This Is How We Change Our Schools

The following is a March 19th Press Release from Americans for Peace &Tolerance, a Boston-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting peaceful coexistence in an ethnically diverse America by educating the American public about radical ideologies that undermine the academic integrity at American High Schools and Universities:

NEWTON RESIDENTS SUE CITY’S SCHOOL COMMITTEE, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS, PRINCIPALS AND TEACHERS FOR DISCRIMINATION AGAINST JEWS AND ISRAELIS
 
Ideological/Political Curriculum Teaches Propaganda Instead of Facts

 
NEWTON, MASSACHUSETTS. On March 12, 2019, Newton taxpayers filed a lawsuit in Middlesex Superior Court against the Newton School Committee, Superintendent of Schools David Fleishman, the principals of the Newton high schools, and certain high school history teachers. Plaintiffs are asking for a court order that would compel Newton school officials to stop indoctrinating students with anti-Semitism, bigotry against Israel, and Islamist religious dogma as part of the high school history curriculum. This suit was made necessary because the embattled school administration is shielding its teachers from scrutiny and refusing to supervise what is being taught in its classrooms. The taxpayers claim that Newton Public Schools (NPS) has deliberately failed and refused to comply with the Equal Rights Amendment of the Massachusetts Constitution, with the Massachusetts Student Anti-Discrimination Act, and with civil rights regulations that require schools, through their curricula, to encourage respect for the human and civil rights of all individuals regardless of race, identity, religion, color, sex, and national origin.
 
The extensively documented 469 page legal complaint, available here, details the lengthy history of Newton residents’ efforts to have NPS address and correct the factually flawed teaching. Plaintiffs and their attorney were provided with an enormous volume of factual documentation by Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT) Executive Director Ilya Feoktistov, whose investigations over the past several months formed the basis of this action. 
 
“In looking for the sources of the anti-Semitic and anti-Israel bigotry in the Newton curriculum, we discovered a few bad apple teachers who view their teaching positions as giving them license to promote their personal political agendas,” said Mr. Feoktistov. “We are also looking closely at a common pattern with these politicized teachers — most, if not all, have taken professional development courses developed with foreign funding by the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia.”
 
“Newton history teachers and school administrators must think either that anti-discrimination laws do not apply to them, or that these laws do not protect their Jewish and Israeli students,” said the President of APT, Charles Jacobs. “There is no academic freedom to brainwash students with fake history and pro-Arab or anti-Semitic propaganda that is, these days, alarmingly too common on the left in America.”
 
Evidence described in the complaint shows how Newton teachers teach that Jews and Christians deliberately forged their holy texts to contradict the Muslim Qur’an; that Zionism has “little connection” to Jewish history in “Palestine;” that the Jews took advantage of the Holocaust to gain sympathy for Zionism at the expense of “Arab plight;” and that the Israelis treat the Palestinians like the Nazis treated the Jews. After being taught all this, students are asked to debate whether there should be a one- or two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. 
 
Karen Hurvitz, attorney for the taxpayers, stated that her clients are not asking for money damages, even though defendants have certainly caused years of incalculable damage by their insistence on teaching impressionable students materials that slander Israel and Jews. “This is the type of teaching that leads to anti-Semitism — and it has. The taxpayers here are merely asking NPS to perform their duties and obey the law, which requires that their curriculum encourage respect for all people. Education should be based on fact, not on stereotypes and propaganda.”

This is how you handle educational indoctrination.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Kansas.com posted an article today about International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The article lists five things that we ought to know about International Holocaust Remembrance Day:

  • The United Nations set Jan. 27 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day in 2005, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
  • In all, about 1.3 million Nazi prisoners were shipped to the Auschwitz complex of camps, most of whom later died or were executed. Many were murdered in the camp’s infamous gas chambers under the guise of being sent to take showers, according to the museum.
  • This remembrance day also serves as a way to promote Holocaust education. In a 2018 poll conducted by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, 22 percent of millennials said they had never heard of the Holocaust or weren’t sure if they had heard of it, the Washington Post previously reported.
  • Numerous world leaders are commemorating International Holocaust Remembrance Day at memorials or online, including many on Twitter.
  • Around the globe, sites in almost 30 countries will simultaneously play a documentary that discusses how “journalists, scholars, and community leaders secretly documented Nazi atrocities,” according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The documentary — “Who Will Write Our History?” — will play from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Eastern time. The event is free, but the museum is no longer taking reservations.

