Adalah Successfully Pressures the Ministry of Education to Hire a Shfaram Teacher after Nine Years of Refusing Him based on Discriminatory Policies


After waiting nearly a decade to be assigned a position, a Shfaram teacher, Mr. Abdallah Ayoub, was hired this week by the Ministry of Education (MOE) to teach in the elementary school in Shfaram. Mr. Ayoub received his teaching qualifications from a teacher’s college in Haifa, from which he graduated in 1989.  From 1989-1991, Mr. Ayoub was assigned to teach for short periods in various elementary schools in and around Shfaram.  However, for the last nine years, the MOE denied him a position in the Shfaram school system.  The MOE claimed that there were no suitable vacant positions; however, Mr. Ayoub believed that he was denied a position because of his past political activities in the Islamic movement.

In early 2000, Adalah staff lawyer, Jamil Dakwar, submitted a letter on behalf of Mr. Ayoub to Mr. Itzak Cohen, a MOE official who deals with the Arab education system.  In his letter, Advocate Dakwar demanded that the MOE provide clarification of its reasons for not having assigned Mr. Ayoub a teaching position. The letter also stated that by denying Mr. Ayoub a teaching position, the MOE was violating both the principle of equality and Israel’s Basic Law: Human Dignity and Freedom.  The letter also stated that the MOE had violated Mr. Ayoub’s right to employment, and breached Israel’s law of equal opportunity, enacted in 1988, which bans discriminatory hiring practices and working conditions on the basis of national or religious affiliation.  Adalah demanded that the MOE reconsider Mr. Ayoub’s application, and demanded that Mr. Cohen inform Adalah of his progress in guaranteeing Mr. Ayoub’s assignment in the 2000-2001 school year.  Furthermore, Adalah informed Mr. Cohen that if Mr. Ayoub was not granted a position, Adalah would file a petition to the Supreme Court.

Mr. Cohen responded that Mr. Ayoub had not been hired because there had not been a vacant position suitable for his qualifications in the region. Mr. Cohen also stated that at the start of the school year, the assignment committee would reconsider his application.  One day before the beginning of the 2000-2001 school year, Mr. Ayoub was granted a teaching position in the Shfaram school system. 

Mr. Ayoub’s situation is not unique.  Adalah receives many requests from Arab teachers denied teaching positions for alleged “security reasons”, despite the fact that in 1998, the government declared to the UN Committee on Political and Civil Rights that Israel had ceased all security examinations of school teachers.