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Did Arab Resource and Organizing Center Brainwash SF Unified School District Students?

Last week, many high school students in the San Francisco Unified School District staged a walkout “to protest Israel striking targets in Gaza and to demand an immediate ceasefire.

One of the schools involved was Balboa High School (hat tip: Gadi):

and according to the below report, the walkout there was the brainchild of one student who “felt a deep connection to the ongoing conflict in Gaza and decided to take action” – so she “did six hours of research … from unbiased sources”(!)

The first indication there was something more to this than the spontaneous actions of one ignorant student is the fact students at other schools in the San Francisco Unified School District did the same.

And sure enough, there was something else behind all of this – the Arab Resource & Organizing Center (AROC), which put out the notice below on social media, also announcing a 10 a.m. press conference on the steps of San Francisco City Hall.

Wassim Hage, a spokesman for the Arab Resource and Organizing Center, said the students were largely self-organized.

“Some of them were organized through Middle East Students Club, but most other students organized amongst themselves after the call was put out. AROC advertised and supported them in the walkout,” he said.

AROC is a vehemently anti-Israel organization that claims to “organize to fight for racial and economic justice and the dignity and liberation of our Arab, and Muslim communities.” It’s executive director is Lara Kiswani, whose antisemitism and anti-US rhetoric I have featured on here before.

In the wake of the recent Hamas atrocities, AROC “holds the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence we’ve witnessed across historic Palestine.”

And how did this disgraceful organization inject itself into all of this and influence these high school students?

The answer is as troubling as the scenes of them protesting.


In May 2018, the San Francisco Unified School District’s Board of Education contracted AROC to “provide workshops in classrooms related to leadership development and cultural empowerment” to students in San Francisco’s public high schools. The ZOA, documenting AROC’s “long history of divisive, hateful, and vicious anti-Zionist rhetoric” as well as terror support, opposed it:

The AROC curriculum will supposedly be under the “direct supervision of certified SFUSD staff.”  But there is no way that district staff can monitor every AROC exchange with every student.  District staff cannot guarantee that AROC will not poison the minds of students against Jews and Israel supporters, contrary to district policy.  There is little doubt that if the subject of Israel or Zionism comes up in any of AROC’s training sessions and workshops, AROC will send a false and negative message to impressionable students. 

The district claims that all agencies with a memorandum of understanding must agree to the district’s non-discrimination policy.  If that is the case, then AROC must publicly and unequivocally renounce all of its anti-Israel and anti-Zionist rhetoric, cleanse its website of all such rhetoric, and publicly apologize for engaging in such discriminatory conduct to this point.

If AROC refuses to do so, then the decision to grant AROC a contract must be rescinded.

This call seems to have fallen on death ears, because AROC’s contracted services were renewed in September 2020, and we seem to now be seeing some of the poison fruits of this collaboration.

Please join me in calling on the San Francisco Unified School District’s Board of Education to immediately terminate their contract with AROC (or at least not renew it if it came to an end June 30 as per the Memo of Understanding), and to launch an immediate investigation into how students minds’ were poisoned into:

  • Ignoring the massacre, maiming and abduction of innocent Israeli and other civilians, as well as the rape of Israeli women and girls;
  • Showing support for at worst, Hamas, and at best, those from whom Hamas came forth

especially considering AROC’s trainings were supposed to be provided “under direct supervision of certificated SFUSO staff.”

SFUSD

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SFUnified

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sfunified

Twitter: @sfunified

Dr. Matt Wayne SFUSD Superintendent: SFUSD Superintendent

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @SFUSD_Supe

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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