Pro-Palestinian Teachers ‘Deeply Disrespectful to all who Served’

The federal government and opposition have united in condemnation of a pro-Palestinian teachers’ group for “attacking our Anzac legacy’’.  On the eve of Anzac Day, federal Education Minister Jason Clare criticised the attack by the activist teachers on what they termed “Anzac mythology’’. “No one should be attacking our Anzac legacy,’’ Mr. Clare said. “It disrespects those that have fought and died in our name.’’ The federal Coalition also condemned the “deeply disrespectful and appalling actions’’ of the Teachers and School Staff for Palestine group, which is demanding the Anzac legend “be dismantled” and has linked killings by Anzac troops in World War I to the current Israeli-Gaza war. Opposition education spokeswoman Sarah Henderson said teachers should not be “indoctrinating’’ students. “The attempts to link the sacrifice of our Anzacs to this sort of activism is not only misguided but deeply disrespectful to the men and women who served our country,’’ she said. “Our classrooms should be places of objective learning, not indoctrination. It is not the role of educators to push political agendas or promote divisive ideologies.’’

Opposition veterans’ affairs spokesman Barnaby Joyce blamed the Albanese government for the “rise of anti-Anzac sentiment’’. “They are watering down the seminal day of the soul of our nation, which is Anzac Day,’’ he said. “If you live in this nation and benefit from the freedoms of this nation, then you better respect the people who fought and died, and those who were maimed, and their families who got turned upside down to give today’s generation the right to live life with all of our freedoms and liberties.’’ Mr. Joyce said Labor had made the Anzac Day public holiday optional for the nation’s 350,000 commonwealth public servants. “In this environment, it is little wonder radical teacher groups feel they have the green light to dilute the importance of Anzac Day in our classrooms,’’ he said. Mr. Clare said Anzac Day was “a day to come together, not to divide’’. “It’s not about celebrating war,’’ he told Radio 2GB. “It’s about remembering the sacrifices so many Australians made for us.’’

The pro-Palestine teaching group has distributed a 40-page “teaching resource’’ for classrooms, on its Facebook page. “In the lead up to the glorification of war of Anzac Day, this is useful resource … describing the Anzac massacre of a Palestinian village, that never gets talked about at school Anzac Day myth making ceremonies,’’ it stated. “In the midst of a new genocide, that we are not allowed to talk about in schools, Anzac Day tries to cement forgetting. We insist on remembering.” The pro-Palestine group has collated “resources for challenging Anzac Day’’, based largely on accounts of a vigilante attack on the Arab village of Sarafand al-Amar, also known as Surafend. The attack does not appear to be mentioned on the Australian War Memorial website but is described on the New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage history website. “Relations between the Anzac Mounted Division and Palestinian Arabs reached a new low early on 10 December 1918, when Trooper Leslie Lowry was shot dead after disturbing a thief in his tent,’’ it states.

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

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