The values that Headmaster Bo Lauder is imbuing to his students are deception, breach of promise, toleration of anti-Semitism and an unwillingness to present all sides of an issue. In the end, the Headmaster is showing tremendous distrust of his students by refusing to allow them to hear another side of the issue, by canceling my promised appearance, by not assigning my essay and by continuing to be defensive regarding the dreadful mistake of judgment he made in allowing Atzmon to teach his students.
The Headmaster may believe that by breaking his promises, he has ended this issue. Let him be absolutely certain that, as I wrote in my letter to him: “This issue will not go away, and nor will I. Misled once, shame on you. Misled twice, shame on me.” Unless I am invited to address the students inside of the school, I will appear outside of the school, where I will hand out my essays to those students who are willing to read them and will address those students who have an interest in hearing a response to anti-Semitism. I am also considering inviting parents, students and other members of the Friends Seminary community to an event, in a venue outside of the school, where these issues can be discussed openly and candidly. Headmaster Lauder may be able to keep me physically outside of his school, but he will not be able to stop my ideas from reaching his community. The truth does not respect artificial boundaries.
The Friends Seminary, like other elite schools around the country, teaches our future leaders. Many Friends Schools around the country have espoused strongly anti-Israel policies for years. The Friends Seminary in New York itself has a rabidly anti-Israel history teacher on its faculty, who propagandizes his students against Israel in the classroom, and who has a picture of Anne Frank wearing a Palestinian headdress on his website. The school has and is again planning to take its students on trips to the Middle East that present a one-sided perspective. Now they have crossed the line from preaching anti-Zionism to tolerating anti-Semitism. I will not remain silent in the face of the Friends Seminary’s double standard and neither should you.
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