By David Daoud
Students from an Israeli Arab high school in Umm Al-Fahm attacked the tour guide of an 11th grade Bnei Akiva Yeshiva class visiting the area on their school’s annual field trip, Israel’s NRG reported on Sunday.
Last Wednesday, on the day of the trip, the group of eight yeshiva students began its tour through the Banias Nature Reserve, accompanied by their guide Avraham Snir and another guide. On the narrow path, the yeshiva students crossed paths with three Israeli Arab students from “Chadash” high school.
The Arab students then began to curse them, according to the report. Snir objected to their insults, to which the Arab students responded, “we are a thousand and one, and you are nothing. Wait, wait.”
Though Snir said he initially dismissed their threats, a few minutes later they once again encountered the tormentors around one of the curves in the nature trail. However, this time, they were accompanied by dozens of their friends.
The Bnei Akiva students say that approximately 40 or 50 of the Chadash students emerged, and were asking in Arabic, “Where is he? Where is he?” Snir realized they were looking for him, and when the original three Chadash students recognized him they said, “You think you’re a man? Now we’ll see what you’re worth.”
“Immediately, I realized that I was encircled by fifty agitated guys,” claims Snir, who then began beating and kicking him all over his body and striking his head. Snir says his assailants began cursing at him, saying, “we will kill you, you dog!” and calling him a “dirty Jew.” One of Snir’s students who came to his aid was thrown by one of the Arab students into a wall.
After four minutes, the guide of the group from Umm Al-Fahm was able to intervene and bring the incident to an end. Snir said, “to his credit, he used his body to protect me, and even took quite a beating himself.” He was then taken away from the scene by reserve rangers who arrived shortly afterwards.
The incident was immediately reported to the police who arrived at the scene but did not carry out any arrests, because the assailants had already returned to their buses. Snir noted his disappointment, saying that he “felt as if the police were not making an effort to take care of the matter, and maybe were even trying to cover up the case.” Yet, he still expressed that he was “counting on the police to do all that is necessary to bring those who deserve it to justice.”
The Ministry of Education, which immediately ordered a halt to the Umm Al-Fahm students’ trip, noted that “we are taking this incident very seriously, and we have a zero-tolerance policy for racist comments and violence, regardless of who it comes from.”