Zoabi: Arab teachers should be given day off for Yom Kippur

In 2008, an Arab driver was attacked after he drove through a Jewish area of Acre on Yom Kippur, triggering intercommunal violence.

October 9, 2016 19:16
1 minute read.
MK Haneen Zoabi

MK Haneen Zoabi . (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Arab teachers who cannot make it to their schools on Yom Kippur because it would involve traveling through a Jewish area should be paid as if they came to work that day, according to MK Haneen Zoabi (Joint List).

''It's not that they don't want to come to work, they can't come to work,'' said Zoabi's spokeswoman Yehudit Ilany. While driving in Jewish areas on Yom Kippur is not illegal ''it is known to residents not to drive,'' says police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld. In 2008, an Arab driver was attacked after he drove through a Jewish area of Acre on Yom Kippur, triggering intercommunal violence.

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After receiving complaints about the matter from constituents, Zoabi wrote a letter to Education Minister Naftali Bennett, asking him to rectify the situation. According to Ilany, teachers who cannot reach school on Yom Kippur have been forced to get letters from doctors saying they were sick so as to not be docked a days pay.

'Schools understand the problem, she said. ''A process has developed in which teachers who can't drive through a Jewish area or can't use public transport because there is none bring a medical certificate that they were ill that day.''

''MK Zoabi is not saying 'let them travel on Yom Kippur.' She is saying 'create a situation in which they do not have to lie, do not have to bring fabricated medical certificates that everyone knows are not true.' It needs to be recognized that they can't make it to the school and that they are paid for this day. These teachers are not guilty that the Jewish population has a holiday and that they can't travel.''

''It has nothing to do with being against Yom Kippur, it is just recognizing that there's a problem and the ministry of education should be able to find a solution without making everyone lie.''

A spokesman for the ministry said that teachers who cannot reach their school on Yom Kippur can make up for it by working an extra day at another time in agreement with their principal.

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