The teacher, Adam Verete, faced discipliary measures after he called the IDF “the most immoral army in the world,” and reportedly said that Israel “belonged to the Arabs”, but was not fired.
Sabah became a celebrity among nationalists after challenging what she said amounted to political doctrination in the classroom, and was feted by ex-MK Michael Ben Ari and other nationalist figures in a ceremony Sunday at Kiryat Tivon, near Haifa.
Sabah said that Sunday's event filled her with excitement as well as a feeling of “great honor,” at seeing so many people come from all over the country to express their support for her.
Surprisingly perhaps, Sabah said that she has not encountered hostility – except from “those who hide behind their keyboards.”
“Yesterday I went into a clothing store and the saleswoman who recognized me told me “kol hakavod” [a Hebrew phrase that means "good for you!" or “respect!”],” she added.
As for attacks in the media – Sabah insisted she was unruffled. “I don't need the support of the tishkoret,” she explained – using a popular nationalist term that combines the Hebrew word for “media” with the verb that means “to lie.”
"They choose to show only one side, but it doesn't bother me so much,” she explained. “People have had enough time to understand who I am and what I am, so I don't really care how the media portrays me.”
The backlash by left-wing media outlets against Sabah's stand triggered accusations of McCarthyism and double-standards when it came to issues concerning free-speech.
Sabah said that she never believed that the affair would reach the large proportions that it did, when she first sent the letter of protest against Verete to the Minister of Eduation. Initially, she thought that the matter would be taken care of by the school, and that would be that. When the school failed to take action, she petitioned the Minister of Education, but never thought the matter would reach the national press. She estimates that the reason it did reach the media is that Verete's statements were, indeed, beyond the pale.
Regarding the present situation in the school, Sabah said that while Verete continues to teach, she does not attend his classes anymore, and that she is awaiting the result of her appeal of the school's decision to allow him to continue teaching.
Asked if the pressure she has been under in the past three weeks ever caused her to want to give up the fight, she said no, but admitted that she has experienced a lot of strain. At a certain point, she explained, she decided to only grant interviews to press outlets that she felt comfortable with.
She is now heading back to the normal study schedule – but is aware that some people are already talking about her as a future Knesset member.