Saturday, March 31, 2018

Exposé: The depth of anti-Israel hate on American campuses - Noah Beck

by Noah Beck

A new book exposes the depth of anti-Israel hate on US campuses. The smear campaign aimed at Prof. Andrew Pessin for defending Israel in the 2014 war against Hamas is a frightening example.

About six months after Andrew Pessin posted on his Facebook profile a defense of Israel during its 2014 war against Hamas, the once popular Connecticut College philosophy professor was subjected to an academic smear campaign. The school paper published articles defaming him. The administration hosted condemnations of Pessin from across the campus community on the school's website, and tolerated other anti-Semitic activities that only worsened the climate for Jews and Israel supporters. Pessin received death threats and, in the spring of 2015, took a medical leave of absence. The Connecticut College administration offered no meaningful protection or support to Pessin, and never issued any apology for its role in his abuse.

The Pessin affair was part of a growing trend of anti-Israel hostility on U.S. campuses, but at least his story has a somewhat happy ending. Pessin resumed teaching last fall after an extended paid sabbatical, and – together with a colleague – convinced the school to establish a Jewish Studies program. Moreover, he has edited a new book with Fordham University's Doron Ben-Atar on the general campus trend: Anti-Zionism on Campus: The University, Free Speech, and BDS. Ben-Atar, who is part of Fordham's American Studies program, protested at a faculty meeting about the 2013 passing of a resolution calling for a boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) targeting Israel, only to find himself soon being investigated for unspecified charges, resulting in a Kafkaesque campaign of intimidation and vilification.

This volume of essays, by faculty and students who have confronted anti-Israelism on their campuses, documents and analyzes how this movement masks an underlying anti-Semitism that creates a hostile environment for Jews while undermining free speech and civility.

Writer Noah Beck interviewed Pessin via email.

Q: Your book catalogues the many underhanded tactics used to promote the anti-Israel agenda on college campuses, which should help Israel advocates prepare for what awaits them. Did your personal ordeal inspire you to create a potential resource for campus Israel advocates? Or did you have the idea for such a book even before what happened to you?

Pessin: I had been observing the general campus scene for some time, but passively; like many professors, I preferred to spend my time teaching and doing my research, rather than get involved in the mess. And so, when I read about Doron's affair at Fordham, being persecuted for standing up for Israel, I simply thought, "That's terrible," then clicked on the next story. It was only six months later, when I began to receive hundreds of emails of support from around the world, that I realized how important it is to hear from people off campus. So I wrote to him, belatedly, to offer my support—and he wrote back immediately to suggest we collect narratives from faculty members who have been on the receiving end of anti-Israel nastiness on their campuses. Though the book evolved from there—we include several more analytical essays, as well as some narratives from students—that's how it was born.

Q: What would you say is the principal message of the book?

Pessin: The book is not about "defending Israel." Indeed, a good number of our contributors are people who are critical of various Israel policies, of settlements, etc. What it is about is how the anti-Israel movement manifests itself on campuses around the world. And as you work through the essays it becomes clear: the anti-Israel campus movement corrodes the academy in every way, on every level, it harms scholarship, teaching, community, it violates numerous academic and moral norms, and more.

Whatever you specifically think about Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian-Jewish-Arab-Muslim conflict, the campus movement largely operates not as a bona fide academic movement but as something more sinister. There are legitimate ways to be supportive of the Palestinian cause on campus, but this isn't one of them. (Pessin exhaustively outlined legitimate ways to support Palestinians on campus in his 2017 article.)

Q: What factors did you consider when selecting the different contributors for this collection of essays?

Pessin: When we put out the original "calls for papers" we were shocked at the response. Within weeks we had some thirty faculty members who wanted to share their stories, of being targeted for standing up for Israel, or even for just not hating Israel. The problem is that pervasive. Most of these stories happen entirely under the radar, either on smaller campuses or in such a way that the media doesn't pick them.

We tried to select the most compelling stories, the most representative stories, the ones that could teach people something. There were several we wanted to include but could not because legal procedures were in place that precluded their contributing. There was one who opted out because he didn't want to relive what was a devastating personal experience.

Q: What types of campus activity and speech, if any, should be suppressed (regardless of which side benefits), and under what principles? What, for example, is your view on the lawsuit against Fordham for refusing to allow a chapter of SJP [Students for Justice in Palestine] to form?

Pessin: That's a good question. We all believe in free speech. We all are opposed to hate speech. But does opposition to hate speech mean you may censor or restrict or punish hate speech? What about speech that consists of slander and defamation and demonization? The traditional norms of the academy suggest we should err on the side of the freedom, to hear all sides, even the evil sides. So nothing should be "suppressed," not even the most hateful, slanderous speech.

But of course it should be answered. Lies should be countered, motives should be exposed, and while the simple label "anti-Semitic" can be abused (as can labels such as "racist" or "Islamophobic"), you shouldn't hesitate to explain and defend exactly how and why you take some particular speech or action to be anti-Semitic. As for Fordham, while I deeply respect the courage of that decision, I'm not sure in the end it was the right decision. Perhaps they should let the group form, but then closely observe its activities (as they observe all student groups) to be sure it operates within appropriate academic and community norms.

Q: Some anti-Israel activists argue that they are widely suppressed on campuses, and routinely maligned in the press and by organized Jewish and pro-Israel groups. What would you say in response?

Pessin: They do like to claim there is a "Palestine exception" [depriving Palestinian advocates of their free speech on campus]. And in the past few years Jewish and pro-Israel groups, both on and off campus, have gotten more vocal as they begin to take the anti-Israel movement more seriously as a genuine threat to Jewish students and to the academy in general. Indeed, we hope our book, by documenting the problem, will help inform and thus contribute to that response.

The problem is that anti-Israel activists take nearly every criticism, every objection, every argument against them to be "censorship" and "suppression," rather than recognize these as academically appropriate responses to them. What they essentially want is unlimited freedom of speech to slander and defame Israel and pro-Israel faculty and students, while rejecting the freedom of speech of others to respond to them.

Q: Your sobering introduction highlights how the campus "debate" has become so extreme as to shut down any meaningful discussion in favor of assertions that, "Israel and Zionism are...illegitimate, incorrigible abominations" as you describe it. How should pro-Israel activists counter this strategy when those espousing it have no interest in reasonable or balanced discussion?