Never forget.

A Wonderful Story

This was posted on my Facebook feed by Sivan Rahav Meir:

“Shalom, Sivan. I must tell you about something that we experienced during the last few days. The White House invited my mother to a Hanukkah party with Trump. My mom, the Holocaust survivor Zehava Unger, 88 years old, refused to go. She had long scheduled on that day an annual Hanukkah party with the entire family, and this was supposed to be her chance to meet her more than 90 descendants! For her, this is the biggest victory over the Nazis. Only after heavy pressure from the family, did she agree to change her priorities and said ‘yes’ to the White House. It was an amazing party. I’m surprised that it wasn’t covered in the Israeli Media. Trump decided to invite 8 Holocaust survivors, one for every Hanukkah candle. It was moving to see him call the seven female survivors and one male survivor to the stage, one by one, by name, and among them – my mom. He spoke about the heroism of the Maccabees and about them continuing that heroism, since they fought against the worst kind of evil in our time, and prevailed. He turned to them and said: ‘For you I moved the embassy to Jerusalem. I did it for you.” My mother handed Trump a personal letter, and this is what she wrote there:
‘On Hanukkah of 1944 I was languishing in Auschwitz; alone, freezing and hungry; not knowing how many more seconds the Nazi beasts would allow me to live. I was only 14 years old at the time. Ironically, a delegation of Jewish Rabbis couldn’t even make their way into the White House to plead for us… Miraculously, I survived, without anyone helping me and I had no family and no home to return to. Seventy-four years later it is again Hanukkah, and the pages of history have fortunately turned. Today, I am a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother to scores of lovely children. I am privileged to be invited to the White House, which is now occupied by the greatest friend the Jewish people has ever had among the leaders of the free world'”.

Wow!

American Universities Heading In The Wrong Direction

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article yesterday about the increase in anti-Semitic incidents on the campuses of American colleges.

The article reports:

Anti-Semitism on U.S. college campuses spiked in 2015, with 302 incidents against Jewish students recorded at 109 schools in 28 states, according to a new report warning that the rise of anti-Israel organizations is fueling hatred and making many campuses unsafe for Jews.

The array of incidents were recorded at many universities and often included Nazi imagery, slurs calling Jews “evil,” and calls for Jews be murdered, according to a report published by the AMCHA Initiative, an organization that seeks to protect Jewish students.

The organization created an online database that logs in real time reports of new anti-Semitic incidents at colleges across the nation. Several anti-Semitic incidents have been recorded in the first month of 2016.

According to the AMCHA website:

AMCHA – The code word that helped survivors identify fellow Jews in war ravaged Europe now stands for another kind of support system. Established in 1987 by a group of Holocaust survivors and devoted mental health professionals, AMCHA set out to create a framework for mutual aid,memory processing and grief resolution.  Now, close to three decades later, AMCHA provides a full range of psychological and social services to Holocaust survivors and their families and continues to be a home and safe place for them to unburden their hearts and share their stories with others.

Anti-Semitism has been a problem on American college campuses for a while. In June of 2012, I posted an article about anti-Semitism at colleges in America. The article deals with a presentation by Professor Tammi Rossman-Benjamin of the University of California Santa Cruz.

In that article, I reported:

Professor Rossman-Benjamin pointed out that there are two basic forms of anti-Semitism on our college campuses–the bullying, intimidation, and name-calling directed at individual Jewish students and the attempt (often supported by professors) to delegitimize Israel. The second sometimes takes the form of petitions that universities divest themselves of any investments in Israel.

One of the sources of the anti-Israel and anti-Jewish sentiment is a group called the Muslim Students’ Association (a group with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood).

The article at the Washington Free Beacon concludes:

At least 15 college campuses—including George Washington University, the University of Maryland, and Tufts University—had incidences of anti-Semitic graffiti, including swastikas and anti-Semitic slurs.

“Jews—the root of all evil” was written on a wall in the Brooklyn College campus library, the report found.

Other incidents across the country include mezuzahs being vandalized, swastikas being scrawled on school buildings, and convicted terrorists being invited to speak on campus.

At Towson University, one vandal repeatedly went across campus writing, “Hitler was right” and “with Jews you lose.”

