‘Divisive’ Palestine event draws 80 NYC teachers, anti-Israel speaker

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By Dan Sears

About 80 New York City educators attended a Saturday morning virtual “curriculum share” seminar where they could obtain tips to “get around censorship” while teaching students about the “Israeli occupation” and “ongoing genocide in Gaza.”

The groups encouraged participants to consider using fake names or blurring their video out of paranoid fear of “conservative Zionist individuals” who have targeted the event and might “dox attendees.”

The event sparked outrage this week among critics who slammed it as antisemitic and divisive.

It aimed “to push anti-Zionism propaganda and wrongfully inject divisive politics” into classrooms, Bronx Democratic Rep. Ritchie Torres wrote in a letter ahead of the event imploring the city Department of Education to intervene.

“NYC’s children are being taught lies as facts and these lessons embed hate against Jews,” said Tova Plaut, a founder of the advocacy group NYCPS Alliance.

The one-sided event was geared toward K-12 classroom teachers and hosted by the NYC Educators for Palestine and the New Jersey-based group Teaching While Muslim.

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It covered how to “get around censorship,” according to promotional materials, and featured “a panel of organizers and legal experts.”

One of the speakers was Rabab Abdulhadi, a San Francisco professor and activist and a co-founder of the Institute for the Critical Study of Zionism, according to sources.


Terri Grey speaking in a video.
About 80 NYC educators attended a Saturday morning virtual seminar in which they could obtain tips to “get around censorship” while teaching students about the “ongoing genocide in Gaza.” Virtual Innovators Academy

The institute believes Zionism is “enmeshed with racism, fascism, and colonial dispossession,” according to an article Abdulhadi co-wrote in August.

In the article, she linked the Israeli flag to “racial supremacist political messaging” seen at the Capitol riot in Washington, DC, on Jan. 6, 2021, and at Nazi rallies in Europe.

The institute labels Israel and the United States “settler colonial states” — which the group says it opposes.

It was not immediately clear what else Saturday’s event covered but teachers were promised they would get “a collection of lessons they can use with their students” out of it.


A laptop with a pencil and a red and green background.
The groups encouraged participants to consider using fake names or blurring their video out of paranoid fear of “conservative Zionist individuals” who have targeted the event and might “dox attendees.”

At least one principal, Terri Grey, who heads the remote Virtual Innovators Academy high school, sent out an email informing recipients about the event, The Post reported this week.

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A spokesman for the DOE said the agency had nothing to do with the event and that it was not Grey’s “intent to promote it” — and claimed she did not send the email to her staff.

“This Zoom conference is not affiliated with, endorsed or hosted by NYCPS, as such we have no authority over whether or how it is conducted,” the spokesman said.

Public school educators have been blasted for pushing anti-Israel propaganda in the classroom with little oversight from administrators or the city.

A third-grade teacher at PS 705 in Prospect Heights posted to social media recently thanking the website Woke Kindergarten — which calls Israel a “made-up place” — for materials that helped him create a lesson on Palestine.

At PS 261 in Boerum Hill, a map of the Middle East that omitted Israel and labeled it Palestine was exposed by The Post.

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“All employees should ensure that expressions of their personal political views are kept separate from their [New York City Public Schools job,” City Schools Chancellor David Banks has warned.

He unveiled a plan last month to deal with growing tensions related to the Israel-Hamas war.

In a post directed at Banks, the NYCPS Alliance said the “lack of enforcement of your regulations” was allowing hatred to fester.

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