I am a proud American who fully embraces the United States values, especially freedom of speech. I am also a refugee born and raised in Soviet Kazakhstan and later Uzbekistan. I lived among a Muslim population, surrounded by their faith and culture, and have a deep appreciation for diversity.

I am also a grandchild of Holocaust survivors. As a constant reminder of my Jewish ethnicity, my Soviet Union passport listed my nationality as “Jew.”  Being Jewish is not simply one’s religion but an ethnicity. In fact, Jews are an ethnic minority worldwide. Some of us practice Judaism, some choose other religions, and some are secular. Never could I have imagined that Jew-hatred would find me here, in the land of the free.

As U.S. college campuses erupted with blatant antisemitism, I hoped it wouldn’t reach our quiet suburban schools, yet here we are experiencing it firsthand. I watched in horror as Central Bucks West’s administration turned a blind eye and refused to enforce their policies, and allowed the spread of antisemitic propaganda by one of their teachers, Mr. Abdelwahab, and student members of the MSA club.

I attended the public board meeting to express my concerns about the administration’s disregard for policy violations. I described the hostile school environment it created and asked the board to do their job. I was not there to criticize this teacher’s character, work ethic, or religion.

None of the parents shared those thoughts or words. Yet, school board Vice President Dr. Mahmud read a prepared statement at the meeting claiming that the Jewish parents were on a ”witch hunt” and committing “Islamophobic attacks against a minority teacher.” Her preconceived notions clouded her judgment, and her words are a classic case of victim blaming. It is reprehensible!

Jews lived in the diaspora for thousands of years. Indigeneity of the Jewish people to the land of Israel is undisputable, and so is their right and obligation to defend their people from unprovoked genocidal attacks by terrorists. We are witnessing a deliberate twisting of facts and history to perpetuate antisemitism disguised as anti-Zionism.

Its goal is simple: brainwash and radicalize the impressionable minds in a systematic and calculated way to hate the Jews. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions but not their own facts. We must not let falsehoods told a thousand times become truths!

Per Dr. Mahmud, Mr. Abdelwahab “creates a safe space for students of all backgrounds and interests.” his posts tell us otherwise; they are bursting with false, inflammatory propaganda, glamorization of martyrdom, and calls for intifada. This disinformation campaign adversely impacts the students, the Jewish community, and all of society.

Our concerns weren’t raised because the teacher is Muslim but because he chooses to post antisemitic tropes and propaganda while knowing his students follow his social media and often replicate the same misguided rhetoric on MSA’s club account.  Their one-sided focus on the suffering of Gazans is very telling; they don’t appear at all concerned with the suffering of any other population, including millions of Muslims who are persecuted in Yemen, Syria, Pakistan, or China, not to mention 130-plus hostages still held by Hamas terrorist. Why?

Even after the board meeting, our calls for swift and direct actions went unanswered, and this inaction seemed to embolden the teacher and the club, culminating in a post of a prayer for G-d to “deal with the usurping Jews and the treacherous Zionists” on club’s Instagram. These posts should be seen exactly for what they are: incitement of Jew hatred. History taught us that this rhetoric goes hand-in-hand with violence.

Many of these propaganda posts were brought to the attention of the school district’s administration. Where was their resounding condemnation of this targeted hatred? We highlighted the dangers that stem from the spread of anti-Jewish rhetoric. Where was the board’s commitment to enforce their policies and address violations with meaningful disciplinary actions? At the time of the unprecedented rise in antisemitism and when Jewish students needed support and protection, most of this board stayed silent.

The belated board’s statement, as expected, was tone-deaf. It failed to strongly condemn the only real issue at hand, antisemitism. Also missing was the commitment to address this evident Jew hatred. By lumping the unparalleled antisemitism with an alleged islamophobia and “all other forms of hate,” it undermined the validity of our concerns, lacked the emphasis it deserved, and rendered the message insincere. While all hate should generally be condemned, this is not the time for equivocal statements, nor is this “action” enough.

For our children to feel safe and welcome in the schools, we must see results, policies must be strictly enforced, and there must be consequences. We will not stay silent and let our schools become an accessory to the next Holocaust. We want real actions, and we want them now! “Never again” is now!

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