Photo Credit: Courtesy
MK Itamar Ben Gvir demonstrates against an event that includes Jews and Arabs who have lost loved ones, March 29, 2022.

Sagi Cohen, principal of the secular Rene Cassin Municipal High School, serving Ramat Eshkol, French Hill, and other northern neighborhoods of Jerusalem, was behind a scheduled event set for Tuesday, presented as a dialog between two Jews and two Arabs who lost family members in violent encounters.

MK Itamar Ben Gvir, renowned for opposing meetings between terrorists’ family members and high school students, stood outside the school’s gate and attacked the event, saying: “This is the biggest stupidity when the blood is still boiling when Jews are being murdered right and left, the school administration invites, with approval from the Education Ministry, the families of terrorists who threw Molotov cocktails and stones at IDF soldiers and were eliminated. It’s time for the education minister to wake up and prevent them from entering schools. The leftists and school principals are trying to engineer our children’s consciousness and poison them.”


Here’s the thing though: the event did not include terrorists’ families. The announcement reads:

The Israeli Hosts:
Yuval: lost his brother in 1993 when he was kidnapped and murdered by Hamas members during his service in the reserves.
Gili: lost his brother in the Yom Kippur war in 1973 (after a long period of being declared missing).
The Palestinian Hosts:
Yakub: lost his wife 3 years ago, when she was killed when settlers threw a stone at her car.
Muhammad: lost his brother in 2002, when he was shot by IDF soldiers near a check post in the West Bank when he was on his way to visit friends on the eve of a holiday.

So, no terrorists. I called up Ben Gvir’s spokesman and he explained that while these specific individuals may not be related to terrorists, the group that organized the event, The Parents Circle-Families Forum, is looking to gain a foothold in Israeli schools and feed the students pro-Palestinian rubbish. They introduce terms like “occupation” into the students’ vocabulary, and describe Arab rioters who get killed while throwing stones and firebombs at Jews as “the resistance.”

But worst of all, as I found out on a visit to their website, is their dogma of “The Parallel Narrative Experience.” In their post-Zionist view, there are no good and bad actors, only victims, and eventually, their false equivalence erases from the debate a century of Arab-initiated pogroms and murders in response to Jewish peace offerings.

Their purpose is to get to know the personal and national narrative of the “other,” their website explains, “as an important step towards reconciliation between the peoples. So far, during the nine years of the project, 40 groups have been conducted.”

False equivalence is a powerful tool, especially in brainwashing ill-educated high school students. But on Tuesday morning, dozens of Rene Cassin students received Ben Gvir with open arms and went out to demonstrate against the principal’s initiative. The school administration ordered the gates be locked, and teachers prevented their students from going out and participating in the demonstration, but some of them managed to sneak out.

480 students are enrolled in Rene Cassin, 100% of whose graduates are eligible to take the matriculation exams – not too shabby. Also, once a week, all the students go out on a social-communal-cultural activity. The school is run by the non-profit Darca Schools network which is dedicated to enhancing quality education in the periphery.


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