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Opinion: Jewish parents urge MCPS community to lead with truth and advocacy - MoCo360

Author: MoCo360

Source: https://moco360.media/2023/10/27/opinion-jewish-parents-urge-mcps-community-to-lead-with-truth-and-advocacy/

Image of Opinion: Jewish parents urge MCPS community to lead with truth and advocacy - MoCo360

In their MoCo 360 opinion letter titled, “Jewish parents in MCPS urge community to lead with love,” MCPS parents Nathan Feinberg and Shira Reeves dangerously painted with a broad brush the goals and desires of the Jewish community in the aftermath of the largest massacre of the Jewish people since the Holocaust.Feinberg and Reeve’s unsubstantiated claim that the Jewish community “demanded Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) take a political stance in unilateral support of Israel’s actions without context, history, or nuance” blatantly misrepresents the Jewish community’s critique of MCPS’s response to the Hamas Massacre.Jewish MCPS parents, staff and allies sought a simple but significant gesture from our school system: an acknowledgement of the Hamas terrorist attack against unarmed civilians in Israel, and shared grief for its impact on the wellbeing of Jewish staff, parents and students.In repeated requests to senior MCPS officials, our advocacy included expressions of deep concern for the dire consequences of Hamas’s murderous rampage for innocent Palestinians living in Gaza.Our requests fell far short of seeking a political statement or military support for Israeli defensive actions.MCPS’s unwillingness to articulate grief revealed much: a shocking level of apathy toward Jewish community members, a haphazard approach to addressing current events which directly impact MCPS stakeholders, and a major inconsistency in the school system’s zeal to advance diversity, equity and inclusion.Feinberg and Reeves also claimed that Jewish groups silenced free speech by demanding social media posts be taken down and seemed to mock the labeling of these posts as “hate speech.” In fact, the social media posts in question re-circulated lies and disinformation including false narratives that Jewish babies were not beheaded by Hamas.This painful rejection of verifiable evidence disregards human life, academic integrity, and the truth – and calls to mind the harmful agenda of Holocaust deniers.Another social post heinously and unfairly compared IDF soldiers to Nazis.This rhetoric endangers Jewish students who, of course, also deserve to feel safe.Through our collaboration with over 300 MCPS staff, parents and students, the shared humanity of Jews and Palestinians has been at the forefront of our discussions and advocacy, as we all stand in support of peace and lament the loss of life among Palestinians and Israelis.What we don’t accept is the false dichotomy of choosing between a sense of shared humanity and a failure to confront lies.Feinberg and Reeves grossly misrepresented the goals of the Jewish community – but they won’t divide us.Beth Swibel, Rebecca Kotok and Julie Sapper are Jewish parents of MCPS students in middle and high school. Editor’s note: MoCo360 encourages readers to send us their thoughts about local topics we have covered for consideration as a letter to the editor or op-ed piece.Email them to [email protected] are our guidelines.We require a name and hometown for publication.We also require a phone number (not for publication) for us to verify who wrote the letter. Please provide a source for any facts in your letter that were not part of our coverage; if they can’t be verified, they likely will be omitted.We do not accept any submissions from a third party; it must come directly from the writer.We do not accept any pieces that have been published or submitted elsewhere.

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