Pessin: You've put your finger on a central point. The anti-Israel attack on the academy as a whole is reflected most clearly in (a) the personal attacks on pro-Israel individuals documented in the book and (b) the utter rejection of the pro-Israel voice via campus disruptions, the relentless calls to boycott, and the rejection of "normalization" (i.e. refusal to have any dialogue with pro-Israel voices). They couldn't be more explicit in their aims: the Israeli perspective, including the intimate connection between the Jewish perspective in general and the Israeli perspective, is simply not to be permitted on campus. They object to the "Palestine exception" while explicitly and actively advocating for and executing the "Israel exception" to free speech.

The best response, I think, is to repeatedly and vocally point this out, and thus promote and defend our book's principal message: that whatever you may think about the conflict over there, the anti-Israel movement over here is profoundly antithetical to the academic and moral norms of the campus environment.

Q: Because on nearly every campus Jews and Israel supporters are severely outnumbered, their disadvantaged position arguably mirrors that of Israel's in global forums. Yet Israel -- thanks to its technology, security intelligence, and many other assets -- has managed to reduce the impact of international boycotts, lopsided UN votes, and other fora where attempts to punish or isolate Israel used to succeed far more. Is there any similar set of assets that Jews and Israel supporters on campus can leverage to start turning the tide in their favor?

Pessin: That's a great way of putting the question. It highlights what is simultaneously both an asset and a liability on campus: the many smart, talented, Jewish faculty and students on many campuses. The significant majority are generally supportive of Israel, but for many reasons they tend not to be vocal on campus, while the small minority who are Israel-haters tend to be very vocal.

What's necessary is to give that majority the courage to stand up, speak up, and be heard—and denounce the anti-academic antisemitism that largely characterizes the anti-Israel movement. We hope our book will help in that regard, by letting potential advocates know they are not alone.

Anti-Zionism on Campus comes out April 1.

Originally written for the Investigative Project on Terrorism

Noah Beck is the author of The Last Israelis, an apocalyptic novel about Iranian nukes and other geopolitical issues in the Middle East.


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Pashtun Muslims battle Taliban - Dr. Richard L. Benkin and Roohul Amin

by Dr. Richard L. Benkin and Roohul Amin

The Pashtun have washed their hands of both the Taliban and Pakistan.

There is a popular uprising forming against the Taliban, and it is being carried out by Pashtun, a Muslim-majority group whose leaders tell us they share our values.

The Pashtun are a tribal people of about 40-50 million. The majority live in Pakistan's North and West Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA); Pashtun also constitute Afghanistan's ethnic majority. The two regions were united until 1896, when the British divided their homeland between Afghanistan and what was then-British India. The "Durand Line," which was named after Sir Mortimer of the same name, forms the boundary between Afghanistan and Pakistan and has never been recognized by the Afghans as legitimate.

Despite the fact that there are more Pashtun than Poles, few people in the West are familiar with them. Those who are aware of them tend to focus on their representation among the Taliban. While it is true that many Taliban are Pashtun, the vast majority of Pashtun are virulently anti-Islamist. In an exclusive interview in Frankfurt, Germany, Pir Riaz, chairman of the Pashtunistan Freedom Movement, told us, "Pashtuns as a nation is totally democratic and secular – no forced conversions ever in our entire history. During India's partition [when one to two million people lost their lives in communal rioting], there were no riots in Pashtunistan. Many people even fled to us for safety, and we still have Sikhs and Hindus living peacefully and safe. The greatest number of our intellectuals are anti-Islamist, and they reflect the Pashtun people who are very democratic and freedom-loving. Because Pashtun have always been among the ruling elite in the region, it is not surprising that some turned away from Pashtun values and supported the Taliban. They and all of their supporters represent far less than one percent of our people."

Over the last few weeks, Pashtun have been battling the Taliban, fighting those radicals who are killing young Americans in Afghanistan. Thus far, these incidents have resulted in property damage only due to Pakistani military presence. In the videos linked below, you can see Pakistani military men in the crowd, protecting the Taliban and identifying the Pashtun rioters.

On February 6, in Dera Ismail Khan, hundreds of people attacked the Taliban office and took their weapons, promising more to come. Ten days after the attack, the local Taliban leader told Pashtun elders: "We are not terrorists. We are working for Pakistan's military intelligence and ISI. The state is behind us."

Pashtun long have accused Pakistan of supporting the Taliban. Now others including President Trump have come to the same conclusion. On February 6, gleeful Pashtun tore down the Pakistani flag in Bannu, Khyber Pakhtunwa. They never have desecrated the American flag, according to Riaz.

Richard Benkin is an American human rights activist, and Roohul Amin is a former journalist and Pashtun rights activist. Dr. Benkin's involvement has been partially funded by the Middle East Forum.


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The Palestinian Authority admits that it’s a terrorist organization - Att'y Stephen M. Flatow

by Att'y Stephen M. Flatow

I appreciate the PA’s frankness. Now it’s time for some consequences.

The Palestinian Authority’s new budget for 2018 openly states, for the first time, that the PA is directly paying salaries to imprisoned terrorists. By the U.S. government’s own definition, that makes the PA a terrorist organization and it should be treated as such.

This devastating new information comes from the indefatigable researchers of Palestinian Media Watch (PMW). They’ve translated and analyzed the PA’s just-released budget for 2018. What they found would be front page news around the world—if the news media treated the PA the same way it treats other regimes.

The PA’s budget allocates funds for two categories of terrorists. One is for “families of the martyrs and wounded.” That is, families of suicide bombers and others who are killed or wounded while trying to massacre Jews. They’ll be receiving $197-million this year. The other category is imprisoned terrorists. The PA will be giving $158-million to the “Commission of Prisoners” to pay salaries to terrorists who are serving jail sentences in Israel.

That’s a total of $355-million in terrorist funds. It amounts to 7.4% of the PA’s entire budget—and a whopping 44% of the foreign aid that the PA receives.

Palestinian Media Watch explains that in recent years, the PA tried to hide its terrorist payments through the use of bureaucratic subterfuge. When PMW first publicized the terrorist payments in 2014, the PA quickly shut down its Ministry of Prisoners Affairs and claimed—falsely—that an agency unrelated to the PA, the PLO’s Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs, was providing the funds from non-PA sources.

PMW then uncovered the fact that the PA was actually transferring money to its “Palestinian National Fund,” which then gave it to that PLO commission, which then paid the terrorists.

“However, now the PA's budget for 2018 has revealed that the PA has resumed paying the salaries to terrorists directly to the commission,” the PMW budget analysis states. “This year, the PA openly lists the budget for these salaries to the Commission of Prisoners as a direct PA budget expense (listed as ‘transfer payments’).”

I appreciate the PA’s frankness. Now it’s time for some consequences.

