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July 24, 2014 2:32 pm
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Israeli Arab Teacher Who Called Jews ‘Nazi Murderers’ Keeps Her Job

avatar by Deborah Danan

Arab teacher's Facebook post, "Jewish fascist Nazis." Photo: Screenshot NRG

Niilm al-Khalili, an Arab teacher of Hebrew linguistics and literature in the Al Huda high school in Ramle, called Jews “Nazi fascists” who are “murderers exactly like Hitler”, was summoned to a hearing but will continue to work as a teacher.

The incitement was exposed on Arab Knesset Member Ahmed Tibi’s Facebook page following a post by the Knesset member in which he condemned current IDF operations in Gaza. Al-Khalili responded by posting: “Ahmed Tibi, you’re a great man, we appreciate and respect you. In all likelihood, the Fascist, Nazi Jews are just repeating what happened in the Holocaust, they murder just like Hitler did to them.” She further wrote that, “To all the racists out there, first go and learn your own history and see where you came from. Part of you from Auschwitz, part of you from Romania, Russia and even the Arab countries (where Muslims defended you against the Nazis). A people without a culture.”

Following multiple complaints that were received about al-Khalili and others in the field of education, the Education Ministry has decided to open a wider investigation of all similar incidents. Last Monday al-Khalili was summoned to a hearing in the offices of Al Huda. During the hearing the teacher insisted that her words were taken out of context and were written as part of a response to another poster who wrote, “All Arab children should be sent to die in Gaza.”

“She claimed that what she wrote did not really reflect her point of view and it wasn’t referring to all Jews. She apologizes if she hurt anyone by what she said,” Mino Abu Laban, director of Al Huda Association, told Israeli daily Ma’ariv. “We are an educational institution that respects the dignity of every person, and we operate beneath a banner of tolerance and coexistence, and condemn any such statement.”

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“We take racist comments like these very seriously, and we made it clear that any teacher who utters a single racist word can expect to be laid off.” However, he added that “the teacher in question received a very severe reprimand, and [the incident] was recorded in her personal file down in its own case, but since we saw she recanted the things she said she apologized, she will continue her work.”

Following the incident, the teacher wrote a letter of apology that began: “To my fellow Jews and Arabs.” Al-Khalili’s letter continued: “In light of rumors and the things that were taken out of all proportion and out of their true context, I hereby declare that it was not my intention to generalize and I apologize if someone got hurt from what I said.”

“Throughout all the years I never made any racist comments and neither did I advocate extremism or use words of incitement of any kind. My opinion does not include all of the people of Israel but only those who advocate racism and discrimination. I have always been careful to provide an appropriate education to all my students, and always keep in mind respect for each person without any prejudice.”

Al-Khalili further added, “To all those who support the notion to fire me and who turned me to the Education Ministry, would you also require that all racists in the country, beginning with those who are members of Knesset, or doctors in hospitals who are taking a stand not to care for the children of Gaza residents, or faculty members of various universities that call for the rape and murder of Palestinian women, or simply people who post racist comments against Arabs to be laid off work? I doubt it.”

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