Photo: Avishag Shaar-Yashuv
'Silencing undermines the strongest foundation of the Israeli society: Our democracy'
Photo: Avishag Shaar-Yashuv
MK Nitzan Horowitz

'Leftist' teacher must not be fired

Op-ed: As long as they don't incite hatred or racism, teachers have every right to voice political opinions in school

Today it's a leftist, tomorrow a rightist. Today a secular, tomorrow a religious person. Today a teacher, tomorrow a journalist. There is no limit, and it's a very slippery slope. If we start firing or boycotting people over their opinions, we'll end up in abyss. Certainly in a country like ours, with such a wide variety of groups. Today you persecute someone, and tomorrow you'll be persecuted.



Political opinions are the most legitimate thing. It's every person's basic right in a free society. And it's not just a right, but also a very desirable thing among every person who is part of a society and a state. An "opinionless" person is a person who is out of touch.


So political involvement should be encouraged rather than just left in the hands of politicians and public activists. Each one of us should have an opinion about what is happening around us, and definitely a person who wants to educate and design the next generation, in this case a teacher. And so an open debate among teenagers is a positive thing. It's exactly what we want to encourage among the youth: Involvement and concern.


I suggest that we don't start censoring and trying teachers or lecturers in a kangaroo court for making a certain statement. As long as the statements and talk don't spill over to the field of hatred and racism, every person has the right to make them.


The argument over this country's image, its borders, its character, are the most important thing for every person here. Those who think this debate can be decided – regardless of which side – through silencing and intimidation, is making a serious mistake. Such steps will only hurt all of us, because they undermine the strongest foundation of the Israeli society: Our democracy.


So we must be proud of a teacher who wants to find a way out from the shallowness and casual lessons, and actually discusses these things with his students, challenges them and treats them like youth in our country should be treated: People with a mind and opinion, who will soon go to the army and become active and involved citizens.


Nitzan Horowitz is a Knesset member on behalf of Meretz


פרסום ראשון: 01.22.14, 09:45
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