Principal 'Understands' Terror

"I don't justify terrorism but I understand what causes it," says Tel Aviv high school principal, adding that Israel "brutally crushes values."

Gil Ronen, | updated: 18:23

High school students
High school students
Israel news photo (illustration)

Ram Cohen, the principal of Tel Aviv's Municipal High School Aleph for the Arts, issued a clarification of his anti-Israel remarks after they were published in a newspaper and caused a stir.

Maariv reported that Cohen, speaking with students last week, said: “We cannot brutally crush values, as the State of Israel has been doing for 42 years [since the Six Day War – ed.] and then say that we educate our children to democracy. I do not justify terror attacks but I can understand what causes them.”

After the publication of the remarks, Cohen sent a letter to the Minister of Education in which he wrote:

Following my conversation with the Director of Tel Aviv District, Mrs. Dalit Shtauber, and the Director of the Higher Education Branch, Mrs. Gila Calderon, regarding a meeting with students of Wednesday, December 30, I wish to clarify that the meeting with students was part of the rich educational and values-oriented program that our institution provides throughout the pupils' years of schooling. As part of this, the school provides education to democracy and political involvement.

I see myself as an educator in the state educational system and as such I am bound by the directives of the [Education Ministry] Director and of the Ministry of Education. In any case, I had no intention of railing against the system that I am a part of, and I certainly am not a rebel against the state.

I am known as as an educator who calls for a strict upholding of the law and the values of the State of Israel, and in order to cast aside any doubt, despite the said event, the limits of discourse inside the school are completely clear to me and I intend to respect them!

I would be happy to host the honorable Minister and Director in our school for a meeting with students and in order to present you with our educational work.

Ram Cohen
Principal, Municipal High School Aleph for the Arts, Tel Aviv-Yafo