Statement on the Antisemitic Student Riot at Hillcrest HS

Never Again Moment: The Hillcrest HS Pogrom

Statement on the Antisemitic Student Riot at Hillcrest HS and Immediate Actions to be Taken

This is how it starts. On November 20, a mob of 400 students rioted at Hillcrest High School hunting down a Jewish teacher for going to a pro-Israel rally, threatening violence, destroying property, and forcing the teacher to hide inside a locked office to protect her life. As antisemitic hate crimes are on the rise in New York City, the Hillcrest HS pogrom broke out just days after a citywide Pro-Palestinian walkout of hundreds of students calling for ceasefire, cursing the Jews, burning Israeli flags, and warning those who support Israel, “your days are numbered.”

Pro-Palestinian protest near Bryant Park, Nov. 9, 2023. Credit: Luke Tress via JTA

Students were always in the forefront of Communist, Fascist, and Nazi movements of the past. We haven’t learned our history. Hitler was a minor figure in Munich in 1923 but rose to power in 10 years to become the Chancellor of Germany, and led the Nazi Party to impose its will with astonishing ease on Germany, the most highly civilized nation in Europe at the time, leading the population to willingly participate in institutionalized mass murder of nearly every single Jew in Europe. The sudden rise of Hitler, the atrocities of World War II, and the Holocaust did not happen in a vacuum. The precursor to Nazism and the Third Reich were the student led riots and pogroms attacking and tormenting Jews throughout Germany. This was the direct result of decades of indoctrination in racial nationalism in schools and universities, that Aryans were a pureblooded “blond, blue-eyed” master race and Jews were vermin, unfit to live. The fired-up students viewed Jews as outsiders, parasites, and evil moneylenders, that had to be wiped out, and they rioted targeting the Jews of Germany.

Kids today are carrying the torch for the far left. The same horrific hatred and antisemitism is rearing its ugly head again empowered by our weak feckless government all the way from President Biden, Governor Hochul, Mayor Adams down to Schools Chancellor Banks.  Just like Germany in 1933, under the unstable Weimar Republic, our government today is hopeless to put an end to the antisemitic persecution and save the Jews. After the Weimar Republic, came the death camps. Saying “Never Again” requires an understanding of history.

Just like Nazi Germany, these radicalized young people are the product of decades of anti-American, anti-Israel, and Marxist indoctrination in the classroom, now known as critical race theory, or in Orwellian terms, diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).  These kids are the same radicalized leftists who burned down the major cities of America, toppled statues, looted businesses, and injured hundreds of police officers in the Geroge Floyd riots, only today as one commentator put it, they wear keffiyehs. To these radicalized kids, who grew up schooled in CRT, rather than critical thinking, the settler-colonialist oppressor Israel, is committing genocide against the helpless victims, the Palestinians.

Immediate Actions to be Taken

Expel radicalized student ringleaders to stop antisemitic hate. We call for action to hold those responsible public officials accountable for the antisemitic student riot, starting with New York City Schools Chancellor David Banks, and the administrators of Hillcrest High School. The mob of 400 rioters was led by possibly 5 to 10 ringleaders who were directly responsible for inciting the mayhem. We call on Hillcrest principal Scott Milczewski, Chancellor Banks and the DOE to identify and expel these 10 or so ringleaders. Criminally charge the ones over 18 for harassment and hate crimes. Expulsion, not restorative justice or temporary suspension is the way to set an example to the rest of the student body of the city to prevent further mob violence and potential antisemitism.

End the far left control of the UFT. The union is responsible for supporting the safety and welfare of its teachers, and historically has done so. However, the UFT and its president Michael Mulgrew were silent on protecting this tormented Jewish teacher. The UFT is terrified of its far left wing and chooses silence so as not to offend them.  The Movement of Rank-and-File Educators, a caucus of the New York City UFT is a group of radical Marxist, anti-American teachers, in control of the UFT, who have co-sponsored pro-Hamas rallies along with Democratic Socialists (DSA). We call on President Mulgrew to do his job, and visit Hillcrest HS and speak up on behalf of his embattled teacher and ensure her safety and constitutional rights are protected. There certainly would be a vocal outcry if the same happened to any teacher of another racial group. He must insist on an addition to DOE policy, the protection of Jewish teachers from harm in every school, and the protection of their constitutional free speech rights and religious liberty. A teacher who chooses to attend a pro-Israel rally should be free from harm and fear.

