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September 3, 2015 7:22 am

San Francisco School District Partners With Anti-Israel Hate Group

avatar by Cinnamon Stillwell

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A 'free Palestine' youth rallly. Photo: From the Facebook page of Lara Kiswani.

A ‘free Palestine’ youth rallly. Photo: From the Facebook page of Lara Kiswani, AROC’s executive director and cofounder of the UC Davis chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine.

The San Francisco Unified School District is embroiled in a controversy that demonstrates the pervasiveness of politicization in Arabic instruction. According to, the school board has approved a resolution for “K-12 Arabic and Vietnamese language and culture classes beginning in the 2017-18 school year.” In order to create “culturally appropriate professional development opportunities for school faculty,” the district plans to work with the Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC), a fiercely anti-Israel,pro-BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) local organization whose website blames global “repression” on “U.S. imperialism and Zionism.”

Lara Kiswani, AROC’s executive director and cofounder of the UC Davis chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine, is notorious for having declared at a 2014 UC Berkeley BDS panel discussion, “Bringing down Israel will really benefit everyone in the world.” She also responded to a Jewish graduate student’s concerns about anti-Semitism by stating, “As long as you continue to be on that side [of Zionism], I’m going to continue to hate you.”

Opposition from Jewish community leaders and others has prompted the school board to issue an apology and to reconsider “whether to retain or drop AROC.” As board president Emily Murase put it, “Clearly we want to make sure it [the Arabic language and teaching program] does not contain political agendas.” The board’s decision will determine whether or not teaching Arabic entails indoctrinating children with the political biases of that troubled region.

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  • Arlene Kaplan

    Having lived in San Francisco for many years I always considered it a very open minded city and allowing the school district to work with AROC is presenting itchildren with bigotry and should not be allowed!

  • Michael Ross

    San Francisco preaches love and practices hate. Again.

  • PJ T

    Why is it that the only country in the Middle East that protects the rights of women, gays and all types of human beings is the one that gets slandered? The Arabs already have 3/4 of the original British Palestine after WW I. Surely they can look after each other there, and leave the Jews with their centuries old land?

  • Jacki Silber

    Let’s teach our children foreign languages and to respect all peoples and cultures.
    How is teaching hate and anti-semetism OK?

    • Robert Gaskin

      Teaching hate is never OK. As adults we need to stop looking the other way when these organizations promote their hate in public and go unchallenged.