The official newspaper of the Ramaz Upper School

The Rampage

The official newspaper of the Ramaz Upper School

The Rampage

The official newspaper of the Ramaz Upper School

The Rampage

Politics and Israel

Since October 7, the only thing on our mind has been Israel. The whereabouts and circumstances of the hostages, the wellbeing of our soldiers, and the pride of our country has been occupying our thoughts for six months. The undying love the Jewish people have for Israel is a part of who we are. Because of this, we stand up for Israel. Students do this by going to rallies, hanging up hostage posters, and supporting Israel on social media. 

Students are encouraged by their teachers to support Israel. In the days after October 7, Tehillim were held as an opportunity for students to take a break from learning and focus on class. Class discussions were centered on giving students an opportunity to open up about their feelings as well as unpacking the situation. Additionally, many classes were canceled and in place, students ventured throughout Manhattan wearing Israeli flags to hang up hostage posters. Since October, the administration and faculty showed that Israel was on the forefront of their minds and it should be on the minds of each of their students. 

Another way the has helped students navigate the war is talking about approaching antisemitism and criticism of the government. As the war has progressed, the IDF and the government have been represented terribly in the media. While no government or army is perfect, it is challenging to admit that Israel can, in some circumstances, be wrong. Especially due to the challenges of the past few months, it’s impossible to look at Israel in a bad light considering all of the other variables in the situation. How can our country possibly be regarded as villainous when the other side is backed up by terrorist organizations and countries? Why are we being demonized?

This complex question is one that lingers in the minds of Jews across the world. As we exit the bubble of Ramaz and enter the college world, approaching antisemitism on campus is something we should be prepared for. How can we combat this? 

I think that regardless of a faculty member’s personal opinion on Israel’s politics or the Middle Eastern politics, it is a Ramaz teacher’s job to stand with the students and help them combat anti semitism that they will approach in the next few years. A teacher’s political stance does not matter because their job is to help their students adapt to and feel safe in the world. If students are struggling to combat antisemitism, a teacher should prepare them to stand up for themselves. If a student is comfortable to stand up for what they believe is right, then the teacher has done their job right.

Regardless of personal opinion, in a trivial time for the Jewish people, we must unite and support each other. Regardless of a faculty member’s opinion of Middle Eastern politics, it is their job to advise the students, help them grow, and strengthen their love for Judaism and Israel. 

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