One consequence is obvious. The PA's payments should trigger the provisions of the recently-enacted Taylor Force Act, which is supposed to reduce some U.S. aid to the Palestinians because of the terror payments.

But there is another important consequence that also should impact U.S. policy.

Since 1997, the State Department has maintained an official list of terrorist organizations. The U.S. government has no dealings with these groups, and anyone connected to groups on the list is subject to various penalties and sanctions.

According to the information accompanying the list, the State Department’s definition of “terrorist organization” is based on a passage in existing U.S. law—

8 U.S.C. § 1182 (a)(3)(B). That’s a law which specifies the grounds on which a foreigner can be prevented from entering the United States. Terrorists are not allowed to enter. Various types of terror-related activity are listed as examples of what qualifies someone as being part of a terrorist organization.

Here’s how section (IV)(bb) defines a terrorist organization: “A political, social, or other group that endorses or espouses terrorist activity.”

Well, what could be a more blatant “endorsement” of terrorist activity than providing large financial rewards to individuals who engage in terrorist activity?

When the “Palestinian National Fund” and the PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs were being used to hide the PA’s terror payments, the State Department had a pretext —flimsy and disingenuous, but still a pretext— to claim that the PA was not responsible. But now the PA itself has dropped the mask.

Of course, there were always ample grounds for declaring the PA to be a terrorist organization. It shelters terrorists. It refuses to outlaw terrorist groups. It refuses to extradite terrorists to Israel. Terrorists who are released by Israel are rewarded with plum jobs in the PA security forces and other government agencies.

And the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade—which is listed on the U.S. list of terror groups—has been repeatedly documented by Israeli courts to be an arm of the PA.

But now we have the PA’s own candid admission, in writing, that it finances terrorists. It’s time for the U.S. government to officially label the Palestinian Authority a terrorist organization, and treat it accordingly.

Att'y Stephen M. Flatow, a New Jersey attorney, is vice president of the Religious Zionists of America and the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered by Palestinian terrorists in 1995 on a study trip to Israel when the bus she was on exploded on her way to the beach in Gush Katif. When Alisa succumbed to fatal head wounds at Soroka Medical Center, the family donated her organs to save the lives of others.


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Stop Indoctrinating our Children -


New Center pamphlet features the horrors.

FrontPageMag Editor's note: The same "progressives" who have made American higher education into indoctrination chambers for cultural Marxism, identity racism and other anti-American ideas are now targeting our K-12 public schools. For instance:
  • At the Edina School District in Edina, Minnesota, all employees, even bus drivers, must take "Equity and Racial Justice Training" instructing them that "dismantling white privilege" is at the core of the district's mission. They must acknowledge their racial guilt, and embrace the district's "equity" ideology.
  • To enhance "cultural diversity," students at Maryland's La Plata High School were ordered to copy the Islamic creed "Shahada" which states in part, "There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah." One worksheet distributed by the school states, "Most Muslims' faith is stronger than the average Christian."
  • As part of transgender instruction in Rocklin Academy in Rocklin, California, a male kindergartener was reintroduced to classmates as a girl. A first grader at the school was sent to the principal's office after she called the student by his given name on the playground – apparently unaware that the five year old had changed gender.
These horror stories are not exceptions to the rule. As our important new pamphlet (co-authored by Sara Dogan and Peter Collier), Leftist Indoctrination In Our K-12 Public Schools, shows, they are happening every day in schools all across our country. You can access this work which provides crucial documentation of the indoctrination crisis in our schools here or read the full text below.

To purchase the pamphlet, $3 each or $1 for orders of 25 or more, click here.
To learn more about the Freedom Center's Stop K-12 Indoctrination campaign, click here.

One of the most dangerous developments of the last few decades has been the subversion of our universities by radicals who in the 1960s first tried to burn them down and then, after this strategy of destruction failed, decided to get on the tenure track to take them over. Their generational long march succeeded, possibly beyond their wildest expectations. With the exception of a few rear guard actions by brave conservative students, American higher education is now an indoctrination center for cultural Marxism, identity racism and other anti-American ideas.

But the left’s demolition project is not yet complete. To make the victory complete, it must take over all of American education, including the schooling of our youngest and most vulnerable students.  This effort is now well advanced as radical leftists use their control of the university Ed schools and the teacher unions as a base to extend their ideological campaigns into the K-12 system.  Their shock troops include teachers, administrators and textbook publishers and feature “theorists” such as former Weatherman Bill Ayers (who reinvented himself as an eminent Professor of Early Childhood Education at the University of Illinois when his days as a terrorist had ended) who provide the manuals on “teaching for social justice” that target teacher training programs and ultimately children as early as kindergarten for radical indoctrination.

The effects of this systematic effort to radicalize K-12 education are being felt in school districts all over the country.  No corner of the classroom is immune from indoctrination.  Young students learning arithmetic are given thought problems involving homelessness and the percentage of “undocumented workers” subjected to heartless deportation proceedings.  Social studies is now a race, gender and climate change-obsessed curriculum designed to frighten rather than educate.  In the hands of leftist teachers, America is a nation of victims rather than a nation of immigrants.

Some concerned parents and educators appalled by this new regime have reported educational horror stories that should concern every citizen.  The following give a sense of the scope and intensity of the onslaught our youngest and most vulnerable students face after the school bell has sounded.

Indoctrination on Race and “Social Justice”

*On February 1, 2018, Vermont’s Montpelier High School flew the Black Lives Matter flag for the month of February to mark Black History Month in response to pressure from the Racial Justice Alliance, a student group at the school where 18 of 350 students are African American.

*A teacher at Norman North High School in Oklahoma was recorded by a student stating in class,  “To be white is racist, period.”  The teacher who made the comment was white. Despite being part-Hispanic, the student who taped the teacher and her family took offense at the comments. “Why is it ok to demonize one race to children that you’re supposed to be teaching a curriculum?” her father wondered.

*Students in a literature composition class at Aloha High School in Aloha, Oregon were given a “White Privilege Survey” to complete as homework. The assignment included such questions as “I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed” and “I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the newspaper and see people of my race widely and positively represented.”  A school district spokeswoman attempted to excuse the exercise by stating that the class covers current issues including race and that the goal is for students to “gain empathy, understanding and to build bridges,” but the father of one student in the class stated, “The way this survey is read, it almost wants to like, shame you for being white.”

