Palm Beach Post Distorts Facts to Defend ‘River to the Sea’ Teacher
The leftist Palm Beach Post has come out with a new article stating that a pro “Palestinian” Palm Beach County school teacher who had “From the River to the Sea” posts on her Facebook page who was put on administrative leave has been “wronged” by State Representative Mike Caruso, R-West Palm Beach.
The reporter, who previously cited a Hamas source as fact, has wholly ignored the hundreds of other outraged Palm Beach residents and parents in Palm Beach County who are saying that they don’t support what they see as teacher Layaan Alhunaidi’s antisemitic, genocidal rhetoric.
The information in the Post article is biased and incorrect. The “reporter” gives a partial glimpse into the real story and hasn’t bothered to investigate facts that would give readers the truth they deserve. She appears to ignore facts that don’t support her narrative, and she’s done it more than once. In her latest article, Katherine Kokal states that:
Caruso accused the teacher of posting “from the river to the sea” on her Facebook page, a pro-Palestinian slogan that Israel’s supporters say is antisemitic and a call to destroy the state of Israel.
This was not an accusation; it was a fact, and there are screenshots to prove it.
She goes on to say that as of the day of Caruso’s letter, her public social media profiles did not contain the slogan, and her Facebook profile remains locked down in “private” mode. Caruso did not return a request for comment.
As stated in my Florida Jolt bio and many article disclaimers, I, Tracy Caruso, am married to State Representative Mike Caruso. Why am I pointing this out? I’m pointing it out because I read the Palm Beach Post article; I looked up from my computer and asked my husband if Kokal had called him for a comment. He then told me that no one had called him, and he would have had plenty to say that would have refuted every argument in this article. Of course, why get both sides of the story when he would destroy Kokal’s entire narrative? The representative has now been vindicated.
Kokal then gaslights her readers with a statement by a “Muslim leader” who appears to have a problem with Jews and Republicans.
Since the teacher has been placed on leave, president of the South Florida Muslim Federation Samir Kakli has called out what he says is a “double standard” for free speech on the Israel-Hamas conflict.
“Look at what the teacher said in this statement, (and) compare that to other statements that have been made by elected public officials on the other side,” Kakli said.
Kakli referred to an incident on the state House floor on Nov. 7 when Rep. Michelle Salzman (R-Pensacola) said, “All of them,” after Angie Nixon (D-Jacksonville) asked: “How many (dead Palestinians) will be enough?”
“Where is the outrage against Michelle Salzman?” Kakli said, adding that there is instead outrage over “this teacher who was asking for fairness and balance from the school district and leadership to protect Palestinian and Muslim students.” Salzman later said she was referring to Hamas militants, not Palestinian civilians.
First, it should be pointed out that Salzman clarified her statement, and Alhunaidi has yet to deny or clarify anything. Second, Kokal and Kakli might want to consider returning to school and learning what an analogy is. If a teacher had called for the mass extermination of any group of people in a school and looking into the incident had been ignored, that would be analogous to this situation. That is not even close to what happened here.
Alhunaidi had “From the River to the Sea” social media posts, which were a call to destroy and wipe out Jews. The meaning of that statement is clear. This teacher called for the genocide of Jews. The question is, is she spouting these dangerous ideas in the classroom? That’s what’s being investigated.
Once Florida Jolt’s Jack Furnari made her posts public on Florida Jolt, Alhunaidi got rid of the incriminating photos on her Facebook page. Unfortunately for her, screenshots are forever, and the screenshots were published in Jack’s article. Despite the evidence, Kokal stated in her Palm Beach Post article that there were no pictures on the Facebook page, as though there’s no evidence the images exist. You can look at them all in this article, which will be sent to Kokal as soon as this is published.
Kokal’s article suggests that the images may or may not exist despite clear evidence that they do exist.
Kokal’s biased headline claims that what is going on with this teacher is unjust and it’s an “open and shut” free speech case. Of course, Florida teachers have guidelines that they must adhere to. No, they can’t call for genocide on their social media posts, and no, they can’t say anything they feel like to children in the name of free speech. Kokal and the Palm Beach Post may want to check what’s currently going on with the University of Pennsylvania President, who resigned due to an outcry over her callous, pro-terrorist remarks.
It’s bad enough that educators like this expose college students to rhetoric like this, but a fifth-grade teacher doing this is dangerous. If the Palm Beach County school board allows Alhunaidi to continue teaching, the public will not accept it. Many will take their school vouchers and pull their children out of public school.
Kokal wrote a personal opinion as fact and eludes the truth. If I had children in this teacher’s class, I would pull them out immediately. Nobody advocating for the elimination of the State of Israel should have the chance to indoctrinate our children.
This article is a stain on The Palm Beach Post, its editors, and its fact-checkers if they even have any. The Post has a mostly Democrat readership, and many of them stand with Israel. I would strongly suggest that the Post consider changing its tune to avoid losing what little readership it has.
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