Similarly, a the University of California at Berkeley, “Zionists should be sent to the gas chamber” was found “etched on school property,” according to the report.

Leila Beckwith, an AMCHA co-founder and professor emeritus at the University of California at Los Angeles, warned that college officials often dismiss discrimination against Jews.

“Anti-Semitism, what many of us thought only a decade or so ago was a sad part of our history, continues to rear its ugly head on campuses from coast to coast,” Beckwith said in a statement. “What those of us that monitor cases on a regular basis know is today’s anti-Semitism not only includes swastikas and historical anti-Jewish slang.”

The presentation by Professor Rossman-Benjamin took place in a synagogue. After the presentation a group of people were standing around discussing what they had just heard. One person in the audience who was Jewish mentioned to me that her daughter had encountered anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment at the college she attended in a major metropolitan area. She commented sadly that she wished she had sent her daughter to a Christian college, where she felt her daughter would have been treated better. While I am glad that the woman understood that most Christian colleges are not anti-Semitic and support Israel, I am saddened that many American campuses are teaching and allowing the racism that is anti-Semitism.

The Winston Churchill Of Our Time

Yesterday was Holocaust Remembrance Day. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave the following speech:

Seventy years ago, the bells of freedom rang out across the free world. The horrific nightmare that had engulfed all humanity in blood had come to an end in Europe. But the day the Nazis were vanquished was not only a day of relief and jubilation. It was also a day of great sorrow for our nation, and a day of reflection for the world’s leaders. Leaders of modern countries realized that it was a propitious time to establish a new world order based on defending liberty, eradicating evil and opposing oppression. They articulated the most important lesson of World War II: democracies must not turn a blind eye to the aspirations of tyrannous regimes to expand. A conciliatory attitude toward these regimes only increases their propensity for aggression. And if such aggression is not stopped in time, humanity might find itself in a much bloodier battle.

In the years before World War II, the free world tried to appease the Nazi regime, to gain its trust, to curry its favor through gestures. There were those who warned that this concessionary policy would only whet Hitler’s appetite, but these warnings were ignored due to the natural human desire for calm at all costs. And indeed, the price was exacted not long after, and it was too heavy to bear – six million of our people were slaughtered in the Holocaust, and millions of others were killed in this terrible inferno.

When the war ended, the conclusion was clear: there is no room for weakness when facing tyrannous regimes that send their murderous tentacles in every direction. Only by standing firm and adhering to the values of liberty and tolerance can we ensure the future of humankind.
There are many around the world who claim that the lessons learned then are still valid today. They affirm: “Never again!” They declare: “We will not turn a blind eye to the expansionist intentions of a violent tyranny.” They promise: “We will oppose evil as soon as it begins.” But as long as these announcements are not backed by practical actions – they are meaningless. Did the world really learn a lesson from the inconceivable universal and Jewish tragedy of last century? I wish I could stand here and tell you that the answer to this was yes.

Today, ever more threats challenge human civilization. Radical Islamist forces are flooding the Middle East, destroying remnants of the past, torturing the helpless, murdering innocents. They hope to establish caliphates, more than one, like in the Middle Ages. At the same time, the extremist regime in Iran is oppressing its people; it is rushing forward and submerging the Middle East in blood and suffering – in Yemen, in Syria, in Lebanon, in Iraq, in Gaza and across the border of the Golan Heights.

Just as the Nazis aspired to crush civilization and to establish a “master race” to replace it and control the world while annihilating the Jewish people, so too does Iran strive to gain control over the region, from which it would spread further, with the explicit intent of obliterating the Jewish state. Iran is advancing in two tracks: the first is in developing the ability to arm itself with nuclear weapons and stockpile ballistic missiles; and the second – exporting the Khomeinist revolution to many countries by widely using terrorism and taking over large parts of the Middle East. Everything is out in the open – it is all taking place in broad daylight, in front of the cameras. And yet, the blindness is immense.

“For, behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the peoples,” said the Prophet Isaiah. The determination and lessons that were acquired through blood seventy years ago are now dissipating, and the darkness and fog of denying reality are taking their place. The bad deal that is being made with Iran demonstrates that the historic lesson has not been internalized. The West is yielding in the face of Iran’s aggressive actions. Instead of demanding a significant dismantling of the nuclear program in Iran – a country that clearly states its plans to exterminate six million Jews here and elsewhere, to eradicate many countries and many regimes – the superpowers back down. They are leaving Iran with its nuclear capabilities intact, and even allowing it to expand them later on, regardless of Iran’s actions in the Middle East and around the world.