*Highlands Elementary School located in Edina, Minnesota—one of the state’s highest ranked  elementary schools based on standardized tests—has instituted several initiatives on racial inequality and social justice. Kindergarten classes, for instance, spend weeks participating in the “Melanin project,” which involves, among other things, coloring images of their hands which were attached to a banner reading “Stop thinking your skin color is better than anyone else’s!”  Meanwhile, first graders were to write poems about social justice and fourth and fifth graders participate in a performance project that links the anti police and racially divisive Black Lives Matter movement with peace.  The principal’s page on the website of Highlands Elementary School in Edina, Minnesota, effusively praises Black Lives Matter and reproduced the entry on the BLM’s own website which states, “We are committed to disrupting the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages.’”  The  school principal also reported on her page that “students of color” had experienced 291 “microaggresions” in a 90 day period, meaning that they had been encouraged by the school’s racialized atmosphere to convert imagined slights all around them into instances of white racism and to inform on their fellow students.  

*Teach for America is partnering with the organization EdX to craft a six-week online course for middle school teachers called “Teaching Social Justice through Secondary Mathematics.”  A course overview states “This education and teacher training course will help you blend secondary math instruction with topics such as inequity, poverty, and privilege…” Ideas for sample math lessons include instruction on “Unpaid Work Hours in the Home by Gender” and “Race and Imprisonment Rates in the United States.” There is no lesson on violent crime rates by race so the inevitable conclusion is that if more blacks are incarcerated than their proportion in the population, white racism must be responsible. 

*In February 2017, teachers and staff serving in the Rochester City School District in upstate New York received an email stating that February 17 would be designated “Black Lives Matter at School.”  The email urged staff to purchase a “Black Lives Matter at School” T-shirt and included links to leftist websites featuring propaganda about why the phrase “all lives matter” is racist. The email explained that educational goals for students will include “Understands inequities based on race”; “Affirms that the lives of people of color matter”; and “Believes that we all have a responsibility to work for equity.” In other words the lesson is that inequalities are solely the result of racism, with differential abilities, application and individual talent playing little or no role in social outcomes.

*In January 2017 an activist group within the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers called the Caucus of Working Educators launched an optional lesson plan for the city’s kindergarten-to-12th grade students that included six days of “social justice action.”  Children in lower grades were required to work on   “The Revolution Is Always Now” coloring book; older students had science lessons about the biology of skin color. The focus in all classrooms was on imbuing children with a heightened awareness of “white privilege” while fostering feelings of racial resentment and guilt. Teachers were also encouraged to wear Black Lives Matter T-shirts.  Some Philadelphia teachers objected to such blatant politicization in the classroom, not to mention its racist overtones. One English teacher caused controversy by stating, “I don’t think kids should be taught that Western society is perpetrating a war on black people.”

*At Highlands Elementary School in Edina, Minnesota, one of the publications principal Kate Mahoney touts for younger students in her space on the school blog is an A-B-C book titled A is for Activist.  The pages feature text such as this: “A is for Activist.  Are you an Activist?  C is for Creative Counter to Corporate Vultures.  T is for Trans. X is for Malcolm. As in Malcolm X.”

*The Edina School District’s employees must take “Edina School District Equity and Racial Justice Training: Moving from a Diversity to a Social Justice Lens.” This includes bus drivers, who are instructed that “dismantling white privilege” is “the core of our work as white folks,” and that working for the Edina schools requires “a major paradigm shift in the thinking of white people.” Drivers were exhorted to acknowledge their racial guilt, and embrace the district’s “equity” ideology.

*In October 2016 2,000 Seattle educators wore Black Lives Matter shirts at their schools in a district-wide action. The event was organized by Social Equality Educators, a group of Seattle teachers.  At Chief Sealth International High School, dozens of educators and students gathered outside the building and held up banners and signs that said  “Black Lives Matter” and “We Stand Together” with logos in the shape of a clenched fist.

Indoctrination About Islam

*In May 2017, the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) inaugurated an anti-Muslim bullying campaign developed in conjunction with the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR is part of the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist network and was named as an “unindicted co-conspirator” by the U.S. Department of Justice in a 2007 case brought against the Holy Land Foundation, which funneled money to Hamas. The San Diego campaign will include giving teachers and administrators new calendars showing Muslim holidays, creating “safe spaces” for Muslim students, and including lessons on Islam in the curriculum which emphasize prominent Muslims in history. No such educational programs exist to teach students about Judaism, although religious hate crimes against Jews are eight times greater than those against Muslims.

*Students at La Plata High School in Maryland were ordered to copy the Islamic creed “Shahada” which states in part, “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.” Students were also made to memorize and recite the Five Pillars of Islam. Two weeks of class time were devoted to instruction in Islam while only one day was reserved for Christianity—which was portrayed in a negative light. One worksheet distributed at the school stated “Most Muslims’ faith is stronger than the average Christian.”

*Middle School students in the Maury County School District in Tennessee were ordered to copy the Five Pillars of Islam including the Islamic conversion creed, the Shahada, which states “Allah is the only god” during a unit on world history. Several weeks were spent on Islam and its doctrine compared to the much more limited and perfunctory time spent on Christianity and Judaism.

*In 2007, San Diego’s Carver Elementary School made special accommodations for 100 Somali Muslims who had transferred from a charter school that had been closed.  The school rearranged recess periods to allow time for Muslim afternoon prayer, added Arabic to its curriculum, and took pork and other non-halal foods off the lunch menu. When these changes resulted in complaints from non-Muslim parents, the school removed the prayer break, but changed the lunchtime schedule so that prayer time was still accommodated.

*In 2015, a Huntington Beach, California teacher taught a class of seventh graders a song to which she had crafted lyrics supporting and romanticizing Islam. The song is set to the tune of Rachel Platten’s “This is my Fight Song.” The lyrics state: “Like how a single faith/can make a heart open/They might only have one God/But they can make an explosion.” A parent brought the song and lesson to public attention after her son came home with a notebook showing a stick figure stating “Believe in Allah! There is no other god.”

*Freshmen at Salem Junior High School in Utah were told by a teacher to get inside the mentality of a terrorist organization like ISIS.  The project worksheet asked students to list “eight reasons why young Muslims join ISIS” and instructed them to create a “terrorism propaganda poster.”

*Third grade students at the Beverly J. Martin elementary school in Ithaca, New York were made to sit through a blatantly one-sided presentation featuring radical anti-Israel activists who told Hamas propaganda lies about the Israeli state. The presentation on “Palestinian human rights” was led by pro-terrorist and radical Israel-basher Bassem Tamimi who videos his own children attempting to provoke Israeli soldiers and Ariel Gold who holds “delegitimizing Zionism” as a personal goal. Full footage of the event was released only after the school district was compelled by a Freedom of Information Act request. This footage revealed that the presentation included a video made by Tamini and featuring his daughter sharing a “message for the world from the Palestinian children.” This “message” states: “We don’t like [that] Israel kill us, kill Gaza, kill Palestinian and we don’t like they to kill us [sic]” and “They [Israel] can’t be terrorists. We don’t like them to be terrorists.” After parent complaints, the full footage was released and the superintendent of the Ithaca City School district issued a Letter of Reprimand stating that the event was “politically skewed” and “inflammatory.”

