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Saturday, February 18, 2012

How Spreading Propaganda Has Affected a Portland Public School

Nadene Goldfoot
"When peace comes, we will perhaps in time be able to forgive the Arabs for killing our sons, but it will be harder for us to forgive them for having forced us to kill their sons. " Golda Meier, former Prime Minister, Israel, 1969-1974; Foreign Minister 1956-1966

Israelis, which is meant indirectly to be Jews as it was created to be a Jewish state by Jews, and whose population is 80% Jewish,  are being crucified for defending themselves in the 64 year old attack of trying to destroy Israel and  now, all Jews everywhere are under attack.

Popular mob-like thinking in the USA is becoming the denial of Israel's right to exist.  The BDS movement judges against Israel just for this defending itself in the face of constant attacks. 

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Campaign is the new form of an old attitude.  They try to make Israel conform to their way of thinking by not buying products from Israel, which is to allow Hamas and Fatah terrorists living in Gaza, Judea and Samaria to put an end to Israel.  This  is what their doctrine calls for. 

One window to this growing attitude is what happened in Portland's Lincoln High on November 4, 2011.  Director Paul Beran, promoting this BDS campaign,  managed to be the person who had vetted the DAM hip-hoppers that came to Lincoln High who in their chanting and video  performance were calling for the end to Israel.  A student was heard by others calling out, "Oh, how I hate Israel!  It so sucks!"  I feel  this reflects the lack of preparation some students had in the history of the conflict.  I know that other teachers managed to get in a little background.  Take it from me; this is a complex situation and takes  quite a bit of background for understanding, even for adults.   This student was sucked into the powerful negative presentation in which Jewish students at the school felt frightened and upset by as some even had parents born in Israel. 

Of course the schools's excuse in doing so is that they had been vetted.  Of course, the director gave his thumbs up on the trio.  The school staff felt it was all a matter of freedom of speech.  This freedom of speech was calling for the destruction of a state and its people, however.  The principal also said they take on some difficult issues and talk about them.  After requesting,  a Jewish instructor in the community was allowed to make a postive presentation to a few classes much later in the next month, after all the damage had been done.  The Jewish students and families felt it was an educational issue as the lyrics of the songs promoted terrorism which in their eyes was inappropriate to bring to the high school. They presented an extreme and mendacious portrait in which Israelis were shown to be like Nazis, and that murdering Israelis "is the Israelis' just desserts and that Israel is a racist and criminal enterprise.   Feeling oppressed is not a license to strap on a bomb.  Whatever, there's no excuse for terrorism.  Their lyrics condoned or justified violence.   The Arabic studies teacher who invited the hip hoppers in retorted that they had used art to non-violently express their views."  On her website she wrote that DAM is critical of actions taken by the Israeli government; however, they do not criticize or insult Jewish people as a people."  No-they were just calling for the destruction of Israel, which is a Jewish state, what was to be the Jewish Homeland, that's all.  Some of us took that rather personally. 

I had received an email from one of the Arabic language students who had made no connection to Jews with Israel.  Since the Christian "Palestinian" students at Lincoln were not upset, he didn't understand why the Jewish students were.  Does this go for several of the staff as well?  That tells me he hasn't been educated as to why Jews had the need for Israel in the first place.
The problem is compounded by the fact that the $70,000 and teacher of the Arab language program is a bequest from the foreign government of Qatar out of Qatar Foundation International and not a part of the regular curriculum.  The chief religious personage of the Muslim Brotherhood, Qaradawi,  lives in Qatar, and  has called a fatwa to kill all Jews everywhere.  For that matter, so has Ayatollah Kohmeini of Iran. 

The relationship of Israelis and "Palestinians" (there has been no such nation, but they bought the tag) is complex and takes lots of studying to understand.  DAM is either just expressing grievances about the social and political climate in which they live according to Lincoln's staff or they are spreading negative messages of untruths and hatred according to the Jewish students, parents and many friends."  One Jewish student feels like they hate Jews and hate Israelis and now does not feel emotionally safe knowing that these people-who hate her without even knowing her, were allowed to come into her public school spreading their message instigating her friends to possibly hate her as well.. 

It looks like some non-Jewish staffers at Lincoln have no idea of what the conflict is about.  They  brought in a very one sided group and even gave extra credit to students who attended an evening rap concert  and documentary screening at the Salmon Street Studio on  the same night of the school's performance if they wrote a 300 word essay about the experience.  I wonder if students were given extra credit along with a 300 word essay about the positive Israel  presentation.

Here's the biggest problem.  The Israeli-Palestinian conflict seems to have become a central part of the Portland Public School curriculum, at least at Lincoln, and that the Jewish community and parents of schoolchildren have only a vague idea of how it is being taught, by whom, and for what purpose, especially with a person and materials provided through the Qatar Foundation International and their viewpoints. 

My thoughts went to the Arabic language program itself with textbooks printed in Egypt, even though written by the Arabic language instructor at American University in Cairo.  Who knows what slant he is taking?  Not many adults here read Arabic.  Portland State U has access to al-Jazeera TV of which is used by Qaradawi in his weekly sermons where he has ranted against Jews and Israel.  Are these programs making their way into the high school classroom ?  My hopes are that even with most classrooms having TV sets, this program would take a special hookup to be received. But this remains only a hope.

 The principal assures me 100% that there are absolutely no anti-Semitic materials in the curriculum or classroom,  yet DAM walked in without anyone identifying them as being anti-semitic.  What is taken as anti-semitic to many Jews is not seen as such by many others as this case in point.  People, including many Jews themselves, can complain about Israel, but surely they're not calling for its destruction.   I think they stepped over the line into the anti-semitic realm when they saw no problem bringing in DAM. 

The principal and the language teacher are both too busy for a 20 minute visit by concerned citizens to see the materials used after classroom hours.  A too-busy reply was given to a Jewish parent with children attending the school.   Two retired retired teachers were stonewalled.    It only makes them even more alarmed as to the contents that might be involved. 

If there is no Jewish state, then that means there will be no Jews in the Middle East at all, as they are not allowed in other countries. Hamas-Fatah will have a state without Jews, whereas there are 1.4 million Arabs citizens of Israel.   We have always said that in our war with the Arabs we had a secret weapon — no alternative. The Egyptians could run to Egypt, the Syrians into Syria. The only place we could run was into the sea, and before we did that we might as well fight.-Golda Meier.  The staff must have let this fact go over their heads in their defensiveness about their actions and beliefs.  There are 48 Muslim majority states in our world of which 22 are right in the Middle East.  There is only 1 teeny tiny Jewish state struggling against all odds to survive in their midst.   Besides being surrounded by terrorists, Israelis now see just how hatred has seeped into America as well. 

So here we are: on a high state of security with a fatwa to kill us all, and an Israeli issue with Hamas/Fatah at an American  high school that has not been resolved and has not been brought to closure.  But we can rest assured:  "there's no anti-semitism at Lincoln". 

Resource: Jewish Review-November 15, 2011 Lincoln students react to Palestinian music; Panel: Feelings of oppression valid, but lyrics cross line to hate, Anti-Semitism in Presbyterian Church, Again from Arutz Sheva

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