21 thoughts on “If Jews Can Have a Public School, Why Can’t Arabs? – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Public schools are for the public. they are not for “Jews” or “Arabs”. In fact, the school in Florida:

    School officials have not asked students whether they are Jewish, Rabbi Siegel said, but 37 percent of parents identified Hebrew as their first language. Seventeen percent said Spanish was their primary language, he said, while 5 percent said Russian and 5 percent said French.
    The school has a handful of black students, including members of a Baptist church that provides their transportation to and from the school.

    It is my understanding that most of those enrolled in the Khalil Gibran school are not Arabs either, but are of African-American heritage. One other difference, while there is a big demand for the Hebrew school in Florida, to the degree where they have had to use a lottery to decide on admissions, enrollment for the Khalil Gibran school is below expectations.
    Both schools are potentially problematic in my view. If I was living in Florida my decision on whether to send my kids there would depend on the quality of the other public schools in the area. I went to a public school in Southern California, ate ham sandwiches with the rest of the kids (yuck) and sang Christmas carols with them too (though that probably doesn’t happen anymore).
    Both schools should be closely supervised for content. My guess is that the Khalil Gibran school is potentially more problematic.

  2. Public schools are for the public. they are not for “Jews” or “Arabs”.

    Yes, I know all of that. But you are being disingenuous in dismissing the notion that probably 90% of students in Florida will be Jewish and that it serves a purpose of educating Jewish children about their language and heritage. I am glad that it will also educate other children who are not Jewish in those subjects as well. But were it not for the Jewish children there would be no such school.

    The sole reason for depressed enrollment in Brooklyn is the vicious attack unleashed by Campus Watch, Stop the Madrassa and the right wing media represented by Rupert Murdoch’s Post and Mort Zuckerman’s Daily News. A drumbeat of attacks have poisoned the atmosphere in NY I’m afraid. No such attacks have occured in Florida.

    I would not send my children to either school either in all likelihood. But I would like my children to learn in public school about their own and other childrens’ ethnic-religious traditions.

  3. Some have forgotten that Judeo-Arabic was one of the major Jewish languages. It was the language of Maimonides, eg., as well as of the Hardoons and the Sassons, important in Shanghai’s history.

    And, of course, Hebrew was the tongue of Canaan. If the libraries of Tyre or Carthage survived, we’d have quite a different understanding of the language and the Bible.

    Zhu Bajie

  4. What about Neve Shalom in Israel? ARen’t there several places in Israel teaching co-existence? I have been blogging them for years but I’m too tired and despairing to go research my own blog posts.

    I think the dual academy idea is brilliant. There are so many ARab Jews in Brooklyn – they would make a great addition to such a community school.

    And remember that Khalil Gibran WAS A CHRISTIAN ARAB you moronic racists who hate the idea of the school. He lived in New York and was part of an early twentieth century literary movement among Arab-Americans that had magazines and newspapers and produced dozens of writers. Gibran was but one of a group.

    Thanks for calling out these racists, Richard, I really appreciate it. I am feeling so sick to my stomach about the ignorance and prejudice that blossoms in this country. Yuk.

  5. Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and pre-US invasion Iraq fairly carefully controlled the religious content of their schools specifically so that fundamentalists could not pose a challenge to the government. There is a fairly strong anti-fundamentalist tradition in Arabic education.

    In contrast, Hebrew schools if they are not religiously fundamentalist, tend to be ethnically fundamentalist. There used to be secular and somewhat rational humanistic Yiddish schools, but they are long gone.

    Experience in Israel (Stolen Palestine), the occupied territoris, Egypt and other parts of the Arab world forces me to conclude that Americans need to be extremely dubious of the fanatic racist and extremist views of ethnic Ashkenazim, whether in the US, Europe or in Stolen and Occupied Palestine.

  6. Thanks, Amir. That looks like a great site. I hope Leila will see your link as well. They’re doing great work from the looks of the website.

    I’ve never met the U.S. director but he’s based in Portland, OR just down the coast from me.

  7. Joachim Martillo: I’m not fond of ideological stereotyping of the left or right.

    There are Arab schools which teach hate and Jewish schools which do the same. There are Arab schools who preach moderation and Jewish schools too. You just can’t make sweeping judgments on issues like this unless you’re fond of reducing arguments to simplistic notions.

    I can’t decide if as an “ethnic Ashkenazi” I’m one of the “fanatic racist extremist” variety or something a little less odious.

  8. If you believe that ethnic Ashkenazim had the right to steal Palestine from the native population on the basis of an etymological relationship between the word Jewish and the word Judea, in my book, it is hard to be more extremist because this fundamental Zionist belief approaches psychosis.

  9. While I reject some of the terms you use, I also not in favor of the way Israel treated its native Israeli Arab population nor the way it’s treating the Palestinians. I hope then I can rest easy in the hope I am not an “extremist, psychotic ethnic Ashkenazi.”

  10. RS is sitting on land stolen from the Duwamish. You, Joachim are sitting on land stolen from the Pawtucket (or Penacook), the Massachusett, the Pokantoket (or Wampanoag), and several other smaller bands including the Nipmuck and Pocumtuck.