As the civilized world is lulled into slumber on a bed of illusions, the rulers of Iran continue to encourage subversion and terrorism and disseminate destruction and death. The superpowers turn a deaf ear to the crowds in Iran shouting: “Death to America; Death to Israel.” They turn a blind eye to the executions of those who oppose the regime and of  members of minority populations. And they hold their peace in the face of the massive arming of terrorist organizations. At most, they make a halfhearted statement for the record.

I have heard that in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day a competition with prizes is soon to take place in Tehran with participants from 56 countries. It is a Holocaust denial cartoon competition. Will we hear protests? At best, a minor condemnation might be heard; that will minimally fulfill their obligation.

Distinguished guests, Israeli citizens and representatives of other countries,
The bubble of this illusion is going to burst. Democratic governments made a critical mistake before World War II, and we are convinced – and I must say that many of our neighbors are too – that they are making a grave mistake now too. It is possible that this partnership with many of our neighbors, the partnership in identifying threats, will be the foundation for the partnership to forge a better, safer and more peaceful future in our region. Meanwhile, we will not flinch. We will continue to insist on the truth, and we will do everything we can to open the eyes that are shut.

I do not want to mislead anyone. We have tests ahead of us. We are in the midst of a great battle against the enervation, the weakness, the denial of reality – we will stand with our full force.

While there are those who refuse to understand our position, there are many others who identify with us. But even if we are compelled to stand alone, we will not be afraid. In any scenario, in any situation, we will safeguard our right, we will maintain our ability, we will keep our resolve to defend ourselves.

Seventy years ago we were war refugees, powerless and voiceless. Today we express what we have to say, and we are determined to safeguard our existence and our future. It is our duty to fight those who wish to destroy us, not to bow down to them or to downplay reality. We will not allow the State of Israel to be a passing episode in the history of our people.

Distinguished guests,
Today in my office I met an 85-year-old  Holocaust survivor, Abraham Niederhoffer. Abraham was born in Romania. When he was 12 years old he witnessed the brutal murder of his relatives by a Romanian soldier. He was taken on a cattle train to Ukraine, where he survived the Holocaust. Due to the persistent refusal of the communist authorities in Romania to permit his emigration, he only came to Israel in 1969. Here he worked as an engineer and supervisor, contributing to the building of the country. He told me his story with great emotion, so much so that he had to pause several times. At the end of the meeting, he beseeched me, “Prime Minister,” he said, “it is your duty to prevent another Holocaust.” And I responded: “That is exactly how I see my responsibility. That is exactly how I see my responsibility.”

Seven decades ago, the survivors emerged from the camps, from the forests, from the March of Death, battered and bruised with nothing but the tattered clothes on their backs. Upon their release, the prisoners of the camps from all nations were asked by the Allied soldiers where each one wished to go. The Poles returned to Poland; the Russians returned to Russia; the Hungarians – to Hungary; the Ukrainians – to Ukraine. But a great many of them had nowhere to return to. They stood hopeless, because they did not have their own country.

Today, we have our own country – a flourishing and modern country; a country that rests on the heritage of our forefathers and stands at the vanguard of global knowledge; a country that disseminates a great light; a country that has taken charge of its destiny. Seventy years after the valleys of death, we revere the living, the vibrant, the creative, the flourishing.

Israel breaks ground on every front of modernization – in science, medicine, technology, agriculture, education and culture. And we do this not only for our people. We do this for the benefit of all humanity. This is what our existence is based upon – on our commitment to the safety and future of Israel, on the deference to our heritage, and on the unity of a nation in which a vast life force shines. The nation of Israel, which has arisen from the hellfire, is ready for any challenge.

“Shake thyself from the dust; put on thy beautiful garments, my people.” The eternal nation has shaken itself from the dust, returned home, stood tall, established an outstanding country and an outstanding army, the Israel Defense Force, in which our brave and courageous sons and daughters serve.

We will remember those who were murdered, we will guarantee life.

