The typical third grader is taught reading, writing, math and other activities. However, in an Ithaca, New York classroom, they are apparently subjected to Anti-Israel propaganda.
Legal Insurrection has exposed this classroom presentation though the use of NY Freedom of Information Law (FOIL). Back in September of 2015, Legal Insurrection broke the original story, Anti-Israel activism hits elementary school in Ithaca, NY.
Third graders were subjected to a ‘lesson’ led by local anti-Israel activist Ariel Gold and featuring a Palestinian activist named Bassem Tamimi. Legal Insurrection notes that Tamimi has since been barred from entry into the U.S.
Legal Insurrection has a very detailed article on this turn of events. Here is an excerpt:
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.
Gold and Tamimi’s lesson included videos of “Jihad Janna”.
A partial video of the class discussion portion was turned over. Legal Insurrection has blurred the view of the children and redacted their names for their privacy and safety. Without question, the video portrays Israelis as terrorists and Palestinians as victims.
Legal Insurrection writes about this second video:
The second, and main video, is a class discussion after the formal presentation was over. While we don’t have video of the full presentation, you can see the themes mentioned in documents repeated by the students, particularly the “wall” (the security barrier), how families suffer, how Israel is wrong and Palestinians are right, and how only Palestinian children suffer.
There was no discussion, from anything we have seen, about the suffering of Israeli children at the hands of Palestinian terrorists, such as Bassem Tamimi’s cousin Ahlem Tamimi. Ahlem masterminded the Sbarro Pizza suicide bombing, is a hero among the Tamimi clan in Nabi Saleh, and Bassem Tamimi has refused to denounce her.
Legal Insurrection also notes that, “Teacher Burnett pushed the students to view Israel negatively and to accept what the students had just been shown.” In other words, swallow the Anti-Israel propaganda and don’t ask questions, kids.
Local media covered the story (video below) wherein both Gold and Tamimi defended the Anti-Israel propaganda lesson as ‘appropriate for young kids’.
Tamimi encouraged the kids to become “freedom fighters” and said this is what he teaches his own children.
So who does Tamimi characterize as a “freedom fighter”? Perhaps his cousin is one?
As previously mentioned by Legal Insurrection, Tamimi’s cousin, Ahlem Tamimi, is a known terrorist.
Ahlem Tamimi masterminded a bombing in Jerusalem in 2001. That attack injured 130 and killed 15 people — including two American citizens and seven children.
In the media interview, Gold compared Tamimi’s reference of ‘freedom fighters’ to Martin Luther King, Jr.
She said, “Martin Luther King was a freedom fighter and children learn about Martin Luther King everyday.”
The school’s principal tried to minimize the severity of what happened saying in a statement that in part reads, “The children took away from this experience several messages .”I can be an ambassador for peace.”
No, what these kids took away from it is that all Israeli’s are evil killers and Palestinians victims. They were given one view of the situation, nor even a factual view at that, but instead a clearly Anti-Israel propaganda filled one.
Legal Insurrection includes the District Superintendent’s statement. Emphasis added is via Legal Insurrection:
… 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.
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.
Teachers allowing a terror tied ‘activist’ in to show 7 and 8-year-old kids Anti-Israel propaganda featuring “Jihad Janna” is met with ‘sincere regrets’ from the Ithaca City School District.
A reprimand letter was also obtained by Legal Insurrection showing evidence that a parent had reported their child was having nightmares about the lesson.
That’s thoroughly appalling. What’s even more appalling is no one has lost their job over this.
There is a great deal more about this “Jihad Janna” lesson than covered in this article. Visit Legal Insurrection for the full accounting.