It’s bad enough that anti-Zionist extremists seek to dominate the town square on college campuses. But when they attempt to peddle their hatred in the public schools, the Jewish community must stand up and say loud and clear, “No way in hell.”
In recent years, the S.F.-based Arab Resource and Organizing Center has led the charge in promoting a militantly anti-Israel message across Northern California. It not only pushes for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, it also has urged its followers to “kick Zionism out of the Bay Area.”
The AROC website blames “U.S. imperialism and Zionism” for all the ills in the world. The group’s executive director supports the Palestinian right of “any and all forms of resistance,” and she has said publicly that she hates those who support Israel. Yes, she used that very word: hate.
Last month, AROC managed to slip one by the San Francisco Unified School District when the school board passed a resolution to launch an Arabic language program in the public schools, explicitly giving AROC a key role in curriculum development and cultural sensitivity training.
Fortunately, the Jewish Community Relations Council was tipped off and quickly met with the seven school board members, all of whom realized afterward that they had not properly vetted AROC, the group that pitched the proposal to the board and crafted its language.
The JCRC presented evidence of AROC’s hateful creed, one that is completely antithetical to the SFUSD’s Vision 2025 manifesto, which calls for students to embrace “a sense of pride in their racial and cultural identity and an appreciation for the unique and diverse identities of others.”
Such appreciation cannot possibly happen if AROC whispers into the ears of children and teachers poisonous lies about evil Zionists (read: Jews).
As our article this week explains, the process of implementing an Arabic language program — an idea we wholeheartedly support — now rests with the superintendent of schools and his staff. It will take a long time and will, presumably, include a thorough vetting of potential outside partners, including AROC.
As the process begins, we add our voice, and demand that the SFUSD give AROC absolutely no role in any Arabic language course in the public schools. No curriculum development, no teaching, no cultural sensitivity training. Nothing.
Our schools must never reward anti-Semitic haters with a lectern in the classroom.