Indoctrination on Gender

*Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina assigned the book “Jacob’s New Dress,” a story about a boy who prefers to dress like a girl, to all first grade classes. After a teacher launched a complaint which sparked outrage among lawmakers the decision was reversed. Instead, first graders will read “Red: A Crayon’s Story” about a red crayon who views itself as blue. The school board is now attempting to add sexual orientation and “gender identity/expression” to its diversity policy.

*New health and physical education standards created by the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) became part of the curriculum for students from kindergarten through high school in the 2017-2018 school year.  It required the teaching of “gender identity” and “gender expression.”  Its goals were summarized as follows:  Beginning in Kindergarten, students will be taught about the many ways to express gender.  Gender expression education will include information about the manifestations of traits that are typically associated with one gender. Cross dressing is one form of gender expression. (One of the books kindergarteners read is “Introducing Teddy.”  In it Errol, a friend of a bear named Thomas, asks why he is sad and Thomas says, “I’m a girl teddy, not a boy teddy” and asks to be called Tilly instead.) Third graders will be introduced to the concept of gender identity.  These children will be taught that they can choose their own gender. Fourth graders will be expected to “define sexual orientation” and taught that they can choose their own. Fifth graders will learn about the relativity of gender roles and why such roles are “social constructs” not inherently related to who we are as male or female human beings, a fundamentally anti-scientific view that ignores the biological fact is that gender is not a choice but genetically determined.  Seventh graders will be expected to “distinguish between biological sex, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.” High school students will critically “evaluate how culture, media, society, and other people influence our perceptions of gender roles, sexuality, relationships, and sexual orientation.”

*Sixth graders at Fox Chapel Middle School in Spring Hill, Florida were given a survey by their teacher that included explicit questions on sexuality and race. Students were supposed to read each of these statements and indicate how comfortable they were with the situation described:

 “A friend invites you to go to a gay bar.”

“You go to the gay bar and a person of the same sex invites you to dance.”

“You discover that the cute young man/woman that you are attracted to is actually a woman/man.”

“You discover your teenage brother kissing a male friend.”

“Your two next door neighbors in your hall are lesbian/gay.”

“Your mother ‘comes out’ to you.”

When some of the children proposed bringing the survey home, the teacher told them not to show it to their parents. 

*A kindergarten class in Rocklin Academy, a prestigious school in Rocklin, California was exposed to transgender instruction without parental notification.  Two children’s books espousing transgender ideology were read to the class.  Also a male kindergartener was reintroduced to his classmates as a girl. Later on, a first grader at the charter school was sent to the principal’s office after a girl accidentally “misgendered” the classmate in what administrators called a “pronoun mishap.” The girl called the student by his given name – apparently unaware that the boy now identified as a girl.
Anti-Trump Indoctrination

*Before the 2016 election, a teacher in an advanced placement history class at Minnesota’s Edina High School demanded that students known to be Trump supporters explain to the rest of the class why they shouldn’t be considered racist.  The day after the election, many of the teachers at the school were in tears, one telling her students, “Today is worse than 9/11 or Columbine.”

*After the 2016 election, Chicago Public Schools sent students home with a letter bashing Illinois’ Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and President Trump. The letter stated, “Dear Families, Governor Bruce Rauner, just like President Trump, has decided to attack those who need the most help. Governor Rauner and President Trump regularly attack Chicago because they hope to score political points. It is shameful.”

*A high school art teacher in Seth, West Virginia, wore a profane anti-Trump patch on the back of her jacket during school hours stating, “Tuck Frump” with the T and F highlighted in white.

*Brainerd High School, a public school in Minnesota, published a 2017 yearbook containing violent and derogatory quotes from students about President Trump. One student stated, “I would like to behead him.” Another commented, “I feel like Donald is very racist and sexist and doesn’t care to give people a chance before knowing them.” Yet another stated, “I don’t like the way he comes off, he seems really rude.”

*The Wall Township Public Schools in New Jersey ordered a school yearbook to be reissued after at least three photos of students wearing clothing with logos supporting Trump were intentionally altered. Grant Bernardo, a school junior, wore a “Make America Great Again” shirt in his school photo, but the image that appeared in the yearbook was digitally altered to show him in a black T-shirt instead. A photo of a student wearing a Trump logo on his sweater vest was also cropped to erase the logo. And a quote from Trump sent in by the freshman class president to appear on her page also did not appear in the yearbook, although it was confirmed that it was received before the deadline.

*A teacher of sixth-grade English at Paulo Intermediate School in Staten Island, New York assigned students to complete a vocabulary assignment that forced them to insert words in sentences disparaging President Donald Trump. Among the phrases students were asked to complete were the following:

“President Trump speaks in a very superior and _________ manner insulting many people. He needs to be more ________.

“Barack Obama set a ________ when he became the first African American president.”

The teacher was looking for students to insert the words “haughty” and “humble” in the one question and “precedent” in the other. When the father of an eleven-year-old in the class objected to the assignment and refused to have his child complete it, the teacher docked the student 15 points for an incomplete assignment.

These are not isolated incidents but part of a national pattern.  This leftist indoctrination  in K-12 schools is the daily classroom experience of children  around the country, a concerted assault on the values of the families from which they come as well as on the intellectual integrity of the students themselves.  Under this regime, students are not taught how to think, but told what to think. And what they are told to think is racially divisive, intellectually vulgar, politically partisan, and often unscientific and simply untrue. It is little wonder that after years of such classroom indoctrination, buttressed by forced readings of anti American texts by Howard Zinn and other leftist propagandists, many high school graduates arrive at college seeing the world through the lens of grievance and victimhood, illiterate in basic civics, hostile toward the rich complexity of the American experience, and willing accomplices in the leftist political order that now controls higher education.
Combatting the Assault on K-12 Schools

The David Horowitz Freedom Center has historically taken a leadership role as an early warning system for America on the radical subversion of American higher education.  It uses that experience in a new campaign designed to make K-12 schools places of objective and unbiased education rather than indoctrination.  The goal of this campaign is to secure legislation in 50 states that would create a “Code of Ethics for K-12 Teachers” that would enforce traditional rules of fairness and non-partisanship in our public school systems. Among other things, the Code forbids teachers from taking partisan political positions in the classroom which include endorsing candidates or pending legislation; introducing controversial material not germane to subjects being taught; engaging in actions which impede access of military recruiters or federal law enforcement authorities to the school site; advocating either side of public controversies; segregating students by race or singling out one racial group as responsible for the sufferings or inequities of other racial groups.
In short, the Code of Ethics for K-12 teachers we have designed forbids teachers from using their classrooms as a bully pulpit for political, ideological, racial, or religious indoctrination, or attempting to use the authority of the classroom to support one side of a public controversy.

