[Marxism] Zionist teacher to head Arab language/culture school in NY

Mike Friedman mikedf at amnh.org
Sun Aug 19 10:26:38 MDT 2007

Whether or not Salzberg, the person chosen by the NYC Ed. Dept. to replace
Debbie Almontaser as principal of the Arab language school, is Zionist is
besides the point. Almontaser, an Arab, was fired by the city over her
defense of the Intifada. UFT president Randi Weingarten (a
dyed-in-the-wool Zionist) weighed in against Almontaser, and the Center
for Immigrant Families sent the following letter to Weingarten.

Center for Immigrant Families (CIF)

Letter CIF sent to UFT President Randi Weingarten:

Dear Randi,

We are deeply disappointed and upset by your statements in opposition
to Debbie Almontaser. We believe your statements have played a role
in furthering the anti-Arab and anti-Muslim racism that pervades and infects
our City.

Aside from everything else that points to the racist nature of this
whole incident, do you not know that in most parts of the world, the
word intifada connotes resistance to an unethical and illegal and brutal
occupation? It is not the word intifada that promotes violence or that
should be denounced; rather, what should be denounced is an occupation
that promotes violence and that made the intifada necessary.

And do you also not know that if principals were forced to resign for
making a statement that someone thought was insensitive or
inappropriate or stupid (which this was not), we'd likely have almost
no principals left in NYC?

Finally, as you know, New York City has one of the most inequitable
and discriminatory school systems in the country--one that has grossly
under-served low income and families of color. It is our view that we
should be doing everything possible to support, not destroy efforts to
strengthen schools that promote critical thinking and a concern for
the world around us and that reflect, respect, and serve our many
different communities.

You are certainly entitled to your personal views on this matter, but
you represent the teachers of this city and need to be held
accountable for your public statements and positions. For the sake of
the children of our city and for a commitment to fighting racism and
injustice, we urge you to make a public apology for your comments that
helped lead to the resignation of Debbie Almontaser.


Center for Immigrant Families

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