Sheri Oz

Trump’s Jerusalem Speech Is Closing Down Co-Existence Groups in Israel

A supposed co-existence organization is illogically blaming President Trump’s overdue recognition of Jerusalem as the historical and contemporary capital of Israel as the reason for cancelled programming in Israel. First let me tell you a bit about the Parents Circle and then I will tell you why this claim is absolute nonsense.

co-existence groups in Israel

The Parents Circle purports to support peace between Jews and Arabs, bringing together bereaved family members of those fallen on both sides: Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA). The problem is, only when Jews capitulate to the “Palestinian” narrative are they kosher enough to be featured on the propaganda pages of their website, as I wrote here. There is no information on the number of Jews who initially showed an interest in their organization but dropped out when they saw the line they had to tow.

These so-called Dialogue meetings are supposed to be conducted in parallel in Israeli and PA high schools. A representative Israeli Jew and Palestinian Arab are meant to co-facilitate these discussions. While an unknown number of Israeli schools have rejected the possibility of having a Palestinian Arab co-conduct the sessions, there were many that hosted them. In contrast, ZERO PA schools allow an Israeli Jew to enter their premises. The principals do not want to vouch for their ability to safeguard the Israelis. Such meetings that do take place in the PA, do so in community centers and many are without the Israeli Jewish half of the team. Yet, the organization does not allow meeting to take place in Israel without the Palestinian Arab co-facilitator. I know this by having spoken to directors of the programme both in Israel and the PA.

Why The Cancellation Has Nothing To Do With Trump Or Jerusalem

Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett has been banning from schools groups that claim to be for co-existence, peace or human rights but are, in fact, not much more than covers for anti-Israel activitism. He does not believe that students should be subjected to their biased propaganda within the school system.

And he began banning these groups well before Trump said anything about Jerusalem on December 6.

On November 28th, for example, Ynet reported that Bennett cancelled a study day organized by ACRI in response to a letter he received from bereaved parents who claimed the organization supports terrorists. He has requested that the ministry check into this claim and reconsider future cooperation with the organization. Sounds like the responsible thing to do.

Well before Trump was even POTUS, Bennett banned Breaking the Silence from Israeli schools. Breaking the Silence (BtS) has been accused of hiding behind anonymous testimony to lie about human rights violations committed by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF). The IDF has consistently asked former soldiers to come before them with their accusations so that they can be evaluated thoroughly and any wrongs righted. Instead, BtS chooses to spread their message in English, supported largely by European funds, to those who are eager for more dirt against Israel. Bennett saw no reason to allow such a group into the schools. Again, nothing to do with Trump.

It is just coincidental, therefore, that Bennett got around to banning the Parents Circle project from conducting their sessions in Israeli schools at this time. But combining the ban with anti-Trump rhetoric makes for such a powerful fundraising campaign that the organization could not pass up the opportunity when it presented itself. Only makes sense, right?

About the Author
Sheri Oz, owner of, is a retired family therapist exploring mutual interactions between politics and Israeli society.
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