(Some of this is pasted from the earlier article. New information in red.)
Portland, OR: Concerned students and parents recently testified to the Portland Public School Board that a rap group called "DAM," that likens Israelis to Nazis was invited to perform at Lincoln High School. Despite documentation of blatant hate speech toward Israelis, Jews, and Zionists, the Lincoln Arabic teacher and Principal persisted in allowing the group to perform. The administration was unwilling to make a simple distinction between free speech and hate speech.
Growing numbers of school administrators and parents in the United States are willing to accept just a little anti-Semitic hate speech if it means hundreds of thousands of dollars for the rest of us.
The Lincoln Arabic program is funded by the Qatar Foundation, which recently named a center after Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a man who announced on Al-Jazeera television that,
"Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. By means of all the things he did to them...This was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hand of the believers."
He later called for the killing of all Jews, "down to the very last one." The center features a library of Qaradawi's works.
Arabic language teacher, Sarah Standish quoted several of the group's songs, to convince concerned parents that the group's lyrics were peaceful. Standish explained in a letter to parents that, "DAM is critical of actions taken by the Israeli government; however, they do not criticize or insult Jewish people as a people." She went on to assure them that DAM does not advocate violence.
However, Ms. Standish chose content of a very different nature for her students.
The DAM song she brought into the classroom is called, "I Have No Freedom." It demonizes both Israel and the USA, framing a partnership between two liberal democracies like this:
"While the mother of the 51st state raises another state
They who have been raised at the expense of another are just like their mother"
Standish assured parents that DAM's lyrics are peaceful and respectful of Jewish people, but her classroom selection explains violence against Israel in these terms:
"We use power because of our weakness
We put up with death so that life will treat us kindly and not with oppression
We were born into this life
And when we found that we were not in control of it, we tried to take it by force"
The song concludes with a young girl reading a poem:
"We want an angry generation
To plow the horizon
To tear up history by its roots
To rip out thought from its depths
We want a new generation
That does not forgive for past mistakes"
In a class assignment, the Arabic language students at Lincoln High School chose this as one of their favorite songs.
Charlestown High School, in Boston, Massachusetts also has an Arabic language program funded by Qatar Foundation. They hosted the rap group, as well. Just in case there is any doubt regarding the mind-bending power of this content, consider that the Charlestown teachers have proudly posted video on YouTube of their students dancing to that exact song, quoted above.
Bob Horenstein of the Portland Jewish Federation explains, "When they bring in a group with this anti-Israel propaganda, there may be two or three students who find the group appealing, and look them up online. It's indoctrination. It is a message that slowly seeps in more and more, kids who are exposed to the falsehoods about Israel."
Standish gave her students the song in the form of a YouTube video. These links act as a gateway to a world of hatred, glorification of guns, and of a systematic demonization of Israelis, with the usual anti-Semitic comments. Nearly every video YouTube recommended in conjunction with the videos given the Arabic students was full of imagery of masked men carrying guns. One song alleges Hamas, a terror organization, is only fighting for the freedom of Palestinians. "Victory is Ours," is repeatedly displayed, as are images of guns and the Palestinian flag. No Context. No explanation.
The teacher, principal, and entire school board can't seem to find moral clarity on the issue, even with a student testifying to them that his mother is Israeli, and he can't understand why a group that likens her to a Nazi is performing for his peers. Why would students be able to?
One student wrote, that those who opposed DAM in Portland, "added fuel to the fire." He explained, "DAM's lyrics may include acts of violence towards Israel, but if you listen to the rap in America, isn't it the same but in many different settings?" And regarding Qaradawi, and his wish to finish Hitler's agenda? "That one man who is a racist and anti Semite is being funded by Qatar, but that doesn't mean the Qatar foundation is bad."
Mission accomplished, Portland Public Schools. While they claim to create critical thinkers, this student emerges from the Arabic program excusing hate speech, and perceiving those who stand against such speech as the problem.