A moment of silence for Hamas at Beacon
A moment of silence for Hamas at Beacon

Lesson 1:  Regardless of your religious background, you were affected by the "Moment Of Silence" last week in tribute to the Hamas terrorists killed while volunteering to invade Israel, incite violence and murder innocent Jews.  Are you a taxpayer who spends your dollars on federal, state and local taxes? If so, well, you, in some way, paid for that moment. 

There are Orthodox Jewish teachers, and yes, religious students attending public schools.  Many religious students in private schools or homeschooling situations rely on local school districts for busing, special needs services and textbooks.  More modern day schools use a curriculum and ev‎aluation system compatible to the ones used in public school systems.  Colleges, both public and private, are filled with religious attendees and staffs.  A Chabad on Campus is proof.

Don't say that the Orthodox Have No Involvement-It's Simply Not True!

Lesson 2:  Which Jewish leadership spoke out and what did they say?  Luckily, mainstream media covered the outrage of the incident. Most agreed that the action was out of place.  Parents, students and staff felt uncomfortable, especially those who are Jewish.

Some Jewish leaders condemned the action.   The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), the largest rabbinic public policy organization in America, articulates and advocates for public policy po‎sitions based upon traditional Jewish thought. Claiming the school had "abandoned its educational mission," the 1000-strong rabbinic organization demanded an immediate public apology from the Beacon School, a selective, college-preparatory public school in Manhattan, NY, whose students include the children of numerous public officials.

Two weeks ago, the Beacon School called for a mandatory, school-wide moment of silence as a tribute to "Palestinian victims of violence" in Gaza, causing discomfort to many Jewish students and outrage among their parents.

"There are no two ways about it; claiming that Hamas operatives are 'victims' is to say that killing Jews is a peaceful activity," said Rabbi Pesach Lerner, President of the CJV. "Hamas members approached the border with guns, knives and maps of Israeli civilian communities on the other side, responding to calls by their leaders to 'tear down the border and ... tear out [Jews'] hearts from their bodies.'"

The CJV cited three ways that the school's moment of silence failed its educational mission:

  • Education provides facts, not propaganda. Salah Bardawil, a senior Hamas leader, told Palestinian TV on May 16 that 50 of the 62 killed in Gaza were Hamas members, and Islamic Jihad claimed credit for another three. That means over 80% of those killed were terrorists who incite violence, not its victims.
  •   Education teaches students to withdraw from lies. Hamas co-founder Mahmoud Al-Zahar proudly announced to Al Jazeera on May 13 that "when we talk about 'peaceful resistance,' we are deceiving the public." By claiming those killed in Gaza were peaceful victims of violence, the school propogated this lie.
  •   And finally, education leads people towards civilization and away from barbarism. By claiming that Hamas terrorists attempting to murder innocents were "victims," the school advocated for permitting the terrorists to reach their objective and commit further atrocities.

Rabbi Marc Volk, Executive Director of the National Council of Young Israel, spoke with me at length condemning the "Moment Of Silence for Hamas Terrorists" stating,"Regardless of one's political and religious practice, our members are in unison that educational environments should not recognize Hamas as victims."  Volk just returned from Israel from an educational mission and saw Hamas tunnels meant to send radical terrorists into Israel and kill men, women and children.

Morton Klein, National President of the Zionist Organization of America, has probably been the most vocal.  "Jewish students and their parents were rightly outraged:   Parents noted that they did not send their children to school to pray for Hamas murderers," Klein pointed out in multiple writings.

 Lesson 3
: Which Jewish organizations spoke out in support of Hamas, or remained silent?

 Klein, better than anyone else, factually cites the Anti-Defamation League supporting this action, and its repercussions.    

Klein wrote, "It’s painfully shocking that Anti-Defamation League (ADL) head Jonathan Greenblatt recently wrote on ADL’s website: “it is a horrific tragedy that so many people have been killed and wounded at the Gaza border.” (“ADL Statement on Violence at Israel-Gaza Border,” May 15, 2018.)  This broad statement was not limited to the tiny minority who were not members of a terrorist group.  (And even that small minority joined the violent riots whose goal was to breach Israel’s border fence to descend upon nearby Jewish communities, schools, and day care centers – and all of Israel – to murder innocent Jews.) 

Thus, we must ask, how is the death of mostly Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorists a “horrific tragedy?”  In fact, the deaths of these terrorists prevented a real “horrific tragedy” – the murder of thousands of innocent Jews who would have been slain if Hamas’ violent rioters had succeeded. 

Hamas leader Salah al-Bardawil and PIJ have admitted that 85% of the recent Gaza fatalities (50 Hamas plus 3 PIJ, out of 62 total) were their own terrorist operatives. (See Salah al-Bardawil interview video.)   These terrorists were hurling pipe bombs, boulders, grenades and Molotov cocktails; carrying machetes; shooting at Israelis; rushing with wire cutters and planting bombs at the border fence; and destroying Israeli farms with arson-terror kites emblazoned with swastikas.  Swastika flags and banners were everywhere. 

These were Islamic terrorists committed to brutally murdering every Jew, and even tearing out and eating Jews’ hearts and livers.  Hamas leader Yehia al-Sinwar “rallied” the Gazan rioters/troops by proclaiming:  “We will tear down the border [with Israel] and we will tear out their hearts from their bodies,” and “we will eat the livers of the Israelis.” (See Yehia al-Sinwar video; and “The World Goes for Israel’s Throat,” by Giulio Meotti, Israel Nat’l News, Apr. 3, 2018.)  The Nazi-like Hamas Charter calls for the murder of every Jew and the destruction of the Jewish State of Israel. 

Hamas named its  violent actions on the Gaza border “The March of Return”- openly stating the goal was to “return” millions of descendants of Arabs to Israel to end the existence of the Jewish State.  

Such sympathetic proclamations only encourage more Hamas terror against Jews.  Such proclamations also encourage the media to distort the truth of the Hamas war against the Jewish State."

Where are our United Jewish Appeals, Hadassahs, National Councils of Jewish Women, even our Orthodox Union of Jewish Teachers?

Lesson 4:
  It's Election Time.  Which candidates and elected officials spoke out against the "Moment of Silence?"  In New York, Assemblymen and State Senators, Congressmen, a Senator and a Governor are up for election.  Their silence is a vote of support for the action, regardless of many visits to JCCs, shuls or yeshivas. 

Write the members of the education committees and demand an apology and action to ensure it doesn't happen again. Write to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and voice your concerns.

Time For Your ev‎aluation: Think you have no voice? I have proven you have people on your side that will join you in ending anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism in classrooms.

Education is a nonpartisan issue that needs bipartisan support.

Cindy Grosz can be reached at cindyscorners@gmail.com.