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Parent files complaint against New Jersey education board official’s anti-Israel screeds

Board vice president Sahar Aziz, a Rutgers University professor, insists that she will use her position to accuse Israel of being a racist state.

Rutgers University professor Sahar Aziz at the “Religious Freedom Issues Facing American Muslims” panel of the 2018 Religious Freedom Annual Review. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Rutgers University professor Sahar Aziz at the “Religious Freedom Issues Facing American Muslims” panel of the 2018 Religious Freedom Annual Review. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Sahar Aziz, vice president of the Westfield Board of Education and a professor at Rutgers University, has expressed anti-Israel views on social media and by signing a public manifesto that calls Israel “apartheid” and refers to “racial supremacy of Jewish-Zionist nationals.”

That’s according to a formal complaint that Stephanie Siegel, a mother in Westfield, N.J., filed with the New Jersey School Ethics Commission. The Deborah Project assisted in the effort.

Aziz’s published views “grossly violate” the state requirement that education officials refrain from making remarks that suggest “apparent bias,” which might discourage the public from engaging with the board, according to the nonprofit Deborah Project.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus, legal director of the Deborah Project, told JNS that she is unsure whether Aziz has been able to implement antisemitic views in educational policy.

“Whether or not Aziz has yet followed through on her commitment to support BDS and insert the Palestinian narrative into policy in the Westfield School District as yet, the fact that she has committed to do that is enough to justify a complaint,” she said.

“What’s more, the inflammatory and false narrative attested to by Ms. Aziz in the manifesto she signed makes clear her animus towards Jews and the Jewish state,” added Lowenthal Marcus. “Such publicly expressed animus in a board of education member, let alone one who is an officer, violates both New Jersey law and common decency.”

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