Reaction to an Initiative at Campus Middle School to honor Representative Ilhan Omar, by Paulette Yousefzadeh

Dear Mrs. Staal, Superintendent Smith, and Assistant Superintendent Tolbert,

My son Shai Greenfield is a 7th grader at Campus Middle School and, to put it plainly, we are proud Zionist Jews who believe that the Jews, an indigenous people of the Southern Levant along with the Samaritans, have the unalienable right to self-determination in the birthplace of Judean/Jewish civilization. (https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/israel-middle-east/articles/bellerose-aboriginal-peopleI understand that for American Arab Heritage Month, a student read a statement over the PA system in recognition of Representative Ilhan Omar on Wednesday (4/24/24) morning. Mrs. Lissa Staal was kind enough to respond to my inquiry and send the written statement to me this morning. 

First off, I have to say with all candor, what a bizarre choice given that Ilhan Omar is Somali, not Arab. To lump Somalis– with their own distinct language and culture– with the Arab conquerers that colonized the Somalis in their religiously-motivated imperialism of the Middle East and North Africa is entirely dismissive of cultural diversity and unbecoming of an educational institution. Facts matter, do they not? Was she included simply because Somalia has been part of the Arab League since 1974? I thought this was “Arab American Heritage Month,” and so not all Muslims are Arab and not all Arabs are Muslim. Aren’t these just some of the basic facts we should all understand if we are going to observe these diversity months in the Cherry Creek School District? I cannot help but think that this selection of Ilhan Omar as an “Arab American,” is, in effect, a historical and an ethnic/cultural erasure of a distinct people in favor of Arab (and Islamic) imperialism. 

But even more to my point and source of considerable consternation: which other JewHating, anti-American terrorist supporting, antisemitic blood libel propagandists does the school have on its list for hosannas and praise this month?

This is the same representative of Congress that has peddled virtually every single antisemitic trope and blood libel about Jews and the one Jewish nation, Israel: the supposed shadiness and untrustworthiness of Jews, the apparent Jewish power of mind control and sinister puppeteering, the antisemitic trope of “dual loyalties” of Jews, “Jewish money” corrupting politics of the host society, the malicious and wholly dishonest “Israeli apartheid” smear, and so on.  Text – H.Res.241 – 116th Congress (2019-2020): Condemning the anti-Semitic comments of Representative Ilhan Omar from Minnesota. Just this week, in fact, Representative Omar was on the University of Minnesota campus spreading a blood libel in her speech that the Israeli Defense Forces is committing a “genocide” as revealed by a mass grave of approximately 200 Gazans in Khan Younis. Actually, the genocidal martyrdom cult/mafia known as Hamas is the responsible party for that tragedy. While the genocidal martyrdom cult/mafia Hamas exploits their civilian population and civilian locations, including mosques, schools, and hospitals to increase its own casualties in an effort to demonize Israel in the court of international public opinion, Israel continues to take extraordinary measures to minimize civilian casualties and the 2:1 civilian:terrorist casualty ratio is remarkable considering that this is urban warfare with a side that violates every single rule of war. Again, facts matter.  https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/how-gaza-health-ministry-fakes-casualty-numbers Also this week, and what a busy week it has clearly been for this propagandist, during a congressional hearing with Columbia University’s president Minouche Shafik, Omar attempted to spread yet another phony story, this time, about a “chemical attack” on Judeophobic, pro-Hamas protesters on Columbia’s campus. It turned out to be not a toxic substance at all, but merely prank, novelty stink sprays. And if you require more evidence of Ilhan Omar’s profound Judeophobia, the congresswoman supports the antisemitic BDS movement, which stands for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions, part of the multi-prong strategy to isolate, weaken, and gradually destroy the sole Jewish nation-state. https://www.newsweek.com/antisemitism-bds-natan-sharansky-3d-test-1461305 What does it say about Ilhan Omar that former KKK leader and white supremacist David Duke praised her in 2019 for her Judeophobic remarks? It’s worth linking this op-ed penned by the erudite Ms. Ayan Hirsi Ali, also from Somalia, in which she eloquently breaks down the prevalent JewHatred in the community growing up in her country of origin and the considerable efforts it takes to deprogram oneself from this particularly insidious bigotry. https://www.wsj.com/articles/can-ilhan-omar-overcome-her-prejudice-11562970265

Congresswoman Omar’s disdain for America and her support for Islamosupremacist terrorism, which includes Hormud, the financiers of Al-Shabab, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and the PFLP, are well-documented. Ilhan Omar mocked and downplayed the menace that was Al-Qaida, the terrorist organization responsible for 9-11, the most devastating terrorist attack on US soil, as evidenced in this videohttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkIgHFXvGSw  Also in reference to 9-11, Ilhan Omar once lamely said, “Some people did something.” I suppose that’s one way of putting it.

Furthermore, Ilhan Omar has shown sympathies to one of the most notorious state sponsors of terrorism in the Middle East, the Islamic Republic of Iran, a regime that has for decades now engaged in proxy wars against the United States and Israel. Ilhan Omar was one of the 14 members of Congress who refused to condemn Iran for launching 350 drones and missiles at Israel on April 13th of this year, and refused to support Israel’s right to defend herself by voting “no” on H.Res 1143. The Islamic Republic of Iran is the same genocidal, supremacist regime that has a doomsday clock for Israel. https://www.timesofisrael.com/irans-doomsday-clock-for-israels-end-halts-amid-power-cuts/ This is the same genocidal, supremacist regime that has been trying its damndest to develop a nuclear weapons program, that attempted to contaminate the drinking water supply of Israelis in a cyberattack (https://www.timesofisrael.com/iran-cyberattack-on-israels-water-supply-could-have-sickened-hundreds-report/), and the same regime whose fingerprints were all over the October 7th Massacre that took place on two significant Jewish holidays, Shabbat and Simchat Torah. (https://www.wsj.com/world/middle-east/iran-israel-hamas-strike-planning-bbe07b25 Lastly, this gets very personal for me as an American-Persian-Jew: this is the same regime that forced my family and many friends to flee after the Islamic coup of 1979 and, to this day, oppresses ethnic and religious minorities, including my own ethno-religious group, women, and political dissidents. It is because of the Islamic Regime that I have, to this day, never met most of my father’s side of the family, who are stuck in Teheran and I’m unable to visit them because my father is on the regime’s black list.

I believe this was an unfortunate missed opportunity for Campus Middle School to recognize and commend actual Arab Americans who have contributed positively and significantly to our country. How about Michael Monsoor, a Syrian-American Navy SEAL who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor? Or Ahmed Kousay al-Taie, an Iraqi-born US Army interpreter, who was captured by insurgents and later killed in Iraq? Or how about Miss America Rima Fakih or actor Tony Shalhoub? The list of actual noteworthy Arab-Americans goes on.

I feel that selecting Ilhan Omar was, albeit likely unwittingly, an attempt to normalize Islamosupremacist JewHatred and Israelophobia, which is a real pathological tendency on the Western Left. This doesn’t impact merely a few members of the community– it negatively impacts the entire community with misinformation and, in fact, disinformation. Thus, I demand a retraction of this recognition with an apology to be made to the entire student body. The students deserve better for their education and development– both for intellect as well as character. 

Thank you for your time and attention on what I believe is a highly important matter. I look forward to your reply.

Best regards,
Paulette Yousefzadeh Greenfield