**UPDATE** Simon Wiesenthal Center Commends Illinois' Niles High School District For Canceling Pro-Palestinian Teachers' Course
May 31, 2019
Simon Wiesenthal Center commends the Niles High School District for canceling a pro Palestinian teachers course
“We were gratified to receive a call from Steven Isoye, Superintendent of Niles High School District in response to the SWC's protest. We welcome the canceling of the course and receiving the District’s formal statement acknowledging its error,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper Associate Dean and Alison Pure-Slovin, the Center’s Chicago-based Midwest Director.
“We plan to offer the School District educational materials, films and exhibitions that will help teachers and students alike to better understand the complexities of the Middle East,” Ms. Slovin added.
Wiesenthal Center Urges Chicago-Area HS District to Cancel Teachers' Course Promoting “Palestine Liberation Struggle"
Los Angeles, CA (May 29, 2019) —The Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) is outraged and alarmed about the “Teaching Palestine” course offered for teachers in the Niles Township High School District 219 that serves Lincolnwood and parts of Morton Grove, Niles and Skokie in Cook County, Illinois.
“To put it bluntly, teaching about the ‘Palestinian liberation struggle’ is to legitimize the continuing non-stop terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians including last week’s arson attacks that harmed the environment, destroyed homes, forest preserves and crops,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean and Director, Global Social Action Agenda at the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
“It is to justify the anti-Semitic rhetoric from terrorist Hamas and the veneration of mass murderers of Jews by the Palestinian Authority. It is to demonize and de-legitimize Zionism and supporters of the lone Jewish state, many of whose families reside in your school district,” Rabbi Cooper added.
“It is also beyond belief that at a time when the United States government has stopped funding the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) because the organization’s educational division does not adequately acknowledge the State of Israel and holds up terrorists as role models for young students, that a school district in Illinois would model similar curriculum.”
“SWC urges the immediate cancellation of this course and strongly suggests that the Niles Township High School District 219 instead brings together legitimate voices representing all parties in the Middle East to create a course that reflects the complexities of life in the Holy Land and shows respect for the democratic Jewish state of Israel, America’s staunchest ally in the region, “ Cooper concluded.
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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).