The Code, in other words, is a reassertion of the common sense principles—presenting unbiased educational materials in an unbiased way—that guided American public education from the time of the one-room schoolhouse of the 18th century until radicals began their assault on the contemporary K-12 classroom.

Teachers in violation of the Code would be subject to penalties such as probation, suspension and loss of their teaching licenses. This Code has the potential to stop the leftist assault on our schoolchildren in its tracks.

Translating the Code into Action

The public may have become inured to the radicalization of higher education, whose appalling absurdities have become so notorious that they are now the stuff of nighttime comedy routines. But while parents may feel that the universities are at least temporarily beyond repair, they continue to be heavily invested in our public schools. It is our belief that when the public learns about the stranglehold “progressives” are trying to obtain on K-12 curriculum it will be outraged and demand action.

But while public awareness is important, stopping the indoctrination in our schools ultimately requires a legislative solution.  The Code of Ethics will ban the abuses without infringing First Amendment rights. (It has already been thoroughly reviewed by First Amendment lawyers.)

The Freedom Center campaign to implement the Code will identify legislators on education committees of states across the nation who are concerned about the conversion of our public schools into indoctrination centers for leftist politics and racial views, and willing to draft and introduce statutes based on our Code of Ethics. We are simultaneously identifying think tanks and public policy organizations in those states to collaborate in generating public awareness about this issue and promoting this legislation.

We are now working with concerned legislators in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Texas and other states.

The subversion of our K-12 public schools is already well advanced.  It is imperative that parent groups and concerned organizations initiate a counter-offensive to turn back this determined effort to make our schools into academies for leftist ideologies and anti- Americanism.  The Center’s Code of Ethics for K-12 Public Schools will educate the public about the extent of the threat to our educational system and our essential liberties and carry the fight directly into the political and legislative arena.

A Code of Ethics for K-12 Schools

[The following Code of Ethics for K-12 teachers forbids teachers from using their classrooms for political, ideological, or religious advocacy. Teachers in violation of the Code would be subject to penalties such as probation, suspension and loss of their teaching licenses.]

Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility For Educators in K-12 Public Schools

  Whereas the purpose of public education in America is to produce knowledgeable and competent adults able to participate as informed citizens in the democratic process;

Whereas education in a democracy is best served by teaching students how to think, not telling them what to think;

Whereas our country is divided over many issues affecting its citizens;

  Whereas it has been established through surveys that a majority of K-12 teachers discuss controversial issues in their classrooms; 

  Whereas it has been established that some teacher training institutions, teacher licensing agencies, state education departments and professional teacher organizations have condoned and even encouraged this behavior under the guise of “teaching for social justice” and other sectarian doctrines; 

  Whereas time spent on political or ideological indoctrination takes time away from instruction in the academic subjects taught by public educational institutions including the foundational subjects of mathematics, science, English, history, and civics and prevents students from receiving the best possible public education as funded by the taxpayers of this state;

  Whereas parents and taxpayers have a right to expect that taxpayer resources will be spent on education, not political or ideological indoctrination;  

Therefore be it resolved that this state’s [board of education or other relevant regulating body] will promulgate clear regulations and enforcement mechanisms for appropriate professional and ethical behavior by teachers licensed to teach in this state; that these guidelines shall make it clear that teachers in taxpayer supported schools are forbidden to use their classrooms to try to engage in political, ideological, or religious advocacy.

  At a minimum, these regulations shall provide that no teacher is permitted during class time or while otherwise operating within the scope of employment as a teacher in a public educational institution to do the following:

     (1) Endorse, support, or oppose any candidate or nominee for public office or any elected or appointed official regardless of whether such official is a member of the local, state, or federal government;

    (2) Endorse, support, or oppose any pending, proposed, or enacted legislation or regulation regardless whether such legislation or regulation is pending, proposed, or has been enacted at the local, state, or federal level;

     (3) Endorse, support, or oppose any pending, proposed, or decided court case or judicial action regardless of whether such court case or judicial action is at the local, state, or federal level;

     (4) Endorse, support, or oppose any pending, proposed, or executed executive action by an executive branch agency of the local, state, or federal level;

     (5) Introduce into class any controversial subject matter that is not germane to the topic of the course being taught;

     (6) Endorse, support, or engage in any activities that hamper or impede the lawful access of military recruiters to campus;  

    (7) Endorse, support, or engage in any activities that hamper or impede the actions of state, local, or federal law enforcement;

    (8) Advocate in a partisan manner for any side of a controversial issue, defined as an issue that is a point in electoral party platforms at the national, state or local level. To ensure that students have the resources to make up their own minds on such issues, teachers must provide them with materials supporting both sides of the controversy, and present those views in a fair-minded non-partisan manner. Teachers may express their opinions on these matters but only in such a manner that students understand that they are free to make up their own minds and to disagree with the teacher without incurring any penalty for doing so.

     (9) Segregate students according to race, or sin-gle out one racial group of students as responsible for the suffering or inequities experienced by another racial group of students

The regulations promulgated pursuant to this act shall apply to all teachers at public educational institutions, tenured and non-tenured. Moreover, the regulations shall contain clear guidelines for enforcement and provide penalties for violations, up to and including termination. The state’s [board of education or other relevant regulating body] shall provide written notification to all teachers, parents, and students of their respective rights and responsibilities under the regulations promulgated pursuant to this act and shall provide at least three hours of annual continuing teacher education instruction to teachers to instruct them regarding their responsibilities under said regulations.

Moreover, we call on the state’s professional teacher organizations and unions to voluntarily adopt an educators’ code of ethics and professional responsibility that incorporates the above principles and specifically prohibits teachers in K-12 schools from using the classroom for political indoctrination.   
Peter Collier is the Vice- President of Programs and Co-founder of the David Horowitz Freedom Center

Sara Dogan is the National Campus Director for the David Horowitz Freedom Center. She has written numerous articles and reports about academic freedom, classroom indoctrination, and anti-Semitism on campus.


