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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 8:51 pm 
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Is anyone aware that the Israeli Ambassador visited Birmingham yesterday. :shock:

Amongst the places he visited was King Edward VI Camp Hill School. Parents were only informed of this via email AFTER the visit! Unhappy with the school's stance, students from Camp Hill have written an open letter to the school:

https://m.facebook.com/notes/rida-vaqua ... =bookmarks

Parents have also written back to the school in response to the email expressing their disappointment at the School's position. If you know of anyone who has children that are at Camp Hill, it might be worth asking them to reply also, if they feel the same.

In the same week that 17 yr old Palestinian Marah al-Bakri was shot outside her school by 10 Israeli officers, Camp hill girls school had the Israeli ambassador down to speak to a select group of girls. His visit was kept secret and questions were censored. The girls of King Edward VI Camp hill feel they have been wronged and the public should be made aware. https://www.facebook.com/groups/9207418 ... 7/?fref=nf


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 9:43 pm 
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This is the letter to parents

Dear Parent

We had the opportunity to host a visit from the Israeli Ambassador to the UK today, Wednesday 14 October 2015. It was requested that the visit was not advertised prior to the event for security reasons. The Year 10 students who won the Civic Society competition last week, were invited to give their presentation on combatting racism in Birmingham to the Ambassador. The Years 12 & 13 Politics students and the Prefect Team were invited to listen to the Ambassador talk about the life of a diplomat and to discuss the difficulties in finding peace in the Middle East. The students were able to ask questions and they were amazing representatives of the School.


Clearly the opportunity to a host visitor with the high profile of Ambassador Na’eh is not without risks, however our mission in school is to educate our students to be the leaders of tomorrow and in doing that they need to be able to question the leaders of today.

I was immensely proud of the way in which the students challenged the Ambassador but also of the way they listened. If the visit has given one or two students thoughts about diplomatic service then that can only be a good outcome. I am sure that it has also been a tangible demonstration of the need for dialogue in a troubled and complex world.

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
Nelson Mandela



We found it ironic that they used a Nelson Mandela quote.....

Didn't he also say "We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians"?

Irrespective of political views, we were stunned at the lack of transparency and lack of consultation (we are after all the parents and these are our children).

Is there going to be a balanced debate in this school I.e representatives of both sides so girls can hold an informed view or is it that only one viewpoint matters? Surely the world can only change when both sides are listened to?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 9:55 pm 
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AtoZ wrote:
Is anyone aware that the Israeli Ambassador visited Birmingham yesterday. :shock:


Why are you shocked? Why shouldn't the Israeli Ambassador visit Birmingham? My son visited a synagogue in Birmingham whilst at primary so presumably some Jews live in the city.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 10:04 pm 
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This is a very sensitive issue.

In a democracy you need to sometimes allow expression of views which you may not agree with.I can think of the invitation to Julian Assange by the Cambridge Union and the programmes allowing expression to Edward Snowden.

In respect of the latter his actions will have lead and will lead to the deaths of UK citizens and its allies.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/com ... 07959.html

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In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.

Abraham Lincoln


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 10:10 pm 
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quasimodo wrote:
This is a very sensitive issue.

In a democracy you need to sometimes allow expression of views which you may not agree with.I can think of the invitation to Julian Assange by the Cambridge Union and the programmes allowing expression to Edward Snowden.

In respect of the latter his actions will have lead and will lead to the deaths of UK citizens and its allies.


Then surely the views of the girls should be allowed too? They weren't allowed to express their views to their guest. Everything was heavily censored by the school. I'm sure that if Julian Assange spoke at the Cambridge Union then there would have been the opportunity for healthy debate? In a democracy there should be expression and debate and this was sorely lacking. The open letter from the students themselves is very telling and goes against what the school wrote in their email to parents after the event.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 10:12 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 12:44 pm
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This forum is about the 11+ and so the topic of the ambassador is irrelevant. However, now that you bought it up I cannot resist giving my worthless opinion!

