High school teacher Adam Verete, who was accused by a 12th-grade student earlier this year of “brainwashing” students to adopt extreme left-wing and anti-Zionist views, was informed Sunday that the school would not employ him in the coming year — due to “budget cuts.” In last January, Verete was pressured by the ORT educational network to resign after a student, Sapir Sabah, alleged he had expressed left political opinions in the classroom while consistently mocking her own extreme right views. Sabah said that Verta “acknowledged to his students that he voted for the anti-Zionist Hadash front.” Verete was called by the school administration for a hearing which, from the recordings, can only be described as modern-day Israeli McCarthy-style tribunal.
The school immediately treated him as guilty, said at the time that it cannot employ teachers who discourage students from enlisting in the IDF, since this is one of its core values, and suggested he save everyone the trouble and resign. Verete insisted that he was facilitating a critical and open discussion of the notion brought up by a students that the “IDF is the most moral army in the world.” Verete said at the end of the hearing: “It is our bad luck in this country that a discussion of human rights is considered to be delusional leftism. If I say that certain acts contradict human rights — whether that person is a refugee from Africa or a Palestinian at a checkpoint — if that’s considered a political statement, then the situation is severe. It can’t be that basic humanistic values are a political statement. They’re not.”
After two hearings, several pupil demonstrations and a mayor media storm, ORT decided not to fire him. But now, according to reports in Israeli media, the ORT school in Kiryat Tivon notified Verete that he was being dismissed due to budget cuts, which include cutting out the subject he was teaching: Jewish thought and philosophy. According to ORT “there are other teachers are reportedly being fired and some are having their hours scaled back due to the budget constraints.”
Adam Verete (Photo: Channel 2)