Middle East studies in the News
Video Shows Activist Telling NY Third-Graders to be 'Freedom Fighters for Palestine'
A newly released video has surfaced showing a Palestinian activist telling third-grade children in New York that they should become "freedom fighters for Palestine."
The video shows a presentation given Sept. 18, 2015, at the Beverly J. Martin Elementary School in Ithaca, N.Y., by a number of pro-Palestinian activists, including Bassem Tamimi, Ariel Gold and Mary Anne Grady Flores, meant to address the issue of human rights with the third-graders.
"The wall that we would like to build to protect ourselves is your solidarity, you're important [in] what you can do for us," Tamimi is seen telling the children. "You all defend us, you can do a lot for [us], and be the freedom fighters for Palestine."
The video also shows the children reacting to what they saw, with one student overheard saying, "I think that Israel is wrong to think that Palestine could be theirs because they already have a lot of land and they shouldn't just take more thinking they own the world."
Another student is also heard saying that when he grows up he plans "to go to Palestine and protest."
The video was obtained by Cornell Law School Prof. William Jacobson, who has fought the Ithaca City School District over the past year to release all documents from the event.
"In and of itself it was bad, but it is a reflection that the anti-Israel activists don't recognize boundaries, not even as to children," Jacobson told the Jerusalem Post. "If this had been a presentation to high school students, I think a lot of people would have complained it wasn't balanced, it wasn't fair, etc., but the fact that they manipulated 8- and 9-year-old children, I think [that] makes it so outrageous."
Following the video's release, Ithaca's superintendent of schools, Luvelle Brown, denounced the statements made at the event as "politically skewed, inflammatory, and not endorsed by the Ithaca City School District," while expressing "regret" that the event occurred.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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