This Jewish-Arab School Embodies an Israeli Utopia. Its Arab Principal Reveals What's Beneath the Surface

Her grandma was Jewish but she was raised as a Muslim, in a secular environment. Now Manar Hayadre heads one of Israel's most complex educational institutions

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Manar Hayadre.
Manar Hayadre.Credit: Gil Eliahu
Hilo Glazer
Hilo Glazer
Hilo Glazer
Hilo Glazer

A bracelet ornamented with a Palestinian flag worn by a fifth-grader during last month’s military operation in the Gaza Strip almost caused a flare-up – even at a bilingual school in the Galilee.

“The flag piqued natural curiosity among the Jewish students,” the principal, Manar Hayadre, tells me in her office. “We could have told the girl to remove the bracelet for fear of what the parents would say, but we didn’t. And the truth is that when I got home, a few mothers called to ask what was going on. I’m not frightened by going to those places. It doesn’t mean that the student is against the state, wants the state to disappear or anything like that. The flag is an element of her identity, [so] let’s talk about it for a second. The next day we had a class on the subject of symbols.”

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