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Op-Ed United Against Hate: Condemning Anti-Semitism in Our School Community – Opinion

A Santa Clara High School student writes in to share their feelings about an op-ed written in the student newspaper and anti-semitism at the school.

Dear Students, Parents, and Community Allies,

As a Jewish student at Santa Clara High, I am horrified by the rampant anti-semitism that has been allowed to fester within my school, and I’m calling all to take action to inhibit its spread. I and other Jewish students are feeling the shockwaves of anti-semitism, and we can no longer sit in silence. Firstly, here is a recollection of my experience following Oct. 7 – Imagine you have family in the country being attacked by terrorists. A loved one calls you, crying hysterically because they don’t know whether their loved ones are dead, alive, or kidnapped. I felt the whole world screech to a halt, and over a hundred days later, I am at a loss, even more so from the response I witnessed within the community and at school.

Recently, our school’s Roars Newspaper published an anti-Semitic paper. I am appalled that this was published and believe we must come together to condemn the horrifying acts that took place on October 7th whilst standing united against hate of Jews and Muslims alike.

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In this paper, quite ironically titled “The World Needs to Wake Up,” there are several problematic instances that go against our supposed school policy of tolerance and inclusivity, making Jewish students on campus feel at risk. The newspaper starts by glorifying the events of Oct. 7, mentioning how following the massacre, they felt “hope by seeing Palestinians work toward freedom after 75 years of occupation.” I need not remind you that acts of “resistance” don’t involve raping women, mowing down civilians at a music festival, burning babies, and countless kidnappings, committed by the Hamas terrorist group. Don’t believe me? Hamas terrorists recorded and distributed the material themselves, boasting their “achievements.” Take one look and try to convince yourself that the innocent people killed and kidnapped deserved any of the events that occurred on that day.

Whatever you may believe regarding the conflict is not what I mention here. Feeling “hope” after seeing the murder of innocent people is something myself and the other Jewish students cannot gloss over. Morally, there should be an unequivocal understanding that the events on that day were purely evil, committed by terrorists, not “freedom fighters.” The fact I must explain this makes me feel disappointed in a way I cannot put into words. Oct. 7 doesn’t reflect any such effort to fight resistance and “Free Palestine” as is so frequently misconstrued, but rather to perpetrate the worst war crimes seen in this modern era, with the ultimate goal of annihilating all Jewish people and the state of Israel, as Hamas states proudly in their charter.

Neglected by staff and parents at SCHS is another scandal accompanying the newspaper. The Israeli flag, a symbol of my country and Jewish safety, is absent from the flag wall. Banished from the school, this symbol holds deep significance for me, as my great-grandparents survived the Holocaust for this nation. As a proud Israeli, I must be able to display my identity proudly. This is a micro-aggression against Jewish students, violating our safe space, and the lack of action is disheartening.

In response, I urge everyone to stand against anti-Semitism. Silence is not an option. Parents, shape the next generation by discussing tolerance. Students, advocate for an inclusive school environment. For me, I’m still living in Oct. 7 and don’t have the privilege to move on to the next “hottest” topic. Let our condemnation of anti-Semitism be a powerful statement, fostering a community built on mutual respect. Thank you for denouncing hatred and maintaining the principles that make our district welcoming.

 

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4 Comments
  1. Melissa Hastings 6 months ago
    Reply

    “The World Needs To Wake Up” is glorifying the horrific acts of Oct. 7th by Hamas. The SCHS staff let the children and the parents down of SCHS by publishing it. Do better! This is not the way! Where are our moral values? Where has critical thinking gone?

    Whoever wrote today’s article, pls know that I stand by you.

  2. Rose 5 months ago
    Reply

    Dear student, you have written so eloquently and I hope you use the gift of words to continue fighting for our people. Unfortunately, the work we’ve done in our school district to combat antisemitism has fallen on deaf ears. The Bay Area does not care about its Jews, hence why we need Israel now more than ever. Fight through the law. Contact the Brandeis Center and ADL. File an Office of Civil Rights complaint and write Tony Thurmond! Your school is grossly violating California public school code!

  3. Karin Babbitt 5 months ago
    Reply

    Daughter of #61016 Auschwitz here. I am so proud of you for speaking up. If I was a parent at your school, I would be at the administration’s door requesting a conversation. Brave people like you will carry our dream of Never Again.
    Mama said there’d be days like this…

  4. Sara 4 months ago
    Reply

    Dear student, I am so sorry you don’t feel safe at school. Our beloved school community stands against all kinds of hate – especially antisemitism and Islamaphobia during these times. Maybe if you read the article with the lens of empathy you may view it a bit differently. Many people in the community are grieving the ongoing genocide in Gaza which is being bankrolled by our tax dollars. We are watching children scavenging for grass to eat. We are seeing victims of the horrific “flour massacre.” Please understand that speaking up against the mass murder of Palestinian children is not antisemitism.

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