The security reason is sound because Israel is rightly seen as being in breach of international law regarding the occupied territories. Why invite a representative of a such a controversial 'state', is there no other ambassador who could have spoken to the girls about the same topic, I am sure there is. This is poor judgement by the Head, very poor indeed and I'll be writing to her to express my displeasure at her amateurish grasp of the politics.

My daughter goes to a GS school and my second is taking the test soon and I've now ruled out Camp Hill (not that she'll get that high a score anyway!).

PS: I'm not a Muslim.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 11:49 pm 
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Guest2014 wrote:

The security reason is sound because Israel is rightly seen as being in breach of international law regarding the occupied territories. Why invite a representative of a such a controversial 'state', is there no other ambassador who could have spoken to the girls about the same topic, I am sure there is. This is poor judgement by the Head, very poor indeed and I'll be writing to her to express my displeasure at her amateurish grasp of the politics.


Let's put aside ALL the political and moral concerns of inviting such a representative.
I'm dismayed by the complete lack of care or concern by the head for the safe guarding of the children! Yes, there was security for HIM. But what of the girls? Unfortunately there are some really messed up people out and about!


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 11:53 pm 
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Happy dad wrote:
AtoZ wrote:
Is anyone aware that the Israeli Ambassador visited Birmingham yesterday. :shock:


Why are you shocked? Why shouldn't the Israeli Ambassador visit Birmingham? My son visited a synagogue in Birmingham whilst at primary so presumably some Jews live in the city.



I'm sorry, you're possibly mistaken by why I'm shocked - it isn't the fact that he is Jewish. We happily mix with Jews and have Jewish friends.

And I am Muslim.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 4:21 am 
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Very naughty of the school to do this! So if this so called mission was about educating the leaders of tomorrow by letting the girls question the leaders of today ..... Why was everything censored??? In my opinion, this visit would only have been 'worth it' if the pupils got to have a no barred discussion/debate.
I think it was extremely poor judgment from the Head. Quite patronising really .... Even if the visit helped 1-2 girls it was a good outcome. Really?!!! What about the number of girls/parents it would have upset? Does that have no bearing, whatsoever? Think this visit did more harm than good. This is just way too sneaky for my liking! You have pupils who feel they've been wronged and also disappointed parents.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 4:23 am 
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Here is the Open letter from the pupils....

We, Camp Hill students and parents, past and present, want to express our immense disappointment that the School chose to host the Israeli Ambassador on Wednesday 14th October. This event, veiled in secrecy for “security reasons”, goes against the ethos of the Camp Hill community.
On a week where we heard of an Israeli air strike killing a pregnant woman and her child, when Netanyahu has authorised the sealing-off Palestinian areas of Jerusalem, to host an Israeli Ambassador is nothing less than the endorsement of a state that is currently undertaking what the United Nations has described as war crimes[1]
How can we meaningfully support education for all whilst hosting a representative of a state that bombs UN schools in Gaza? A state that bombs Gaza’s university? It is a gross insult to the 94% of schools in Gaza that are forced to operate on a ‘double shift’ system[2], to the students who are being denied a quality education as a direct result of the Israeli occupation and blockade, to then welcome the Israeli ambassador to a place of learning that they are being denied.
If the School wanted to introduce us to a potential career of a diplomat, it could have hosted a diplomat of a country that isn’t illegally occupying another. It could have hosted a diplomat whose state does not encourage voting against recognising the statehood of another country[3].
However, this is not to propose placing limitations on who the School can or cannot welcome, which is a choice at the school’s discretion.
What is truly shocking, for a school purportedly values its students, is how it actively prevented us challenging the Israeli Ambassador on the Israeli state’s record. This invitation could have provided the space for students to interrogate the Israeli state’s foreign policy. Instead it was a purposefully sedated affair.
To have hosted this event without informing all students, to have screened the questions beforehand, may have spared the Israeli Ambassador his shame but is a disgrace to the open spirit of debate that this school is supposed to cultivate.
In the future, the School should never prevent students from challenging the powerful and to achieve this, give all students the ability to protest invited speakers by informing all students beforehand.
We demand a formal explanation from the school as to why this happened.


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