FIRST ON THE DAILY SIGNAL—Emails obtained by Parents Defending Education, a watchdog organization, show a Seattle school board member called Israel a “right-wing apartheid force” and praised the Black Lives Matter movement six days after Hamas’ terrorist attacks left over 1,200 dead in the Jewish state.

Eliza Rankin, the school board member for Seattle Public Schools, identifies herself as Jewish in the email sent Oct. 13 under the subject line “hate speech.” 

The terrorist organization Hamas, which is the elected government of the Gaza Strip adjoining Israel, massacred over 1,200 civilians in the Oct. 7 incursion into southern Israel. Hamas also kidnapped over 200 Israeli, American, Argentinian, Thai, Filipino, French, German, and Irish citizens.

In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, Black Lives Matter chapters throughout the United States praised what they described as a righteous pushback against Israel’s “colonialism.”

In a “Superintendent Talking Points” document dated Oct. 11 and obtained by Parents Defending Education, Seattle Public Schools describes Filipinos as “Filipinx,” a term described by many Filipino nationals and immigrants as extremely offensive.

Black Lives Matter’s Chicago chapter posted imagery on X praising Hamas paragliders who jumped into the Nova music festival on the Israeli side of the Israel-Gaza border and mowed down attendees with automatic weapons.

After prompting worldwide outrage, the BLM chapter deleted its tweet.

Other BLM chapters posted similar celebrations of Hamas’ terrorist attacks and attempted to draw parallels between what they see as oppressed Palestinians in Gaza and blacks in the United States.

On Oct. 12, five days after Hamas’ terrorist attacks in Israel, Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Brent Jones posted a message about “International Conflict” for parents and students in Washington’s largest school district.

Jones described the “situation” in Israel and Gaza as “complex” and “emotionally and politically charged.” The school superintendent didn’t condemn any terrorist act, instead suggesting that “it is acceptable that we as individuals hold different opinions about the conflict and complex history of Israel and Palestine.”

Jones then wrote: “Antisemitic or Islamophobic speech or acts will never be tolerated in our district.”

According to emails obtained by Parents Defending Education under the Freedom of Information Act, one parent reached out to Seattle’s school superintendent to ask about the school district’s connections to Black Lives Matter following the BLM chapters’ pro-Hamas posts.

Rankin, the school board member, responded in the Oct. 13 email that she is “a Jewish person who fights for racial equity” and that Seattle Public Schools “has no affiliation to the [Black Lives Matter] organization.” 

In the email, Rankin calls Hamas “a terroist [sic] organization that does not represent the Palestinian people.”

She proceeds to pledge her support for the Black Lives Matter movement and describe “the Israeli government” as a “right-wing apartheid force that does not represent the Jewish people.”

This assertion is objectively false, according to news reports.

On Oct. 11, liberal and centrist Israeli party leaders and officials joined Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a conservative, to form a “unity government” during the Israel-Hamas war that erupted after the attacks.

Hamas was elected in 2006 by popular vote in Gaza and continues to receive majority support of the civilian population, according to every available poll

The response by Seattle Public Schools officials to the terrorist attacks and Israel’s military retaliation appears to be part of a growing trend of an anti-Israel revision of history in America’s public schools. Similar incidents  include Berkeley High School’s anti-Israel social studies lessons in California.

But this isn’t the only time that Seattle Public Schools has been at the center of an antisemitism controversy.

Ian Golash, social studies chairman at Seattle’s Chief Sealth International High School, was suspended April 19 after a report by Adam Guilette of Accuracy in Media, a conservative investigative group.

Guillete recorded Golash as he said Hamas’ Oct. 7 attacks in Israel were justified and that there was no evidence of rape at the Nova music festival, where Hamas terrorists killed at least 370 attendees.

Erika Sanzi, director of outreach for Parents Defending Education, described the anti-Israel sentiment as a result of school districts deciding that it’s “OK to vilify and demean certain groups.”

In a written statement Thursday to The Daily Signal, Sanzi said:

K-12 education has an anti-Israel problem that often slides into antisemitism. It’s not that every school board or school administrator holds anti-Jewish views—the problem is that enough do for it to be a real problem. 

I am not shocked by what this [Seattle school] board member said because there have been countless similar examples since Oct. 7, and even long before that. When governing bodies view Jews as oppressors, it becomes a crisis for that school district. We are seeing what happens when school districts decide that it’s OK to vilify and demean certain groups. Seattle has allowed this to fester far too long.

Seattle Public Schools has not responded to The Daily Signal’s request to verify the emails and documents provided by Parents Defending Education by publication time.