Brandy Shufutinsky

Make sure your kids learn Hebrew

As people around the world sat horrified the weekend of October 7th at the violence unfolding in Southern Israel, there were some who celebrated the tragedy. As the weeks drag on, it is becoming more apparent that many on the progressive far-left are using this moment to advance their cause, which seems to be to demonize Israel, Zionists, and the Jewish people. Ever since Palestinian terrorist group, Hamas, live streamed their massacre of Israelis, there has been an outpouring of support for the Jewish state and the Jewish people. Many who were previously unaware of what it means to be neighbors with terrorists hell-bent on killing you, got a wake up call. However, there have been individuals and organizations who are intent on using this tragedy to convince people that what they’ve witnessed did not occur. That the images they’ve seen, the cries for help, and the pleas for mercy were simply figments of their imagination. As survivors of the massacre recount their harrowing ordeal, demands for proof are made. These sadists will not be satisfied until they see, hear, and touch proof of atrocities so horrific that even the most experienced trauma first responders have been left with nightmares. 

So-called liberation activists have staged “days of resistance,” as though terrorism is some praise worthy spectacle that we should all strive to participate in. Activist-educators are pointing to the vehicles used to carry out the slaughter as some sort of rallying cry for the liberation of the oppressed. As though murdering children, raping girls, and kidnapping the elderly is not only some form of resistance, but something that should be celebrated. School administrators have flung public school doors open, allowing terrorist sympathizer groups like AROC and SJP into the very halls that our children roam – encouraging students to celebrate the mass lynching of Israelis with protest signs, candy, and bullhorns. Calls for “Palestine” to be Jew-free are chanted with pride. Posters with pictures of abducted children are ripped down by university students who claim that the lives of Jewish kids don’t matter. 

And in all of this, our kids are supposed to go to class with peers who would praise their murder and teachers who would lead the celebration all in the name of resistance. The question has been asked countless times since October 7th, are our kids safe at school. After the inaction, false equivalencies, and victim blaming over the past few weeks, I answer confidently, no… no they are not. Jewish kids are reporting unprecedented numbers of antisemitic harassment, bullying, and physical altercations in school since Hamas decided to conduct a mass lynching against Israelis. Teachers and school administrators are too cowardly to cast aside their flimsy shield of “academic freedom” and “free speech” and hold those who are chanting globalize the intifada and  calling for a Judenrein Palestine accountable for threatening their Jewish peers. 

I do not believe that our Jewish kids are safe in schools around the country because of the casual acceptance of terrorism as resistance and the normalization of the dehumanization of the Jewish people. However, I am also aware of just how many people are standing against barbarity, exhibiting moral courage by condemning the violence perpetrated by Hamas. It is encouraging to hear people who have no connection to Israel or to the wider Jewish community demonstrate decency when standing against the brutalization of Israelis. But I suggest American Jews not rest easy. We must prepare our kids for the reality on the ground, and we can start by making sure they learn Hebrew.

About the Author
Brandy Shufutinsky is a social worker, writer, researcher, and advocate. She holds a Doctorate in Education from the University of San Francisco in International and Multicultural Education and her MSW from the University of Southern California. Brandy has worked towards advancing the rights of victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault within the military community through practice, education, and research. Currently she is working towards developing intercultural and academic opportunities to enhance liberal democratic ideals.
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