Bristol student Sabrina Miller is a Yachad sympathiser. She signs Yachad petitions. When I published my petition calling for David Miller to be fired, she called me and asked me to pull it because she wanted a clear run for hers – which she hadn’t yet published!
She has a column in the JC this week (‘Jewish schools must discuss Palestinian views’ – not online). She complains that her Jewish school (which was Immanuel College) did not equip her to oppose Israel haters. She says that all Jewish schools have the same problem.
The article is appalling. Presumably it was published because of the usual incomprehensible communal indulgence of soft left students. Where to start …?
‘Many Jewish schools refuse to talk about or even acknowledge the Palestinian narrative in any meaningful way.’
‘The Palestinian narrative …. ‘ Does she mean the ‘Naqba’ Lie that Jews ‘ethnically cleansed’ 750,000 Arabs between 1947 and 1949?? Or the lie that the IDF deliberately murders children? Or the inflammatory lie that Israel wants to tear down the Al Aqsa Mosque and rebuild the Temple?
Quite apart from the fact that it is not the responsibility of Jewish schools to teach Israel advocacy, any more than it is the responsibility of schools to teach why intervention in Afghanistan was justified or why it is wrong for the Iranian Mullahs to voice the desire to wipe Israel off the map. In fact if schools taught Israel advocacy they would be in breach of the 1996 Education Act which requires controversial subjects to be taught offering ‘a balanced presentation of opposing views’. There are organisations that go into schools and offer a balanced presentation, eg MEEDU. As well as a plethora of other organisations (eg Stand With Us) and sources (eg Beyond Images and Jewish Virtual Library) and blogs (modesty forbids mention of THIS blog).
Why no mention of the multitude of resources Ms Miller could use to put Israel’s case? And I have yet to see an article authored by her fisking the lies of the Israel haters. Or see her at a pro-Israel counterdemo.
In fact Miller provides no evidence for her assertions about Jewish schools. She even admits this:
‘I can only speak from personal experience’.
The rest of the article shows just where she is coming from. She claims she was ‘never allowed to talk about BDS’. Maybe Immanuel could explain just how such censorship works in practice. Are there notices in every classroom? –
Warning: Discussing BDS will be severely punished
And she describes the material she received at Immanuel – presumably from pro-Israel organisations or the Embassy – as ‘propaganda’!
She criticises the parents who opposed Yachad being invited to speak at Immanuel. Yachad was closely associated with Kaddish For Hamas and supported UN Resolution 2334 …… Immanuel Parents were completely right to oppose it.
Ms Miller is trying to make a name for herself as a journalist. This ill-informed piece does neither her nor the JC any favours.
David Collier has published this superb scholarly analysis of ‘the Palestinian narrative’. Probably not what Ms Miller had in mind – but all the more reason for her – and everyone like-minded – to read/save/quote from it.