Philip Zajac, President of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria responds to a letter penned by Teachers for Palestine:
“We are yet again disappointed to see a group of teachers exploiting their positions to promote a one-sided, biased and over-simplified position to an extremely layered and complex situation unfolding in the Middle East.
The penned letter to Ben Carroll MP (Victorian State Minister for Education), Jason Clare MP (Federal Minister for Education), and Lizzie Blandthorn MLC (Victorian State Minister for Children) makes no mention of the atrocities perpetrated by Hamas on October 7th 2023. Furthermore, the group claims that their “…duty of care requires that we take reasonable steps to reduce the risk of reasonably foreseeable harm to students…” but neglects to consider any Jewish student or teacher affected by the atrocities in Israel, or the aftermath in the diaspora which has seen a frightening rise in antisemitism.
We reiterate: schoolgrounds are not the place to promote toxic, divisive agendas. The reality is that Jewish students and teachers’ safety is now in contention. 700 signatories to the letter have indirectly stated that the Jewish perspective and trauma has no significance. We call on the Department of Education to ensure that all students and teachers feel safe.
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