Hineini – A horror “movie”

Recently there have been repeated reports of violence in kindergartens. Parents are demanding more resources to keep their children safe.

By Anat Schneider | | Topics: Hineni
Photo: Shutterstock

There are some movies that must be labeled “difficult to watch” due to the potential danger to our souls. And at the same time, and despite the enormous emotional difficulty I have since watching this documentary film, I am not sorry that I saw it, because it is my duty, and all of ours, to know what is happening in the daycare centers throughout Israel.

This is not a one-time instance; it is already a phenomenon that has repeated itself again and again. It happens all over the country. No town or group is immune. Everyone can be harmed by it. A few days ago, this case of abuse of babies less than a year old was revealed.

In the video shown on the news, a young nanny-caretaker (with an angelic face) is seen grabbing a baby, taking him to a room, and beating him vigorously for about five minutes.

Bitter tears are flowing from my eyes right now as I write and try to explain here what I saw and felt. I can’t describe it in words. My heart is broken. Our hearts are broken.

The parents of the victimized baby (named Naveh) were interviewed in the news. What courage and strength they showed sitting there trying to describe what happened! They said that their baby was not breathing well and they took him urgently to the hospital. If they had arrived a little later he probably would not have survived.

See how distorted people can be: while they were in the hospital and still did not know about the abuse, the very same abusive “nanny” phoned them and offered them help in taking care of their baby in the hospital.

After the affair was revealed, the father went to the police station and watched 100 videos filmed in the daycare center with surveillance cameras. The “nanny” did not skip a single child. They were all beaten, she abused them all.

When the parents were asked “How are you doing now?” They answered “We are still in severe trauma.”

The mother added, “At work they require us to return after six months, and we have no choice but to find a daycare center for the baby, otherwise we will lose our jobs.”

This is not the first daycare center. In recent years, similar horror stories about the abuse of infants and toddlers keep coming to light. And the hottest debate today is: Should we approve a law that will force every daycare center/kindergarten to install cameras so that the parents can see what’s going on inside?

There are pros and cons. Each side makes some logical arguments. But I think the discussion of whether to install a camera or not, is not the right discussion. After all, there were cameras in this case, and there are videos. Yet the cameras did not deter this nanny from allowing herself to become the embodiment of evil. The cameras are just a “Band-Aid” for the problem.

Parents protest outside the home of a kindergarten teacher accused of abusing young children at her kindergarten, Ashdod, July 15, 2023. Photo by Liron Moldovan/Flash90

The discussion needs to seriously consider the social conditions that should be given to the parents of infants and toddlers, so that one of the parents can stay at home and watch over the children until they grow older. In the State of Israel today, a woman who gives birth goes on a paid “maternity leave” of three months. That is, during the first three months she still receives a salary. After that, she can extend her “vacation” and not lose her job for up to a year. But she doesn’t get paid for it.

This is a great absurdity. The family needs to make a living. So the mother goes back to work and places her defenseless infant in the arms of a stranger. The baby cannot speak up and tell what happened to him in the 8 hours he was in daycare.

The real debate is how do we divert funds from the state treasury to our child’s safety? A country that puts its security at the top of its budget, should remember to include in this budget the security of our children. Because there is no substitute for a father and mother. They are the only ones (in most cases) who will be able to protect, nourish and give their baby everything he needs in the first years of his life.


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