Jewish Student Faces Legal Action ‘for Being Anti-Israel’ in New York

Jewish Student Faces Legal Action ‘for Being Anti-Israel’ in New York © Flickr/ woodleywonderworks

02:42 10.01.2016(updated 09:03 10.01.2016) Get short URL

New Jersey high school student Bethany Koval has gained thousands of followers in social media overnight following accusations of bullying over her pro-Palestine messages.

The 16-year Israeli-American high school student with Jewish roots prompted public interest earlier this week after her anti-Israel tweets where she railed against the Netanyahu government’s treatment with Palestine. Legality of her brave actions have been, however, put under consideration by Fair Lawn High School which she is attending after an alleged complaint by a classmate over the Christmas holiday.

On Wednesday, school officials called Koval down to discuss her activity on the internet, she live tweeted updates to her account, later making it private.

#IStand WithBenny went viral on Twitter as Koval’s followers blamed the school administration and the large Jewish lobby in the US for reportedly calling her a terrorist sympathizer.

Koval condemned Israeli official actions in Gaza last summer which resulted in the deaths of 2,100 civilians most of whom were children. The teenager explained the reasons behind her position saying the occupation of former Palestinian land by Israel should be called as an “apartheid”.

The New Jersey student also undermined the legality of Israeli forces actions that killed the Palestinian Dawabsheh family by arson and later the stabbing the photo of the family’s toddler at a wedding party. Two settlers, one a US citizen, have been charged with the slaying.

According to a Gothamist writer, Koval was forced by school administration to write what supposed to be a confession but instead she remained unconvinced. Moreover, she reportedly hired lawyer and human rights advocate Stanley Cohen.

Official of Fair Lawn public schools Bruce Watson defended the school actions while saying “at no time have District officials sought to censor or reprimand any pupils for their online speech” as they have to taking action by “New Jersey’s anti-bullying statute — one of the strictest in the nation.”

Alexander Shalom, the senior staff attorney at American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) — New Jersey, told Templey, that anti-bullying law was applied mostly to protect past political speech, but “This is probably the most egregious example of it I’ve heard.”

Prior to the anti-bullying law proposal, he stressed, the ACLU had also concerns over the legislation’s behaviour.

“The school only has a right to regulate conduct when it has an impact on the orderly operation of the school” he said,adding l, “There are real concerns about the school getting involved in the business of students on break.”

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