Category Archives: Conflict

Advice for teachers and schools on dealing with the current conflict in Gaza/Israel- Revised July 2014

We have published some updated guidance on dealing with the current conflict in Gaza and Israel. The guidance is also available as a pdf download here - Advice for teachers and schools on dealing with the current conflict in Gaza

We welcome any feedback or resources to improve this guidance.

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Guest Post from The Parents Circle Families Forum

OVERVIEW OF PARENTS CIRCLE FAMILIES FORUM

Parents Circle Families Forum is a unique, grassroots organisation made up of more than 600 Israeli & Palestinian families who have all lost an immediate family member in the conflict. Members believe that if they, who have paid the highest price in the conflict, can work together, then surely others can too. The focus of the work is on getting both sides to sit together so that an emotional breakthrough can be made. Often these meetings are the first opportunity that Israelis & Palestinians have had to see each other as ordinary human beings who share the same hopes, the same dreams and the same pain.

Their long-term vision is to create a framework for a reconciliation process to be an integral part of any future peace agreement.

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Antisemitism in Schools: A Teacher’s Perspective

So have I ever come across antisemitism in my work as a teacher?  This short blog post looks at two contrasting examples.

My first school (in my NQT Newly Qualified Teacher year) was an easy school in Orpington.  For those who have never ventured to that town where the M25 intersects the A21 in Kent, where Mrs Thatcher failed to win the Tory nomination, and where the Daily Mail outsells all other papers put together, it is a nice place to teach.  What some pupils may lack in ability, they make up for in effort.  It is an area full of aspirational parents with a solid approach to homework and discipline, so the teachers’ jobs are generally pretty easy.
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An Opportunity for Education from Middle East Education London (MEEDU)

Do you ever feel that you have to be the educator on the issue of the Arab-Israeli Conflict but feel reluctant to do so, either because you feel you do not have adequate in-depth knowledge, or because you do not want to offend those who may have already have definite views? We at MEEDU try to address this problem by giving information on the views and attitudes of both sides. Most schools try to get a balanced view by inviting, separately, speakers from both sides, speakers who give their own conflicting views of historical and current events.  Our approach is totally different and is unique.

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Write to NUT about their support for the PSC Mass Lobby of Parliament

Dear JTA member,

Tomorrow, Wednesday 28th November, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) will be holding their annual lobby of Parliament. According to their website and the NUT’s Facebook site, the NUT is officially supporting the lobby day.

Naturally members of JTA, the Jewish community and the wider public, including members of the NUT, hold a variety of different views on the situation facing Israelis and Palestinians. I personally favour the position of organisations like the New Israel Fund and Yachad, the Pro Israel, Pro Peace organisation. – both of which, in my view, take a nuanced approach to the conflict, acknowledging its complexity.  It seems to me that there is an appropriate way of expressing those views and, often, it appears that the PSC regularly strays outside the realms of appropriate debate. Examples include the posting of racist cartoons by local branches, Holocaust denial by local branch chairs and a member of the Scottish PSC being found guilty of racially aggravated assault on a Jewish student who was displaying an Israeli flag.

In this context, and in the interests of inclusion and educated debate, surely it is not appropriate for the NUT to be openly supporting the PSC in its lobby of Parliament, without fully and publically recognising the complexity of the situation?

If you agree, I urge you to write to Secretary General Christine Blower C.Blower@nut.org.uk and Equality Officer Samidha Garg S.Garg@nut.org.uk to express your concerns. I will be writing to explain that as a Jewish member of the NUT, this sort of blanket support for one group only leaves me feeling disappointed and isolated from many members of my union. If you were a member of NUT but you left because of your feelings about NUT’s policies on the conflict it would be very helpful if you could say this too. If you are not a member of NUT but you want to make your concerns know, please also write. Every personal email you write will raise awareness to NUT of our concerns.

It would be really helpful if you could copy in the chair@jewishteachers.org.uk and send us copies of any replies you get.

For more information, please see this document Summary of PSC extremism November 2012 which lists some examples of PSC extremism over the last two years.

Many thanks,

Flora

 

Mrs Flora R H Richards

JTA Chair

chair@jewishteachers.org.uk