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‘Cause good trouble’: Anti-Israel speaker addresses Virginia high school graduation

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“Israel kills Palestinians and desecrates the Holy Land,” tweeted Abrar Omeish.

By Josh Plank, World Israel News

Fairfax County school board member Abrar Omeish, who recently faced criticism for tweeting that Israel “desecrates the Holy Land,” encouraged students to “cause good trouble” and be on the “right side of history,” last week during her keynote address at the Justice High School graduation ceremony in Falls Church, Virginia.

The ceremony began with the class president leading a revised version of the U.S. pledge of allegiance, in which the phrase “one nation under God” was replaced with “one nation under Allah.”

The president of the student government then introduced Omeish, saying, “Our speaker is so fearless, especially recently when facing hatred for speaking truth to power about the Palestinian experience. She continues to overcome and be an example so that young leaders like us will do the same.”

Omeish told the graduating class, “The world may try to quiet you by deciding for you what’s cool, what’s weird, what is or isn’t objective. It may try to convince you that what you hold dear is too different to be accepted.”

“You are walking into a world that will be uncomfortable when you seek to cause good trouble. And that may seek to intimidate you or make you think the truth is controversial,” she said.

Omeish told the students that they’ve been attending school on the “stolen land” of the Manahoac Indian tribe. “This theft is a reminder to us of what happens when we delay justice, when we don’t speak up, when we don’t stand up in time,” she said.

“Your truth, your courage, and your path to uplift those who are not heard will leave you on the right side of history, no matter how many haters emerge. I’m sure you’ve encountered them yourselves. And believe me, they’re a sign you’re unsettling the status quo towards justice,” said Omeish.

Last month, many members of the Fairfax school district became concerned about Omeish’s concept of justice after she expressed her views on Israel.

“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,” she tweeted on May 13.

At a school board meeting on May 20, resident Jennifer Katz called on Omeish to either resign or be censured for violating the board’s rules of conduct.

“Ms. Omeish, using diversity and inclusion on your page, while propagating division and hate, makes you a fraud,” said resident Dawn Smith.

The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington (JCRC) rescinded its decision to honor Omeish as one of five school board members who partnered with the JCRC to champion “faith equity.”

“Ms. Omeish broke that unity by tweeting a one-sided, inaccurate, and hateful statement that smeared Israel, defamed Israelis, and disenfranchised the thousands of Jewish families in her district,” JCRC said in a statement.

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