MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2023
...until this very morning: We ourselves wouldn't have written the headline that way. That said, headline included, here's part of the Washington Post's news report about the latest shooting, this time in Vermont:
Man arrested after three Palestinian students injured in Vermont shooting
The victims’ parents identified them in a statement as Hisham Awartani, Kinnan Abdalhamid and Tahseen Ahmed. The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), a civil rights advocacy group, said it believed the students were targeted because they are Palestinians. Police said two are U.S. citizens and one is a legal U.S. resident.
Many others have noted a basic issue concerning identity. If two of these victims are U.S. citizens, is it accurate to headline them as "Palestinian students," full stop?
We might have been inclined to headline these young people as "college students," then to let the facts unfold from there. That said, here's another part of the Post's news report:
A Palestinian high school in the West Bank, Ramallah Friends, said all three of the men had attended school there before enrolling in U.S. universities.
We'd never heard of Ramallah Friends until this very morning. The leading authority on the school offers this somewhat inaccurate thumbnail account:
Ramallah Friends Schools
The Ramallah Friends Schools are two private schools founded by Quakers in the city of Ramallah, in the West Bank. The Friends Girls' School was inaugurated in 1869; the construction of the Friends Boys' School began in 1901 and the school opened in 1918. The Schools were run by American Quakers. The schools are now co-educational and divided into Senior and Junior sections...
At its own web site, Ramallah Friends describes itself as one school, in the singular. It offers this account of its mission and its values:
Guided by Quaker principles and values, enriched by being in Palestine, and strengthened by collaboration within the school community and with external partnerships, Ramallah Friends School (RFS) offers children and youth with an academically rigorous, balanced, engaging and inclusive learning environment of the highest quality standard, every day.
We inspire our students to become a living expression of a spiritual life, and to be in constant search for God in all human situations. By doing so, we nurture confidence and intellectual curiosity through experiential learning and innovative application of knowledge and skills, enabling our students to become independent, adaptable but principled, socially responsible, and internationally-minded citizens.
RAMALLAH FRIENDS SCHOOL strives to be a leading educational institution in the Palestinian community. The Lower and Upper Schools were founded in 1869 and 1901 respectively, for the purpose of offering Palestinian youth a rigorous program guided by Quaker principles.
Central to Quaker education is a vitality that comes from being a living expression of a religious life. A Friends School education seeks to promote a constant search for God to all human situations and to cultivate ethical, moral and spiritual values.
Quaker education believes that all people are equal before God regardless of gender, creed, culture, color or social status. Since our beginning, we have focused on the education of women to develop their potential and realize their opportunity to be equal members of their community. Quaker education is built on the belief that all are children of God and that within each person here is that of God to be nurtured.
We don't have religious beliefs ourselves. That said, good people trying to do good things are found all over the world. As every sane person knows, an incredible number of Jewish institutions also serve the wide-ranging interests, all over the world, of us in the human race.
Good people are found all over the world. Also, troubled people are commonly found. Tragically, some are inclined to be violent.