At a ceremony in Dubai, second-grade teacher Hanan al-Hroub, 43, was announced winner of the U.S. $1 million 2016 Global Teacher Priz
De of the UK based Varkey Foundation for her “play and learn” approach to teaching pupils to say “no to violence.” But back at her school near Ramallah, she was struck dumb when asked to comment on Palestinian violence against Israelis.
The ballyhoo at the Dubai event including videoed messages from Pope Francis and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Prince William, former U.S. President Bill Clinton and physics scientist Stephen Hawking. Not mentioned at the event was the fact that al-Hroub’s husband Omar spent ten years in an Israeli prison for supplying bomb making material used to produce explosives. These killed six Jews in Chevron in 1980 and injured twenty others. Varkey refused to comment when asked by Jerusalem Post whether al-Hroub disavowed the attack, but said explicitly in a statement, “The judging process examines the qualities and achievements of the candidates themselves, only.”
Back at her school in Al-Bireh, al-Hroub refused to discuss what she teaches about Israel and Israelis. Asked by Jerusalem Report how she counters anti-Israel propaganda, she prevaricated. “I don’t like to touch these political aspects,” she said. “We all know the reality. I like to bring into the classroom ways to teach them the essentials for life later on, the essentials they will need to build a future for their country. I use games because playing gives them a love for learning, love for a future, for having hope, these aspects of education. So, yes, this is the reality that we live in, but I don’t want to bring it in here.”
Her principal flatly refused to answer such questions, saying that the PA Education Ministry forbade her to discuss any issue except “Hanan and her award.”
Older students at the school were more candid.
“There are Israelis everywhere, and they kill our children,” an eleventh grader said. “How can we make peace with people like that?”
David Steger – Matzav.com Israel