  11. That’s true. Chief Sealth (hence the origin of the name ‘Seattle’) & his people were treated abominably by white settlers here. THey even murdered Chief Leschi on some trumped up charge. A Seattle neighborhood is now named for him.

  12. For the record, I live in an area that used to be a praying town, where native Americans settled and assimilated to English practices. The name at the end of my chain of title to my property is native American, and the owners apparently sold the property to English before the expropriations associated with King Philip’s war.

    Israel supporters typically point to the history of the USA to justify their support for Zionist genocidaires even though there is no logical argument to justify Zionist crimes on the basis of historical misdeeds in N. America.

    For the first 87 years of the existence of the USA, slavery was legal and then we Americans fought a war over the abolition of the slave system. By the logic and precedent of US history, we Americans should now use military force to abolish the Zionist system, which is just as wrong as slavery.

    I am not surprised that Gore Vidal recounts a story of Norman Podhoretz’ lack of interest in the US conflict over slavery and the American Civil War.

  13. There is absolutely no comparison between what is happening in the Land of Israel and what happened in North America. It takes quite an imagination to label the zionist enterprise genocide. But following the link on Joachim’s name to his blog I’ve discovered that he has quite an imagination besides being a Nazi apologist. Interestingally. RS deletes links to websites he finds to be “uber-zionist”, yet has left the link to Joachim’s active so that I can only assume he hasn’t gone to read his despicable webpage.

  14. “we Americans fought a war over the abolition of the slave system…”

    This is a “national myth” that just isn’t true. Like most (all?) wars, the “Civil War” was ultimately fought for economic reasons; specifically, the South was not setting, collecting, and remitting to Washington tariffs at the rates that Washington wanted. Had the South done this, then there would have been no war. Whereas it’s true that the end of slavery was a fortunate outcome of the war, that’s not why it was fought. (Even if there had been no slavery in the South, the South still would have seceded for the aforementioned economic reason, and the war was fought to prevent that secession.)

  15. Here is article 2 from the Convention on Genocide ( http://www.hrweb.org/legal/genocide.html )

    Article 2

    In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

    (a) Killing members of the group;
    (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
    (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
    (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
    (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.


    Note that items a, b, and c clearly have applied to Palestine since racist Eastern European Ashkenazim began to invade Palestine for the purpose of stealing it from the native population at the end of the 19th century.

    You can find my position on the relative significance of the Holoexaleipsis versus the Holocaust in…[link deleted]

  16. Could you tell me why you’re not advocating charges against the current U.S. government for genocide against Native Americans? And we can go back through history examining every genocide commited & go on the warpath over every single one of them. And shouldn’t we call for the uprooting of the German state because of its treatment of those “psychotic” ethnic Ashkenazi Jews murdered in the Holocaust?

    Unfortunately, one of the activities that human beings perform esp. well is mass murder. It’s happened throughout human history. That doesn’t excuse Israeli practice. But places it into context. There must be amends made for crimes against Israeli Arabs and Palestinians. Though I eliminating Israel both will not happen & would be compounding the original crime.

    Joachim: I know how important these issues are to you. But I warn you that I don’t plan on exhausting myself or my readers arguing over them. In other words, have your say & let’s go on to another subject. I don’t plan on making my blog a forum for discussion about genocide & psychotic ethnic Ashkenazis. That’s why you have your own blog to discuss those issue to your heart’s content.

  17. It would appear that Joachim is not always opposed to genocide. In fact sometimes it is quite “understandable.” From his blog:

    In short, we have to stop talking about the mass murder of Jews or ethnic Ashkenazim during WW2 as the most heinous crime in the history of humanity. We need to recognize that because of historical processes since the collapse of the Polish Republic after 1648, ethnic Ashkenazim became a toxic minority hated for completely understandable reasons throughout Eastern Europe and Russian territories.

  18. Even if one can understand why Central and Eastern Europeans hated and feared Jews in general during the 20s and 30s, it does not mean that one considers mass murder of Jews justified.

    I believe I can also explain why Soviet ethnic Ashkenazi commissars believed the Ukrainian peasantry were animals that only understood the gun or whip. It does not mean that I consider the brutality directed against Ukrainian peasants to have been justified.

    This type of historical process is active at all times. If we want to stop it, we have to understand it.

    The NY Times approach “(1) We know that Jews are disproportionately represented among Soviet mass murderers and genocidaires. (2) We will have Walter Duranty lie about it” simply does not work.

    The Times then continued this stupidity by burying stories about mass murders of Jews during WW2 (see Buried by the Times by Laura Leff).

    Nowadays the Times and its columnists like Thomas Friedman consistently misreport and misanalyse Palestine [link deleted] and the ME in general to the harm of Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, the USA and the world.

    We have to understand processes that turn people in mass murderers and avoiding reporting the facts (as the Times has consistently done for nearly 100 years — actually more if one reviews the Times coverage of the Sudanese Mahdi in the 19th century) makes understanding impossible.

  19. I agree with Amir that the quotation from Joachim’s blog is unconscionable. Joachim, you are put on notice that your above comment will be your last one on this subject. Move on to a different post here & a diff. subject. I ask you to follow the rules as I explain them to you.

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