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Education

A Beacon (High School) of Moral Relativism

Some NYC students observed a moment of silence for Palestinian "victims" of violence.

Arnold Ahlert · May 24, 2018

Few things warm the cockles of progressive hearts more than moral relativism. And few things make them prouder than inculcating children with that odious concept. Thus it should surprise no one that students at Beacon High School in Manhattan were asked to observe a moment of silence for the Palestinian “victims” of the violence that took place in Gaza last week.

One outraged father cut through the nonsense inflicted on his child. “I am extremely upset because I did not send my child to a New York City public school to pray for Hamas operatives,” said the father, who is Jewish. Another student’s mother was equally illuminating. “I just don’t think any school should be promoting a moment of silence for terrorists,” she said. “What if it was Islamic terrorists in ISIS? No school would be having that over the loudspeaker.”

But it was Islamic terrorists the school was honoring. Hamas was designated by the State Department as a terrorist group on Oct. 8, 1997, and last Wednesday, Hamas official Salah Bardawil admitted that 50 of the 62 Palestinians reported killed during the Gaza border riots were members of that group. Other casualties were claimed by the Iranian-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad, another designated terror organization.

Moreover, a rioter captured by Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) revealed the contemptible machinations Hamas undertakes to maintain the victimist narrative — the one swallowed whole by a purposefully uncurious media. “They tell women to go forward,” he explained. “They say to the woman: Go ahead, you are a woman, and the Israeli army does not shoot at women. They tell small children: Go ahead, the army does not shoot at small children. They tell a child to go ahead and he goes; it’s a little boy. They deceive him.”

It’s not the first time. In 2014, during the war between Hamas and Israel, Hamas finally admitted to using schools and hospitals in the Gaza Strip to launch rocket attacks on Israel, effectively turning those locations into human shields. Hamas spokesman Ghazi Hamad claimed the terrorist group made every effort to keep civilians away from the violence but that “there were some mistakes made and they were quickly dealt with.”

Mistakes? In a July 8, 2014, interview on Al Aqsa TV, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri insisted that sacrificing innocents attests to the “character of our noble jihad-fighting people who defend their rights and their homes with their bare chests and blood.”

Predictably, a 2015 UN inquiry blamed Israel for attacks on UN schools in Gaza. Yet the board of inquiry conceded that Hamas stored mortars and other weapons in at least three of those UN schools during the war — and fired rockets at Israel from two of them. 
In a better world in 2014, Hamas thugs, along with their contemptible enablers in the mainstream media, the Democrat Party and the progressive movement might have been asked to explain why the terrorist group should be entitled to retaliation-free missile launches against the Jewish State, simply because they purposefully locate their launchers in an area to maximize Palestinian casualties. In a better world in 2018, they might have been asked why it’s acceptable for Hamas to pay Palestinians to riot, and to make sure women and children were pushed to the front of a throng of approximately 40,000 to 50,000 protesters, many of whom were attempting to breach the Israeli border — while their more militant allies placed explosive devices at the fence and opened fire on IDF forces.

In this world? A tony NYC high school embraces moral bankruptcy masquerading as compassion.

Such faux virtue-signaling is hardly surprising. “The highly selective Hells Kitchen school tends to lean left,” the New York Post explains. “Students, some with the permission of their teachers, walked out of school in November 2016 to protest Donald Trump’s election.”

No doubt.

Nonetheless, junior Sophie Steinberg was somewhat perplexed by the school-wide announcement. “As a Jewish student, I could see a lot of my Jewish friends get very weird when the moment of silence started,” she said. “They don’t know how to feel. They don’t know how to fit into all of this.”

Feel? If anyone still wonders why American education has become an international laughingstock, look no further than the paradigm shift that occurred when schools dominated by progressive ideology began teaching children what to feel instead of how to think.

And if those feelings don’t align themselves with the progressive agenda? “More than anything, high school children fear not ‘fitting in,” writes columnist Rick Moran. “Leftist activists play on that fear by ostracizing anyone who might have a different opinion on any issue. This not-so-subtle form of pressure to conform to the dominant liberal view of the world discomfits children and prevents most of them from speaking out.”

It is a dominant liberal view backed by the New York City Department of Education. “We support civic engagement and advocacy amongst students, and encourage schools to provide inclusive environments where students are able to respectfully discuss current events,” declared DOE spokesman Doug Cohen in a statement.

Maybe they should discuss the reality that Hamas’s founding charter calls for the annihilation of the Jewish State.

It is not known whether the announcement, made by a student, was sanctioned by the school. Principal Ruth Lacey has not returned media requests for a comment, and parents who’ve reached out to Lacey said she’s been unresponsive. The Patriot Post also tried contacting her, but access to her voicemail was unavailable. She is also the only member of the faculty with an unpublished email address.

Pro-Israel group Zionist Organization of America plans to send a letter to the school demanding an apology. “It is disgraceful to mourn the death of Hamas terrorists,” said organization president Morton Klein.

At Beacon, “disgraceful” is apparently in the eye of the beholder. “A lot of us are really concerned with what Israel is doing,” stated junior student Matt Klass, who is Jewish. “I think there is some disparity in how the parents feel and how the students feel.” Despite having a large contingent of Jewish students, Klass further noted the school is sympathetic to Palestinians and a two-state solution.

The same two-state solution Palestinians themselves have rejected for decades.

Junior Rosie Hendricks thought the announcement “was fine,” but she felt students could have “given more context” about the history of the ongoing conflict.

Here’s more context. “When we talk about 'peaceful resistance,’ we are deceiving the public,” stated Mahmoud Al-Zahar, a co-founder of Hamas, in an interview with Al Jazeera on May 13.

Only that part of the public that chooses to be deceived — along with an NYC Department of Education that likens rank propaganda to “civic discussion,” to defend a high school where the progressive agenda reigns supreme.

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