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The Friends Seminary of New York, which invited the notorious anti-Semite, Gilad Atzmon, to one of its classes, and assigned its students to read his hate-filled writings, has now backed out of an agreement to invite me to the school to talk to the students about the evils of anti-Semitism. The Headmaster of the Friends Seminary, a school which is supposed to be committed to honesty and integrity, has broken his solemn promise to me, and to members of its own community, to allow its students to hear both sides of an issue which really has only one side: namely, the illegitimacy of bringing hate mongers into high school classrooms.
After I exposed the original invitations to Gilad Atzmon—who justifies the burning down of synagogues as a “reasonable” response to Jewish efforts to “control the world”—the Headmaster of the school agreed to several things. First, he would speak at an assembly to the students about the evils of anti-Semitism; second, he would assign my essay to the students who were assigned Atzmon’s essay; and third, he would invite me to address the students. He has now broken each of these promises.
Students who were at the assembly have confirmed that the speakers only made things worse. The teacher who invited Atzmon talked about what a great musician he was. The Headmaster was defensive about how his words were manipulate and justified bringing Atzmon based on Quaker principles. Apparently the word anti-Semitism was never once mentioned during this meeting. My article was not assigned to the students; a citation was sent to them saying that I wanted students to read its content.
When I wrote to the Headmaster complaining about these breaches, they used my letter as an excuse for canceling my appearance. The real reason was almost certainly pressure from hard-left members of his faculty and others.
Let’s be clear what this means. The school was unwilling to cancel Atzmon’s appearance, even after learning that he was a virulent anti-Semite who questions the Holocaust but believes that it may be true that Jews kill Christians to use their blood for religious purposes. But they have canceled my appearance because they didn’t like the tone of a private letter that I wrote to them that was critical of the Headmaster’s failure to comply with his promises. I ended my letter with the following words: “Please assure me that I am wrong about my judgment about you. I really would like to see this move forward in a positive direction, but you are not helping. The ultimate sufferers are your students, who are being taught the wrong values that will serve them poorly in college and in life.”
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