Trump vs DeBlasio: Who will win the NYC Public Schools Hamas battle

Leaders demand meeting with DeVos in DC, Gillibrand now MIA, but not in 2014 when she co-sponsored an anti-Hamas bill. Why are they all silent?

Cindy Grosz

OpEds New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Wow!  The outpouring after the publication of my articles about honoring Hamas in both Manhattan and Brooklyn public schools has been amazing in a great way.  It seems Jews and non-Jews, from all over and with many different political views, agree that the actions in both schools and the silence of  elected officials is wrong.  

Worse yet, a representative wrote an official statement that the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) " supports civic engagement in schools in an inclusive environment."

Does an inclusive environment include a city and state government challenging a federal government position and multiple pieces of legislation that had bipartisan sponsorship and support for many years?
Does an inclusive environment include a city and state government challenging a federal government position and multiple pieces of legislation that had bipartisan sponsorship and support for many years?

Letters to elected officials go unanswered.  

Governor Andrew Cuomo addressed a standing-room-only crowd in a Long Island yeshiva promising security for private schools as he is seeking support for his re-election.  Yet, Silence on Hamas.  

Brooklyn Borough President, Eric Adams, courting Jewish support, has began an exploratory committee for the next mayoral cycle. Adams recently was a Special Guest at the 2018 Salute to Israel Parade.  Adams "flipped" his support of admissions testing for elite high schools when Asian-American donors pulled out of fundraisers and held huge rallies.  Yet, Silence on Hamas.  

Queens Borough President, Jewish Melinda Katz, hosted an event last November featuring CAIR-NY about conquering hate.  Katz was also a Special Guest at the parade.  Yet, Silence on Hamas.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s silence is the most questionable.  In July, 2014, Gillibrand co-sponsored a bill with Senator Ted Cruz.  According to the press release out of Cruz's office, a resolution that condemned the use of civilians as human shields by the terrorist group Hamas was submitted. A similar resolution is sponsored in the House by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Florida, and Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Florida.

“Hamas is undoubtedly guilty of violating international humanitarian law through its deliberate, repeated, and consistent use of civilians as human shields,” said Sen. Cruz. “Hamas is engaged in a campaign of death that knows no boundaries or morals. The United States of America, along with the entire international community must expose and denounce Hamas’ barbaric tactics and unequivocally support Israel's right to self-defense. This is not just an attack on Israel; it is an attack on free societies around the globe.”

“The use of human shields by Hamas is deplorable,” said Sen. Gillibrand. “The international community must stand up against this terrorist organization that is putting the people it claims to defend in harm’s way and support Israel’s right to defend its citizens.”

Sen. Cruz and Sen. Gillibrand’s resolution:

  • Strongly condemns the brutal and illegal tactic by Hamas and other terrorist organizations of using innocent civilians as human shields
  • Calls on the international community to recognize the grave breaches of international law committed by Hamas in using human shields
  • Places responsibility for launching the rocket attacks on Hamas and other terrorist organizations, such as Islamic Jihad, in Gaza
  • Supports the sovereign right of the Government of Israel to defend its territory and stop the rocket attacks on its citizens
  • Expresses condolences to the families of the innocent victims on both sides of the conflict
  • Supports Palestinian civilians who reject Hamas and all forms of terrorism, desiring to live in peace with their Israeli neighbors; and
  • Calls on Mahmoud Abbas to condemn the use of innocent civilians as human shields by Hamas and other terrorist organizations

The legislation passed with bipartisan support.

Now, Yet, Silence on Hamas.

New York Democrat Elected Officials can remain silent for two reasons.  Many Jews still give them donor money, public attention and support. It also helps them get news exposure by catching headlines opposing President Trump.

It is no secret how the Trump administration feels about Hamas.  Here is the latest version of the Hamas Human Shields Protection Act, passed last February, sighting sanctions and penalties.

I am publicly calling upon Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, to meet with concerned organization leaders that have reached out to me for help.  

The Hamas moment of silence and lessons labeling Hamas soldiers as heroes were a result of the opening of the United States Embassy in Jerusalem on May 14th.  

Let's make something clear.  These two incidents are not isolated to New York,  not affecting only Jews or even public elementary schools. Victims of Hamas live internationally, they just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.  

Sarri Singer is one such victim. “I was shocked to read the article and hear what is happening. As a victim of a terrorist attack planned and carried out by Hamas, it is sad  to hear that students, who are future leaders,  are sympathetic to the perpetrators, instead of standing by the victims.  It is disheartening on many levels. Hamas is a terrorist organization just the same as ISIS Al Quada Boko Haram Al Shabab and many others." 

"As the founder of Strength to Strength, (, a global organization working directly with innocent cilivan victims of terrorist attacks around the world, I wish these students would stand with us in combatting the hate that terrorism perpetuates, instead of glorifying the terrorists. Perhaps if they heard my story, or see the scars on the hundreds of victims of Hamas attacks , they would not be so eager to stand with them.  I welcome the opportunity to share my personal story with these young people to help them understand what those impacted by terrorist attacks by Hamas live with every single day.”

These lessons must be stopped everywhere, from K-12 classrooms and during the ongoing controversies at Columbia University and the University of Maryland.

This also happens when ignorance happens.  The Beacon School Moment Of Silence was allowed because a student’s mother is Rebecca Vilkomerson, Executive Director Of Students Voice for Peace, an anti-Semitic Group.  Knowledge is Power!

President Trump ran on a platform to eliminate the Department of Education and end Common Core. Many in Washington still want education taken over by states.  Until that day comes, President Trump is still the Superintendent of all our schools.  We need to end lessons that contradict Trump, and his economic, foreign relations and security policies in DC, now.

Education is a nonpartisan issue that needs bipartisan support.

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