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Philly schools censored a podcast about Palestinian resistance art because of complaints of antisemitism. Now, there's pushback

Kristen A. Graham, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in News & Features

Concerns about the video

The district parent who asked Crowder to take down the video said they had “serious civic and legal concerns about your school’s actions taken to educate students on why ‘Palestinian resistance’ is warranted and needed.”

“Jewish individuals, including SDP students, are currently fighting unprecedented antisemitism, and this assembly will undoubtedly create more,” the parent wrote in the email, which was obtained by The Inquirer.

The School District of Philadelphia Jewish Family Association, in another email to Crowder, said that even if the word “Jewish” was not used in the video, the inference is that Palestinians are resisting Jewish oppressors.

“This narrative is antisemitic and dangerous,” the email said. “This misinformation stokes the flames of hate against Jewish people in America, and now, within the confines of your school.”

The Jewish Family Association said it knew of specific incidents of antisemitism, including swastikas drawn in schools, but a district spokesperson said there was no record of such incidents.


Caroline Tiger, a district parent and member of the Jewish family group, said that in the school system, “Jewish students and teachers are scared and are not being supported in their schools or by school leadership. Antisemitism is going unchecked and the climate is hostile.”

Crowder, in response to the first parent’s email, said that Northeast has “a zero-tolerance policy in regards to discrimination and we take antisemitism and all other forms of bigotry and discrimination seriously.”

Monique Braxton, a district spokesperson, responded to questions about the students’ podcast with a prepared statement that read, in part, “the violence in the Middle East region is heartbreaking” and said “we urge everyone to channel their anger, sadness and heartbreak into caring actions. We hope there will be a swift end to this crisis so that peace and healing can begin.”

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