse among students, educating them to accept different opinions, and showing patience and tolerance toward any opinion," Zinger said.
The scuffle occurred on Friday, during clashes between security forces and Palestinians near the village of Nabi Saleh. An Israeli soldier chased down a minor who was suspected of throwing stones at the forces, but a number of Palestinian women and children attacked him and managed to stop him. A video of the incident was shared on social media and has garnered nearly 2 million views.
Deputy Mayor Aviyahu Ben Moshe, a member of the Habayit Hayehudi party, also demanded the teacher's dismissal, posting on his Facebook page that "anyone who harms IDF soldiers isn't fit to be a teacher in our city's education system."
Ben Moshe wrote in the post that he was approached by teachers and students at the teacher's high school, who told that Schubert may have been "party to the violence directed at an IDF soldier in the village of Nabi Saleh." Ben Moshe wrote that ORT must investigate, and that should the suspicions prove true, Schubert must be "fired immediately."
Habayit Hayehudi lawmaker Bezalel Smotrich has also called for action to be taken against the teacher, asking his party leader, Education Minister Naftali Bennett, to consider whether "Mr. Schubert is fit to bear the sublime title of 'teacher' in the Israeli education system," and whether "disciplinary and/or other action be taken against him."
The ORT school system said in a statement: "A complaint about the teacher's activities was indeed received. It concerns an incident which took place outside working hours and without any connection to school activity. The issue is currently under examination, per instructions from the Education Ministry."
Meanwhile, the father of the soldier seen on the video said he was proud of his son's restraint. "We're very proud of what we've seen, we're proud of the restraint he exhibited, because if women would have been hurt it would have ended in a completely different way, without a doubt," the father, Arnon, told the Army Radio station.