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Leftist Teacher's Friend: Freedom of Speech is Only for Leftists

Friend of leftist teacher Adam Verete: He did what he should have done - but I wouldn't hire a teacher from Judea and Samaria.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 2/2/2014, 5:30 AM

Adam Verete
Adam Verete
Flash 90

A Tel Aviv school principal showed his hypocrisy on the weekend when he claimed that he supports freedom of speech, but only for leftists. 

The principal, Ram Cohen, is a friend of Adam Verete, the teacher who called the IDF "immoral" and pushed a leftist-communist agenda in his classroom. 

Cohen was invited for an interview on Channel 2 News on Thursday night, after Verete was let off with a warning by the ORT educational network and sent back to work at his high school in Kiryat Tivon near Haifa. The teacher had reportedly said in class that "the state did not belong to the Jews at all but to the Arabs, and as far as he was concerned, the Jews had no business being in Israel at all."

Cohen said during the interview that Verete “did something that a teacher needs to do” when he was asked about his friend’s comments.

The interviewers than asked Cohen how his liberal views towards Verete stand in line with remarks Cohen had made just last month, when he wrote that he would have “a problem” hiring a civics teacher from the Samaria community of Tapuach because “I cannot trust her to teach students about rights and freedoms.”

Cohen responded by slamming the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria and saying that residents of these regions are there at the expense of an “attacked population” and falsely claiming that they were persecuting Palestinian Arabs. He made no mention of the terror attacks being carried out by Arabs towards Israelis.

"This is exactly the problem in Israeli society, which makes no distinction between freedom of expression and freedom to incite, offend and disturb an entire population,” he charged, adding, “The residents of Tapuach, Yitzhar and Beit El are not innocent but are stuck like a bone in the throat of the Palestinians. They defile the Israeli society.”

Cohen continued, "When I educate students towards humanism and respect for human rights, I would find it difficult to hire a lady who lives in a place where people do not respect human rights, exclude people, put them into barriers and cages, with no freedom of movement.”

Channel 2’s Amit Segal, one of the journalists who interviewed Cohen, posted a video of the interview to YouTube on Saturday night, and titled it “Possibly the most hypocritical interviewee in the history of the Israeli media."

Meanwhile, Verete himself in a separate interview to Channel 2 on Saturday night, demanded an apology for what he claimed was his mistreatment by the ORT school network.

“I didn’t even hear a tenth of an apology from ORT,” he said. “I deserve an apology because they attributed things to me that I never did.”

Verete said he saw no problem with expressing leftist views in class. "As long as the opinions that are sounded are not racist or inciting violence, every opinion deserves to be heard,” he claimed.