Adalah and the Follow-up Committee on Arab Education demand that the Education Ministry report on content of a meeting between representatives of Shin Bet security service and the Education Ministry

Discussions at the Knesset’s Education Committee reveal that a meeting was held between the Ministry and Shin Bet representatives concerning the formulation of a procedure of cooperation between the Shin Bet Security Agency and the Education Ministry. The details of the procedure remain confidential as the meeting took place behind closed doors.

On 17 May 2022, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel sent a letter to the Education Ministry to demand that it provide the minutes or details of a meeting held on 25 April 2022 between the Ministry’s Director General and representatives of Israel’s Shin Bet (‘Shabak’) Security Agency. The letter was sent on behalf of the Follow-Up Committee for Arab Education.


              CLICK HERE to read Adalah’s letter


The letter, sent by Adalah Attorney Nareman Shehadeh-Zoabi, followed an unusual closed-door meeting of the Knesset’s Education, Culture and Sports Committee, held on 16 May 2022, on the subject of “The Education System’s Dealing with Teachers who support terror”. Previous public discussions of the Committee reveal that the matter discussed during the closed-door Committee meeting and the meeting between the Shin Bet and the Ministry’s Director General was the formulation of a procedure for transmitting information from the Shin Bet to the Education Ministry aimed at identifying teachers whom the committee chair referred to as “raising a red flag”. In the letter, Adalah and the Follow-Up committee argued that such a procedure requires explicit authorization in law, as the Supreme Court recently decided on a petition concerning Shin Bet tracking in the fight against COVID-19. The organizations therefore demanded to receive the minutes or details of a meeting held on 25 April 2022 and a copy of the procedure formulated, if one was indeed formulated.


As Adalah argued, the formulation of a Shin Bet reporting procedure to the Education Ministry violates the state’s commitment to the Israeli Supreme Court. In 2005, as a result of a petition filed by Adalah in 2004, the Education Ministry committed to cancel the Shin Bet’s involvement in appointing teachers in the Arab education system.


In February 2020, after discovering that the Education Minister at the time had held meetings with Shin Bet representatives, Adalah and the Follow-up Committee issued a similar letter. After several follow-up letters went unanswered, in February 2022, the Ministry’s Director General, who had recently met with Shin Bet officials, replied that the Ministry had been unable to locate the minutes of the discussion.


              CLICK HERE to read about Adalah’s 2004 Supreme Court petition


              CLICK HERE to read Adalah and the Follow-Up Committee’s 2020 letter


              CLICK HERE to read the Education Ministry’s 2022 response


Related Press Releases:


Israel’s Shin Bet security agency illegally interfering in Arab education system 27 February 2020


Petition Demanding End to GSS Intervention in Appointments of Arab Educators – Supreme Court Orders Attorney General to Respond within 30 Days  08 September 2004


As a Result of Adalah's Petition, AG Informs Supreme Court of Cancellation of GSS Position in Education Ministry's Arab Education Division 28 June 2005



(Images: Shin Bet/Facebook)