Last Thursday, Fairfax County, Virginia school board member Abrar Omeish triggered national headlines for writing that Israel is a colonizing state that “desecrates the Holy Land” and “kills Palestinians.”
This Thursday, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington (JCRC) is set to “honor” Omeish as a “champion of faith equity.”
Eid Mubarak! Congrats on 30 days of worship!
Hurts my heart to celebrate while Israel kills Palestinians & desecrates the Holy Land right now. Apartheid & colonization were wrong yesterday and will be today, here and there. 🌎💞🌍
— Abrar Omeish (@AbrarOmeish) May 13, 2021
Ron Halber, the JCRC’s executive director, could not be reached for comment because of a Jewish holiday. But in a statement on Twitter, JCRC said “JCRC has engaged in honest, respectful, and challenging dialogue with Abrar Omeish regarding her deeply hurtful and offensive tweet yesterday. Today she posted a second message. We appreciate Ms. Omeish’s openness to dialogue and her support for faith equity within @fcpsnews.”
JCRC describes itself as “the central community relations agency of the organized Jewish community in our nation’s capital” focused on “four pillars: government relations, Israel advocacy, inter-group relations, and social justice.”
The keynote speaker at Thursday’s event, the JCRC 2021 Annual Meeting, is a rabbi who was previously honored by the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance.
“Hurts my heart to celebrate while Israel kills Palestinians & desecrates the Holy Land right now. Apartheid & colonization were wrong yesterday and will be today, here and there,” Omeish’s Twitter post said.
Melanie Meren, another member of Fairfax’s all-Democrat school board, replied: “As a SB Member, I’m aghast at the alienation your sentiment has cast on many in our community, including myself, & am appalled at the setback this puts in @fcpsnews’ equity work. Rebuilding of relationships will need to happen.”
Vinson X. Palathingal, who ran against Omeish for the at-large school board seat representing more than 1.1 million people in the 2019 election and had the endorsement of the county Republicans, strongly condemned Omeish’s statement.
But he told The Daily Wire that it was not a setback to the far-left board’s “equity” agenda, but rather the fulfillment of it.
Omeish’s Twitter profile shows that she does not just view Israel as a racist land of “colonizers,” but also America: It lists her location as “Stolen Manahoac Land.”
That’s par for the course with the board’s “equity” backers, he said. There is no indication that Meren objected to negative characterizations of America in schools or among her school board peers.
“It’s all coming from the critical race theory, that’s why they’re using this word ‘colonize’ all the time,” Palanthingal said.
“It’s not just Abrar. They’re all there to support some other cause,” he said of the partisan school board. “They’re saying America is stolen from the natives, constantly telling kids that. Why bring that up so often? Because their goal is to make America look bad.”
He said that Republican-backed candidates told voters they’d keep politics out of schools, but that most people didn’t vote in the election, and that those who did simply voted for the political party that they generally prefer at the national level.
“The Republican candidates were not going to try to indoctrinate kids with conservative politics, they just wanted common sense, the basics, politics out of schools. But voters just went to the polls and chose the Democratic candidates who are not focused on education, they’re focused on politics, when schools are failing miserably under their watch.”
The school district is “revising” its Controversial Issues Policy, which currently says if schools teach controversial issues, they must do so fairly instead of in an opinionated manner. The district is also developing a curriculum policy focused on “Anti-Racism.”
Seven months before the election, Omeish was arrested after being pulled over for a traffic violation and repeatedly refusing to show her license. Video shows her also repeatedly refusing to get out of the car. The officer appears to pepper spray her and pulls her out. She screams, “A cop is being brutal!”
Omeish alleged anti-Muslim bias.
Northern Virginia schools were completely closed to in-person learning for most of the schoolyear, cowing to teachers union pressure. On Sunday, Blue Virginia, a blog for local Democrat insiders, lamented that people who wanted “Open Schools” were running for school board in nearby Falls Church, pleading, “Will Some Democrats Step Up” to run against them?
Currently, It Appears the Only Candidates For Falls Church’s Four Open School Board Seats Are “Open Schools” Folks. Will Some Democrats Step Up? (One of them is a a right-wing Cato Institute Vice President…) https://t.co/E3RBoAvo8f
— Blue Virginia (@bluevirginia) May 16, 2021