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February 9, 2016 12:20 pm

To ‘Stop Next Child Terrorist,’ East Jerusalem Schools Invite Muslim Religious Leaders to Teach Coexistence, Value of Life

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A classroom. Some 100 new ulpanim will be opening up in France to teach Hebrew to potential immigrants to Israel. Photo: wiki commons.

A standard classroom. Photo: wiki commons.

East Jerusalem schools have been taking extra measures in recent weeks “to stop the next child terrorist,” amid a wave of violent stabbings being committed by teenagers and children from the area, Israeli news site nrg reported.

On Tuesday alone, a 16-year-old teenage girl from Jerusalem was stopped by Israeli police who found a knife in her bag. Nobody was injured and the girl was subdued and taken in for questioning.

“The students in east Jerusalem are influenced through social media and are acting on emotions,” Lara Mubariki, the head of education for Arab students in the city, told nrg. She said the school system was bringing in religious leaders from northern Israel to teach about coexistence, tolerance and the value of life — since many of the stabbing attacks over the past several months have ended in both victim and perpetrator casualties — as well as about the need to acquire an education in order to achieve a better life.

“We are lacking psychologists, counselors and teachers to cope with the students,” she said.

Other measures, according to the report, included opening each class by asking students how they are feeling, and to deal with any issues that arise. Students also have one-on-one sessions with school counselors, who encourage them to focus on their futures and families and ways to improve their situation without violence, according to nrg. 

Mubariki was optimistic. “The method has proved itself and we see the share of attackers decline,” she said, adding a long school day also kept students off the streets and away from “stone-throwers and riots in the city.”

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  • Dommy

    More futile do-goodism by people who ought to know better by now.

    How can these people be so hopelessly naive?

  • This is the only optimistic news I’ve read in a long time. That school and those teachers should be profiled in the NYT and given more press altogether.

  • It depends on who the religious leaders are. I don’t think we should denigrate all Muslims, when it is largely the leaders who are to blame. Many of the Arabs living in contact with Israelis only want to work and feed their families. It takes understanding from both sides to live in some sort of harmony. Let us give those who are sincere at least a chance to prove themselves.

    • Cojavit Iam

      I love this, and I agree that the media around the world, and also in Israel should publish more in this topic. Instead of adding to the fear and deep disappointment when an Israeli Arab is discovered behind terrorist attacks (or in front of them). The face of the group of Arabs that oppose this is not seen. Makes me wonder if they exist at all. Israel Arabs, like European Arabs, don’t want to be associated with terrorism, but don’t to anything actively do be dissociated with it. This passive attitude is dangerous, because it makes them almost an associate in crime. Individual innocent Arabs are invisible and obscured because they don’t take the step of using their democratic rights. This passivity could easily lead Israeli Jews into thinking that they don’t consider democracy as being one of their values. As a result,because they are disengaged from the values of democracy, they don’t resort to the media and attempt to reach the general public it is easily and comfortably assumed that they are an easy option for terrorist groups to find collaborators. And what transpires is this image. They don’t oppose it. Why should somebody else do this work for them? We cannot do for them, the work they should do for themselves. Israel cannot do the work for them and make them a state. You want one, you get one. Oppose terrorism publicly and socially. When I go to work after a terrorist attack, Arab workers are quiet, avoid eye contact, and wait for you to speak to them. This is a statement on my part that I don’t blame them for the attack. But that attitude sucks! If they were as innocent as they claim to be, they should also wear an image of cleanliness and clear position. It is not the case. The middle east is all collective and extremely mildly individual. Thanks. C.I

  • HaDaR

    The israeli government must stop allowing the teaching of Jordanian and P.A. programs in Jerusalem’s schools. The Israeli school programs must be taught.

  • jakob wasi

    What about teaching the settler thugs tolerance? They who murder Palestinian babies. You practice a double standard, hypocrites!

    • Cojavit Iam

      You accuse settler terrorism, and I agree. Only a small group of fundamentalist Jews would accept such an act. Now, it is your turn tovcondemned Arab terrorism the healing process is not complete if you don’t. …. Salam. C.I.

    • Al Talena

      The Israeli gov’t has arrested and prosecuted Jews engaged in illegal act. I’m still waiting for terror leader abASS to end the incitement curriculum in P.A. schools. His public statements glorifying the killing of Jewish women & children speak to the culture of killing. Still waiting…still waiting…

  • Rachel Cohen

    Teenagers–are not children–they are young adults–and should be held accountable as such. The corrupt and Godless Jewish people of Israel–allow their innocent sons and daughters to be slaughtered by Arab Islamic terrorists; they even fund their terror activities–and have allowed them to be trained and have armed them–which they use to wage war against innocent Jews. Israeli Jewry–are themselves more responsible for all of this slaughter of innocent Jews–than the Muslim Arab terrorists. This Arab Islamic wickedness–will end when Jews rise up and drive these wicked people from Israel–and scripture shows this is what will one day happen.

  • Luigi Rosolin

    Good iniziative, I live in Western Australia and originally from north Italy, had worked and meet socially with Palestinian’s and logically argue with and personally at the religion Islamic one was not the main reason for the hate but at least one good Muslim cannot believe that in the Koran and other Muslim books is clearly calling for killing people just because are infidel. The hate between Arab Palestinian and Jews is increasing and Jews also should ensure that they extremist fanatic one be restricted. That children’s are indottrinate to hate in Gaza, West Bank and in other place against Jews and Israel is a terrible realty that is taking to dead road for all. The best if possible way a part the school success that is limited. Impose to family to had periodically exchanging dinner with Jews and Arab from Gaza and West Bank can be a good iniziative if people agree!

  • Yoel Nitzarim

    בלי ספק כלשהו , תופעת דקירה הנוראה הזה חייבת להיות רמסה בהקדם האפשרי . אין דרך טובה יותר לעשות זאת מאשר על ידי אנשי חינוך נטילת הקשה ויצירת סביבה לשינוי . ירושלים המזרחית הוא במיקום מעולה עבור לקיחת אחריות וביצוע שינויים כאלה ההתנהגות של התלמידים .

  • This is a very welcome development. Both hate and tolerance can be taught.

    On the other hand, we have to question the value of social media in the world. If the bad outweighs the good, then it should be discarded. I doubt it has any redeeming value, and politicians who use it are setting a bad example.

  • judorebbe

    This is a joke … right ???

    Inviting Muslim religious leaders to teach Muslim schoolchildren about the evils of terrorism is like inviting a rich drug pusher to teach kids about the evils of drug addiction.

    • Rachel Cohen

      That’s a faulty analogy.

    • Bryna Weiss

      That is an ignorant response. People like you on both sides, are what’s keeping the ugliness going. This is a marvelous idea for the classes in East Jerusalem and it should have started long ago. I only hope the government will fund more psychologists and speakers to help these children understand the value of a real, solid educations and the destruction violence is causing in their lives.

    • alittlesongbird

      Is it not worth a try? How else are we going to stop the violence if we do not teach our youth the value of life? It is the only way to overcome what they are learning from those who are trying to destroy us. We need to remember not all Muslims are bad people.

      • Dommy

        Most of the commenters in this thread are living in the clouds with the unicorns. Recommend watching MEMRI TV for 24 hours straight to force yourselves into face reality.

      • Dommy

        Most of the commenters in this thread are living in the clouds with the unicorns. Recommend watching MEMRI TV for 24 hours straight to force yourselves into reality.