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Prager U Video: Blacks in Power Don't Empower Blacks - Prager University

by Prager University

The myth of political gains leading to economic gains.

Between 1970 and 2012, the number of black elected officials rose from fewer than 1,500 to more than 10,000. How has this affected the black community? Jason Riley of The Manhattan Institute answers the question in this video:

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'Imagine the march of return along Israel's main highway' - Ido Ben Porat

by Ido Ben Porat

Education Minister asks supporters of the two-state solution to imagine 30,000 Gazans protesting Israel's existence along main highway.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home), who also serves as a member of Israel's Security Cabinet, spoke about the Gazans' demonstration near the Gaza-Israel border, and about the danger to Israel if a Palestinian state were to be created.

"To all those who support a 'two-state solution' which involves handing Judea and Samaria over to create a Palestinian state: Imagine the 'march of return' that we're seeing right now in Gaza, along Route 6. If we leave Judea and Samaria, that's what we'll receive," Bennett said.

Route 6 is one of Israel's main highways, and runs from the Shoket Interchange near Be'er Sheva in the south, to Ein Tut Interchange, south of Haifa, in the north. There are plans to extend the highway in both directions, and in some areas, Route 6 passes only a few kilometers away from Judea and Samaria.

According to Bennett, the Jewish Home's responsibility is to prevent the creation of a Jewish state.

"[We need] a strong Israel, which does not give away its land," he said.

The "march of return" near the Gaza-Israel border, which began on Friday, saw approximately 30,000 Gazans participating, concentrated in six areas along the border. Some of the protesters burned tires and threw firebombs and stones at the border fence and the IDF forces.

On Saturday morning, the IDF attacked a Hamas observation post in central Gaza. According to Gazan's Health Ministry, sixteen protesters were killed. Hamas noted that five of those killed - Jihad Farina, Mohammed Abu Amaro, Ahmad Odeh, Saari Abu Odeh, and Musaav a-Salul - were members of Hamas' military wing.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Saturday night said, "We congratulate our soldiers, who protect our State's borders and allow Israeli citizens to celebrate the holiday in peace. Israel is working determinedly and with strength to protect its sovereignty and its citizens' security."

Ido Ben Porat


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Futile and delusional Palestinian protests leave 17 dead - Rick Moran

by Rick Moran

The U.N. will "investigate" with predictable results.

This is the real tragedy of the Palestinian people: cynical leaders feeding a delusion about "reclaiming" land leading to futile protests.

The latest example occurred on the Gazan border where thousands of Palestinians rioted against the Israeli military on Passover Friday, resulting in 17 dead and 1,400 injured. Another 13 were wounded during demonstrations today as Hamas ginned up outrage at the IDF response to armed Palestinians attacking soldiers.

Thousands of Palestinians had been protesting the anniversary of the death of six Israeli Arabs killed in protests in 1976. 

In an article on its website, the United Nations reported that Tayé-Brook Zerihoun, the deputy UN political affairs chief, told Friday's Security Council meeting that around 30,000 people participated in and around the March at various locations in Gaza.
Soon after the demonstrations started, the UN report said, "(T)he situation turned deadly in several spots."
"Some of the casualties were reportedly the result of live ammunition used by Israeli security forces during the March. Other casualties followed armed clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces, including the shelling of a Hamas observation point," the United Nations said.
"Reports indicate that most of the demonstrators stayed well away from the border fence and were not violent," the United Nations reported Zerihoun as saying.
"However, there are also reports that some protesters engaged in stone-throwing and violent behavior; some reportedly carrying weapons," Zerihoun said.
He reportedly told the Security Council that Israeli security forces said that militants tried to get through the fence in attempt to plant explosives.
The Israel Defense Forces said in a statement Friday that IDF troops responded with riot dispersal means and firing toward main instigators.
An IDF official warned any breach of Israeli sovereignty would be treated severely after a week of attempted and successful breaches of the border fence from Gaza.
Confrontations escalated into Saturday. Israeli fighter jets targeted three Hamas sites after an IDF position was shot at in northern Gaza, according to an IDF statement. Tank fire also targeted the three sites following an exchange of fire.
We all know how unbiased and fair any U.N. "investigation" is going to be. But what exactly was the IDF supposed to do? Armed Palestinians were mixed in with "peaceful" protesters, firing at soldiers. The military tried to target "agitators," but when there are 20,000 people screaming, throwing rocks, and firing at you, it's a dead certainty that innocents will be hit.

This, of course, is exactly what the Palestinians were counting on. They know that their allies around the world in governments and the U.N. will do the rest. As sure as night follows day, Israel will be blamed for defending itself from Palestinian violence.

The fact is, much of the world does not know the truth or care about the truth. One thing is certain: Israel is again under siege and those predisposed to hate the Jewish state, will have their excuse to criticize them.

Rick Moran


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Trump freezes $200 million in Syria aid - Rick Moran

by Rick Moran

Contributing to Syrian "recovery" is pouring money down a hole.

A day after saying U.S. troops would be out of Syria "very soon," the Trump administration announced that it is freezing $200 million in aid for Syrian recovery efforts that had been pledged by former secretary of state Rex Tillerson.

The administration's actions, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, send more mixed signals on a highly sensitive issue: Suspending the funds could alarm Saudi Arabia, Israel and others worried about growing Iranian influence in the restive region.
The White House ordered the freeze to the State Department funding following a news report the president read noting the U.S. had committed an additional $200 million to support earlier recovery efforts in Syria, a State Department official confirmed to POLITICO.
The additional funds were pledged by former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in February during a meeting in Kuwait with the coalition to defeat ISIS.
Tillerson, who was fired by Trump on March 13, earlier this year introduced a strategy for the ongoing war in Syria that called for U.S. troops to stay in the country for the foreseeable future to ward off ISIS resurgence and Iran's influence.
Trump's declaration he wanted to soon end the U.S. presence in Syria was just the latest instance in which the president has publicly undercut or defied his foreign policy team, to the frustration and confusion of U.S. officials and America's allies.
I've never found Trump's Syria policy very confusing; he doesn't want to be there and doesn't think it's a good idea to pour money down a hole. What his "foreign policy team" wants is irrelevant. Trump has the final say.

Trump's instincts on Syria are spot on. ISIS has been pushed out of Iraq and is reduced to pockets of fighters in Syria. The threat of a nation-state of terrorists that can threaten U.S. allies in the region by conquering territory is pretty much gone. That doesn't mean that ISIS can't cause enormous trouble for countries like Egypt, Yemen, and Afghanistan. But this is a problem that can now be handled by regional powers like Egypt and Saudi Arabia. 

