Great Neck North High School students host walkout in support of Israel

Great Neck North High School students host walkout in support of Israel
Students at Great Neck North High School hosted a walkout Tuesday in support of Israel. (Photo by Karina Kovac)

In a display of solidarity with Israel and the Israeli Defense Force, students from Great Neck North High School walked out on Tuesday.

The event, organized by the student body, aimed to bolster awareness, support and funds for the Israel Defense Force, raising $2,000 through the sale of “anti-Jew hate” T-shirts. Worn by the students during the walkout.

The students came together to address the ongoing conflict, with one student emphasizing that the war should be framed as “not between Israel and Palestine, but rather Israel and Hamas.”

Since Oct. 7, Israel has been at war with the terrorist group Hamas.

The conflict has escalated, with Israel ordering a complete siege on Gaza, blocking delivery of electricity, food, fuel, and water until Hamas releases nearly the 200 hostages it is holding.

The conflict has resulted in significant casualties, with at least 2,750 people killed and more than 9,700 injured in Gaza, according to Palestinian officials. The death toll from the conflict so far has risen to at least 1,400 people killed in Israel and nearly 2,700 people killed in Gaza.

The student expressed concerns about Hamas’s intentions, stating, “Hamas is going to eradicate the Jewish people in the state of Israel. In order to achieve this, their actions have led to both Israelis and Palestinians losing their lives. Israelis have faced numerous inhumane conditions, making the situation not political at all, but rather a human rights issue. Regardless of one’s political stance or religion, it’s important to realize the humanitarian violations that Hamas has committed, such as kidnapping children, murdering families, raping women.”

Another student highlighted the multifaceted nature of the conflict, saying, “There’s a physical war occurring as well as a social media war.” They emphasized the importance of distinguishing “good versus evil, civilization versus barbarism.”

“I’m very proud of the unity shown by our students today,” Superintendent of Schools Kenneth Bossert said.

Nassau County Legislator Mazi Pilip expressed her pride in the students for their initiative and support for Israel.

Pilip said the impact of the conflict extended beyond Israel, with about 25 American citizens killed and more held hostage by Hamas. She emphasized the need to bring the hostages home.

Village of Great Neck Mayor Pedram Bral said he hopes many of the students will attend Ivy League colleges.

But he cautioned them.

“One thing is certain,” Bral said. “Our Ivy League universities have been infiltrated with uneducated antisemites, who have made notable statements from top to bottom against the State of Israel and savagery that happened.”

Bral urged the students to stand unified.

“Today, we all should stand proud and say we are all Jews, regardless of our religion,” he said.

One student speaking at the walkout underlined the importance of recognizing not only the atrocities but also the stories of resilience, unity, and power.

“We’re all here under one common belief, and that is community and religion,” said another student. “We want justice, and that is why all of you are here, for something greater than yourself.”

A third student spoke of the universality of the cause.

“You don’t have to be Israeli; you just have to be human, to care, to love, and to take a stance,” the student said.

“Just as you asked your parents, ‘where were you when 9/11 happened? And what did you do?’ the student said. “Just as you ask your grandparents, your great grandparents. ‘Where were you when the Holocaust happened.’ Your children will ask you, ‘What did you do to support the victims of the biggest terror attack since 9/11?’”

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