Teach history so we aren’t doomed to repeat it. We call on every High School in NYC as a requirement to spend one week studying the history of antisemitism and the Holocaust.  This was a required part of the World History curriculum, but nowadays, the study of this fundamental pillar of our history education has been abandoned, and the consequences are alarming.  We learn history as the expression goes, so as not to be doomed to repeat it. Give our kids this essential background before they riot and attack Jewish teachers and fellow students out of ignorance amplified by youthful passion.

NYC Schools Chancellor David Banks at Hillcrest HS. Photo: Dennis A. Clark

Fire Chancellor Banks Immediately. Overall, Chancellor Banks has been unsuccessful in improving our failing school system, but now he is guilty of dereliction of duty for his week-long silence after the student riot.  Only after the story “Queens HS Chaos” appeared in the NY Post did he break his silence and hold a hollow press conference. He stated, “This notion that this place, these kids are radicalized and antisemitic is the height of irresponsibility,” essentially scoffing at the urgency of confronting violent antisemitism and concern for teacher’s safety. He further excused the student mob’s hate and havoc saying that they “feel a kindred spirit with the folks of the Palestinian community. This is a very visceral and emotional issue for them.” He downplayed the seriousness of the issue, saying the teacher was safe, as if to say the Nazi’s don’t really intend to hurt the Jews. He said that this is a “teachable moment” and that the kids should openly talk about it. But this is madness to allow the kids to speak their minds freely as they do daily on TikTok without adequate background knowledge. These kids need to learn history first to dispel the dark clouds of ignorance. Bank’s solution is the folly of restorative justice, instead of suspension, but a good chancellor would summarily expel the ringleaders and protect the safety and constitutional free speech rights of his teachers. Every teacher’s constitutional freedoms, of speech, religion, and assembly, should be protected like that of any citizen, which Banks has failed to do. Banks is totally incompetent and unfit for the job. He has to go.

Fire Hillcrest Principal Scott Milczewski Immediately. Principal Milczewski’s foremost job is the safety and security of his teachers and students, and in that regard he has failed miserably.  He was silent after his student’s destructive rioting until the media and chancellor came to shine the spotlight on his school a week later.  He knew there were problems brewing and did nothing to stop them. In fact, he was informed by the Jewish teacher before the riot occurred that she could be targeted. A week earlier, school safety agents were violently attacked by four students, and a day after the riot, an 18-year-old student was arrested for making threats of widespread harm and charged with aggravated harassment. With all this chaos in his school, the principal failed to protect the safety and constitutional rights of a teacher, whose life was threatened, and feared for her safety at school, therefore Principal Milczewski needs to be fired.

Shut Down Hillcrest HS. The high school needs to be shuttered until the safety of all students, teachers, custodial staff, medical team, lunchroom workers, and school safety officers are totally secured. Shut down the school and send the kids to other schools. There is no plan. You can’t deploy 50 cops to patrol the building forever.  The school can’t open after a riot of this magnitude, until there is plan in place to discipline the 400 student rioters and ensure the safety of all.

The sabotage of our schools and the youth of America by the radical left has taken place over 60 years. We can’t expect to instantly take back our schools and our country’s institutions after the notorious leftwing “long march through the institutions” has been successfully completed. But this is the start of the counter-revolution. The antisemitic riot at Hillcrest HS was very similar to the German pogroms, or violent attacks on Jews throughout Germany in the 19th century. They were led by angry student mobs shouting “Hep! Hep!” meaning “Jerusalem is destroyed.” They studied in the finest German schools and universities where they were incited to violence by radical indoctrination in the classroom to philosophies of German nationalist supremacy treating Jews as parasites and vermin living off their generous European hosts. This was the precursor to National Socialist (Nazi) ideology and the Holocaust.

History is doomed to repeat itself unless we learn our lessons, and start the counter-revolution immediately by stopping the spread of virulent antisemitism here and now. This is our Never Again moment.

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