We have only about 2,000 troops in Syria, most of them special forces and most of them assisting the Kurds. But the Kurds are at war with Turkey – a war the U.S. is sitting out – and besides, within the political context of Syria's post-civil war environment, the U.S. has chosen not to agitate for Kurdish independence or any kind of a Kurdish state. 

So getting out while the going is good would appear to be the proper strategy. As far as pouring money into a failed state like Syria for "recovery," let the U.N. divvy it up. Half of the money will be stolen anyway, so why bother? We didn't make the mess, and the American taxpayer shouldn't have to pay to clean it up.

The prospect of Iran using Syria as a base is troubling, but the Israelis are dealing with that problem and don't need or want our help.

All said, Trump's Syria policy makes more sense than just about any other foreign policy he has put forward.

Rick Moran


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Why Christians Need Self Rule in Iraq - Uzay Bulut

by Uzay Bulut

With the rise of Islam and the Arabian conquests of the 7th century,  Assyrians and other eastern Christian peoples fell to a subordinate status -- "dhimmitude"." Since then, they have been persecuted repeatedly".

  • "These murders are giving us yet another signal that there is no place for Assyrian Christians in Iraq." — Ashur Sargon Eskrya, President of the Assyrian Aid Society-Iraq.
  • "The only way for us to have a bright future is to establish a local administration in the Nineveh Plain lands, which will be a safe haven for all persecuted communities, including Yazidis... [It] should be protected internationally. This would also include forming a no-fly zone, and having the province monitored by international powers for a temporary period until we strengthen our military force and reconstruct our areas." — Athra Kado, the head of the Assyrian Democratic Movement, Alqosh, Iraq.
On March 8, three members of an Assyrian Christian family -- Dr. Hisham Maskoni, his wife, Dr. Shadha Malik Dano, and her elderly mother -- were stabbed to death in their home in Baghdad. The two doctors, who had left Iraq, the country of their birth, in 2003, returned five years ago to work at St. Raphael Hospital in the capital.

The victims, who lived in a neighborhood controlled by a Shiite militia, had been tortured, according to Ashur Sargon Eskrya, president of the Assyrian Aid Society-Iraq, in an interview with Gatestone.

Eskrya also said that the motive behind the killings -- as in the case of an innocent Christian killed in Baghdad in February -- had not been established, and that so far, no suspects have been arrested. "These murders," he added, "are giving us yet another signal that there is no place for Assyrian Christians in Iraq."

An indigenous people of the Middle East, Assyrians have been targeted and murdered over the centuries for their religion and ethnicity. Yet they were once the rulers of the ancient Assyrian Empire. The traditional Assyrian homeland contains parts of Turkey, Iran, Syria and Iraq.

The Assyrian legacy to civilization is significant. Ancient Assyrians were pioneers in science, mathematics, astronomy, medicine, literature, art and technology. They were also exceptional builders, as shown by archaeological sites, including those at Ashur, Nimrud and Nineveh in Iraq. With the rise of Islam and the Arabian conquests of the 7th century, however, Assyrians and other eastern Christian peoples fell to a subordinate status -- "dhimmitude" -- which forced them to pay a tax, the jizya, in exchange for "protection." Since then, they have been persecuted repeatedly. According to the Assyrian International News Agency, every fifty years, an Assyrian massacre took place, but the 1914-1923 Christian genocide in Ottoman Turkey dwarfed previous massacres and resulted in the systematic extermination of around 750,000 Assyrians – nearly three-quarters of their prewar population.

After the end of World War I and with the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, Assyrians were excluded from the new forging of nation-states in the region. In spite of their having been severely persecuted and displaced by Muslims, Assyrians were not granted independence or autonomy in their ancient lands. Instead, they were left to the "tender mercies" of Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran and the Kurds.

Devoid of a government or security force, Assyrians in Turkey, Iran and Syria have been largely erased from their indigenous homeland. In Iraq's Nineveh Plain, however, Assyrians still form the majority and wish to establish a sustainable and democratic form of self-governance. Assyrians currently have a security force in the region: The Nineveh Plain Protection Units (NPU).

Pictured: Soldiers of the Nineveh Plain Protection Units (NPU), an Assyrian security force, in a training exercise. (Image source: NPU)

In an interview with Gatestone, Athra Kado, the head of the Assyrian Democratic Movement in the town of Alqosh in Iraq and Director of the NPU media center, said:
"Our nation has suffered for centuries. The latest genocide by ISIS, as well as recent murders, such as those in Baghdad, are deeply affecting our people physically and psychologically. The only way for us to have a bright future is to establish a local administration in the Nineveh Plain lands, which will be a safe haven for all persecuted communities, including Yazidis.
"The new administration that needs to be established in the Nineveh plain should be protected internationally. This would also include forming a no-fly zone, and having the province monitored by international powers for a temporary period until we strengthen our military force and reconstruct our areas. In order to make this a reality, our Nineveh Plain Protection Units should be supported in both military and logistical terms."
Eskrya concurred, recounting for Gatestone:
"Throughout the bloody history of the region -- including the 1914-1923 Christian genocide, the 1933 massacre in Simele, the 1963 Iraqi-Kurdish War, the dictatorial regime of Saddam Hussein and the 2014 ISIS genocide -- Assyrians have lost their trust in governments that rule them, and they have even lost their trust in their own neighbors who engaged in kidnapping or even killing Assyrian Christians and raping women.
"Even today, Assyrian Christians still face genocide and discrimination in Iraq and the Middle East in general. During the ISIS invasion of the Nineveh plain, for example, terrorists grabbed our lands and destroyed our churches and historical sites. The result of all this persecution has been forced demographic change against Assyrian Christians.
"But through a local administration in Nineveh, economic and infrastructural developments can take place. The region is suffering from inadequate resources, so the new province should get a higher budget from the central government in Baghdad and should possess the right to self-rule."
Juliana Taimoorazy, founding president of the Iraqi Christian Relief Council and a senior fellow at the Philos Project, has been advocating serious security measures, economic development and the rebuilding of homes for Assyrians. In an interview with Gatestone, she said:
"We fear crimes such as the murder of the Assyrian family in Baghdad will chip away at the hope that has returned to the hearts and minds of those who have decided to return to their towns in the Nineveh plain. However, our resolve is steadfast, and we will not be shaken. I liken our Assyrian nation to a tree that is standing tall amidst terrible winds. Although our branches may break, our roots will always remain solid in the earth of Nineveh."

Uzay Bulut is a Turkish journalist born and raised in Turkey. She is presently based in Washington D.C.


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