Middle East studies in the News
Watch Video of Elementary School Students Being Taught to Hate Israel
by Menachem Rephun
Footage of third-grade students at the Beverly J. Martin school in Ithaca, New York was released this week by the conservative blog Legal Insurrection. The 2015 event featured Palestinian activist Bassem Tamimi, whom Legal Insurrection says has been arrested for encouraging rock-throwing and for pushing his own children to provoke Israeli soldiers. According to the blog, which first reported on the event when it occurred last year, the footage was handed over to Legal Insurrection by the Ithaca City School District after "over a year of investigation and litigation, including a court order under the NY Freedom of Information Law." The event also featured Ariel Gold, a pro-Palestinian activist whose stated goal is to "delegitimize Zionism."
In one video presentation shown to the class, Tamimi's daughter, Ahed, can be seen in a news interview under the name "Janna Jihad," delivering "a message for the world from the Palestinian children."
"We don't like [that] Israel kill us, kill Gaza, kill Palestinian and we don't like they to kill us [sic]," the girl can be heard saying in the video. "They [Israel] can't be terrorists. We don't like them to be terrorists."
Tamimi himself is shown in the footage telling the students that "you can do a lot for, and be the freedom fighter for the Palestine [sic]."
In the video, Gold tells the children that "the United Nations makes laws around what people can do, what countries can do, and many times Israel violates those laws. That is what we are working for, that is what Bassem is working for."
According to Legal Insurrection, 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." The event was arranged by Gold, who served as Tamimi's national tour coordinator, and featured a discussion guided by teacher Brooke Burnett, who is one of Gold's friends.
In a 2015 statement, Superintendent of the Ithaca City School District Luvelle said the District believes Tamimi's statements during the presentation "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."Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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