The principal of a prestigious religious seminary for girls in Ramat Gan was caught on camera by Channel 10 comparing religious Zionism to Nazism in the wake of a public outcry against the suspension of a student who had voiced support for performing national service.
“There are girls in this school who think that being a religious nationalist is okay,” the principal, Binyamin Metzger, is quoted as saying. “Today, we all know the truth, and that it is nothing more than paganism.”
“A person who likes his religion together with nationalism is like Hitler who also liked it, even worse,” he said.
The controversy initially erupted four months ago, when a student enrolled at the school – which has a mixed student population of ultra-Orthodox and traditional (masorti) Jewish girls - was suspended for expressing her support for national service. According to Channel 10, the girl has been at home for the past four months while subject to ostracism orchestrated by the school’s administration.
In a news feature which aired on Monday’s primetime nightly broadcast, Channel 10 showed footage of Metzger calling the young girl who was sent home “human filth.”
According to the report, not only did Metzger expel the student in question, but he also initiated a campaign of incitement against her while using classroom time to appear before students and reinforce his virulent opposition to national service.
“I want to hint to a few girls here in the class not to be like that little loser, that complete zero,” the principle is reported to have told his students. “Try not to go near her.”
The Education Ministry told Channel 10 in response that the student was not expelled from the school, but rather that the student’s father pulled her out of the school. Nonetheless, the ministry plans to summon the principal for a hearing to allow him to clarify his remarks.