April 14, 2024
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April 14, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Does History Still Count??

It just so happens that the Teaneck Public School system was considered one of the most admirable, progressive paradigms for all institutions to emulate for upholding the true ideals of democracy we all cherish. It all started when The Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation is unconstitutional in the landmark ruling of Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. Over nine years later, Teaneck in 1963 admirably upheld the mandate of the monumental vote to integrate schools, and became the first community in America to follow suit of the law.

Here we are, 60 years later, in shock that the school’s ideologies are reverting back to the days where civil rights and equality were sorely lacking. On November 29, 2023, the administrators and school board supported a group chanting obscenities and misconstrued accusations of “genocide,” profiling and condemning the Jews, Israel and Zionism. Young students in support of “Free Palestine” staged a walkout on school grounds and during school hours with support from the administration.

Community members had reached out to prevent the event from happening at all, hoping to ensure that Jewish students would not feel bullied or intimidated on campus. In spite of the request, our very own Board of Education reaffirmed the students’ right to demonstrate, citing the First Amendment, with the assurance that it would be “peaceful.”

Is this really happening? On our very own soil? Hate, discrimination and evil are festering among us, and especially in the most liberal places that were notable for their once-democratic high ideals.

Whether it be to disrupt the revelry at the Thanksgiving Day Parade or the lighting of the tree in the heart of New York City, the rioters continue to promulgate lies with total disregard of the true history of the region, and of facts they have no interest in hearing.

All behind the cloak of First Amendment rights, the platform of blatant hatred is given on a silver platter to the groups in opposition to Israel. Along with First Amendment rights of free assembly, there is the caveat that incendiary rhetoric to elicit violence is prohibited.

High school teachers in heavily Jewish neighborhoods have been threatened just because they chose to attend the pro-Israel rally in Washington. College administrators refuse to take a stand against campus hatred. The situation is snowballing into a tsunami of hatred. The “youth gone wild” signifies our future population, with hatred, profiling and the very discrimination we’ve worked so hard to abolish years ago, including the Teaneck Public School System.

Why do I start with Teaneck as an example? The Gemara teaches to start in your own backyard. Teaneck, unfortunately, is only one of many Orwellian examples of what is occurring in our neighborhoods across the board. Teaneck is just a microcosm of what is systemic today: hotbeds of antisemitism blatant in our nation and worldwide.

The University of Pennsylvania is just one other example of ignoring their very own motto of Leges sine Moribus vanae, which translates as “Laws without morals are useless,” with harassment of pro-Israel students and faculty fomenting within their own boundaries. This atrocious behavior of avoidance is becoming all too familiar within our 21st century.

It’s a positive initiative whereby finally President MaGill of U of P resigned under pressure. It’s truly time to call out those at the helm for accepting this outrageous, discriminatory behavior of “Death to the Jews” with the lame excuse that it depends on the “contextual” nature of what was said. The denial to recognize and combat antisemitism at its core only leads to anti-American propaganda which is inherent in the themes of all these abhorrent, destructive anti-Israel protests. President of Harvard, Claudia Gay, you’re next to go!

“Never again” is now. Silence at this time is not golden. America, where are we headed on our very own soil?

Ruby Kaplan
Teaneck

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