republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:
The ghouls of the Obama-era Left leave no stone unturned in demonizing the Jews and indoctrinating children into the hating of the good for being the good.
This is analogous to the “Palestinian” indoctrination of children: they teach them at the youngest ages to hate Israel and want to kill Jews. And now the same thing has come to Ithaca, New York.
“VIDEO: Activists manipulate third-graders into hating Israel,” by William A. Jacobson, Legal Insurrection, December 11, 2016 (thanks to Armaros):
Anti-Israel activism by faculty at colleges and universities receives a lot of media attention in part because campuses generally are open to the public and college students are able to report on what happens.
Faculty-inspired anti-Israel activism, however, is not limited to colleges and universities. I hear many parents and students complain that by the time many students reach college, they already have been turned against Israel.
Far under the radar, the attempt to demonize Israel is moving down the educational chain even into elementary schools, pushed by activists who accept no boundaries even for young children. Yet because such activities take place in schools to which access is limited, and the young students are not developmentally able to report on what happens, it’s rare to obtain hard visual proof.
We have such proof.
On Friday morning, September 18, 2015, the third grade classes at the Beverly J. Martin School in Ithaca, NY, heard a presentation on “human rights” by Palestinian activist Bassem Tamimi and local anti-Israel activists, led by Ariel Gold. We broke the story a couple of days later, Anti-Israel activism hits elementary school in Ithaca, NY.
Based on documents produced pursuant to a NY Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request and court rulings, previously we were able to document that the Tamimi event was an anti-Israel propaganda event. At least one third-grade student suffered nightmares and a Letter of Reprimand was issued to the school principal for attempting to cover-up the nature of the event.
Previously, though, we didn’t have any video of the Tamimi Event, just the paper and electronic record of communications. While that paper and electronic record was shocking, only video could fully convey what happened.
After over a year of investigation and litigation, including a court order under the NY Freedom of Information Law, Legal Insurrection has obtained a partial video of the Tamimi Event. That partial video shows how, after the main portion of the presentation was over (for which there is almost no video), the third-grade students expressed strong hostility to Israel and were encouraged to do so.
That video, which has been blurred and bleeped to protect student identities, is embedded in its entirety below. As bad as I expected it to be, it was worse. I was shaken as I watched the manipulation of these 8 and 9 year olds in a public school.
This video, and the Tamimi event, should serve as a clarion call.
The Attempt to Portray the Tamimi Event as LovingOn Sunday night, September 20, 2015, Legal Insurrection broke the story, Anti-Israel activism hits elementary school in Ithaca, NY.
Because of Tamimi’s notoriety for exploiting children in videotaped confrontations with Israeli soldiers, Tamimi’s mere appearance in a third grade class raised suspicions about the event. The Tamimis are best known for the 2012 video of daughter Ahed confronting Israeli soldiers for the cameras, for which she received an award from then Turkish Prime Minister (and current President) Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Gold is an Ithaca-based anti-Israel activist who now works for Code Pink. She is best known for generating publicity through disrupting speeches and events, and even prayers at the Western Wall. Gold uses her own children in her anti-Israel activism.
Gold, who was Tamimi’s national tour coordinator, arranged the Tamimi event at the elementary school. The discussion was guided by teacher Brooke Burnett, a friend of Gold, and partially filmed by Mary Anne Grady Flores, another Ithaca activist who is friends with Gold and Burnett.
Gold has attempted to describe the Tamimi event as loving and promoting peace, even the call for the school children to become “freedom fighters for Palestine”:
Tamimi also defended the event:
Initially, the principal of the elementary school, Susan Eschbach, also attempted to downplay the significance of the Tamimi event. In a September 22, 2015, statement to the school community Eschbach denied there was anything improper. The statement provided, in pertinent part (full text here):
Responding to the concerns about Tamimi’s arrival at BJM….
There were many adults present in the class and at no time was there an anti-Israel, anti-Palestine, anti-Jewish, or anti-Muslim stance. The children took away from this experience several messages .”I can be an ambassador for peace.” “ You can make friends across borders and that is a good thing.” “Children want the option to live peacefully and to go to school. Children can help stand for these desires.” “Everyone should work things out to live together.” And “love will make peace, not hate.” The children had meaningful, relevant, and appropriate conversations.
Superintendent: Politically Skewed, Inflammatory, and Not “Developmentally Appropriate”The statement from Eschbach to the community was rebutted, in substance, when Superintendent of the Ithaca City School District (ICSD), Dr. Luvelle Brown, later released a statement denouncing the event, Superintendent: Third Grade event “politically skewed, inflammatory” against Israel.
The Superintendent’s statement provided, in part (emphasis added):
… The assumed purpose of the talk was to focus on human rights and peace. Upon further investigation, we have learned that the speakers went beyond the original intent of the talk. Additionally, school administration was not informed beforehand of the invitation to include one of the speakers.Jewish Voice for Peace, in which Gold is active, started a petition drive asserting that criticism of the Tamimi event was an attempt to stifle Palestinian voices, and 31 parents at the Beverly J. Martin school (it’s unclear if any had children in the class), led by Ithaca College Park School of Communications employee Nicole Koschmann, submitted a letter to the editor of the Ithaca Journal, Teachers know best about school speakers, defending the Tamimi event:
The following statements are some of the most egregious examples from the presentation:
● At the beginning of the session, the speakers showed a brief video of a young Palestinian girl who references Israelis killing Palestinians;
●There was an indication by the speakers that Israel has broken many United Nations’ laws and that Israel controls all of the resources of the geographic area;
● In a closing statement of how students could help, a speaker spoke of solidarity and being freedom fighters for Palestine; to bring peace and protect the future of their children.
The Ithaca City School District’s position is that such statements are not developmentally appropriate for third graders, nor aligned with the New York State standards. The statements were politically skewed, inflammatory, and not endorsed by the Ithaca City School District.
… We recognize that the Israeli Palestinian conflict is very sensitive to many members of our community. We also recognize that this delicate topic was not presented in a manner consistent with its importance. We sincerely regret that this has occurred.
We, 31 Beverly J. Martin Elementary School parents, are writing in regards to recent news regarding the Palestinian human-rights activist visit at BJM on Sept. 18….
We parents believe teachers are the professionals in their field regarding the developmental stages of their students, what is appropriate, and what relates to the standards that need to be taught. They are trained in this. Law professors at Cornell University do not have this expertise. Political activists do not have this expertise. This knowledge lies with teachers and their principal….
The reactionary swell created outside of BJM as a result of this event is especially shameful when one considers the amount of resources the teachers and administrators have had to divert from their job of educating our children.
Our children were not preyed or imposed upon by the visitors that day. Instead, they were exposed to a perspective and a situation.
The conversation will continue at school and at home. We are not afraid of differing opinions. In fact, teaching students to disagree respectfully, and with patience and compassion, is one of the key elements of teaching human rights. Unfortunately, this is not a lesson many adults have learned.