A Documentary Worth Seeing

Yesterday I watched the documentary “Night Will Fall” on HBO. The documentary is the film history of the concentration camps during World War II. It is a compilation of military films taken when the camps were liberated. There were people in England and America who had the idea of putting together a film of what happened in those camps so that people would never forget. Unfortunately, that film collided with the politics of the late 1940’s and was never made. Alfred Hitchcock and Sidney Bernstein were involved in putting together the film, but it was not finished or released.

According to the HBO Documentaries page:

When British, Soviet and American forces liberated Nazi concentration camps in 1945, army and newsreel cameramen recorded the terrible discoveries they made. Later, Sidney Bernstein of the British government’s Ministry of Information and his team, including supervising director Alfred Hitchcock, drew on this footage, shot at Bergen-Belsen, Dachau and Auschwitz, to create a harrowing film titled “German Concentration Camps Factual Survey.”

NIGHT WILL FALL reveals the previously untold story of this deeply moving documentary when it debuts exclusively on HBO. Narrated by Helena Bonham Carter, directed by André Singer (executive producer of “The Act of Killing”) and produced by Sally Angel and Brett Ratner (the “Rush Hour” series, “X Men: The Last Stand,” “Hercules”), the film juxtaposes horrific raw footage and scenes from the 1945 documentary with insights from the survivors, the soldiers who liberated them and the filmmakers who recorded these appalling images. Marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day, NIGHT WILL FALL will have an encore presentation Tuesday, Jan. 27 on HBO2, when networks around the globe will also present it.

Despite the 1945 documentary’s artistic pedigree, the initial support it received, and the use of some of the most riveting concentration-camp footage ever shot, Bernstein’s project has not been widely seen. NIGHT WILL FALL tells the incredible story behind the film, featuring interviews with concentration-camp survivors, several of whom identify younger versions of themselves in the footage, as well as archival interviews with Bernstein (who later founded Granada Television), Hitchcock and director Billy Wilder.

In the 1980s, original reels and notes from the documentary, which had been stored since 1952 in the archives at the Imperial War Museums (IWM) in London, were combined with a commentary read by actor Trevor Howard. However, the final reel was missing.

Four years ago, the IWM began an ambitious project to digitize, restore and complete “German Concentration Camps Factual Survey,” including the never-before-seen sixth reel. The finished film features heartbreaking interviews with survivors, soldiers, historians and archivists, which are presented along with unflinching, restored, rarely-seen archival footage and eyewitness testimony. NIGHT WILL FALL provides a fascinating, behind-the-scenes look at how this forgotten documentary was made, and how it has finally been completed after 70 years.

NIGHT WILL FALL is directed by Andre Singer; produced by Sally Angel and Brett Ratner for a RatPac Documentary Films Presentation; narrator, Helena Bonham Carter; narrator for “German Concentration Camps Factual Survey,” Jasper Britton; executive producers, Richard Melman, James Packer and Stephen Frears; written by Lynette Singer; director of photography, Richard Blanshard; editors, Arik Lahav-Leibovich and Stephen Miller; composer, Nicholas Singer.

This is not a movie to sit down and watch casually over coffee, nor is it a movie I would recommend for children under sixteen, but it is a movie worth watching. If you have HBO or HBO on demand, I would strongly recommend taking the time to watch this movie.

Repeating The Mistakes Of The Past

Yesterday the Israel National News reported that anti-racism activists in Norway refused to take part in a ceremony remembering Kristallnacht  if members of the Jewish community were invited to it. The ceremony took place earlier this week.

According to the article:

According to blog “Norway, Israel and the Jews,” Norwegian organization New SOS Racisme – which claims to act against racism – demanded that the “Zionist Jews of Bergen” be banned from attending the Kristallnacht memorial event held earlier this week.

It gets worse:

IBT (International Business Times) noted that the incident occurred “a few days after Denmark’s ceremony in Norrebro district, marking the Holocaust, was used to raise money for Gaza, following the 2014 Israel-Gaza war.”

Gaza suffered damaged during the 2014 Israel-Gaza war. However, leading up to that war, Gaza had been attacking Israel daily with rockets and building tunnels to go into Israel and kill civilians. Money given to Gaza to build infrastructure was instead used to build those tunnels and buy weapons. I have no doubt that money currently given to Gaza will also be used to buy arms and plan military attacks on Israel.

My questions here is simple, “Who is the racist?”