Jewish middle school teacher in Georgia threatens to decapitate student over comment on Israeli flag inside the classroom
12/20/2023 // Belle Carter // Views

A Jewish teacher from Warner Robins Middle School in Georgia was arrested for reportedly threatening to cut the head off a female student after she criticized his decision to fly an Israeli flag in his classroom.

Benjamin Reese, a Grade 7 Social Studies teacher, was arrested on Dec. 8 after the incident was reported by another teacher at the school, who saw Reese yelling at the students the day prior, according to the Houston County Sheriff's Office.

As per the police report, at around 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 7, a deputy was on duty when he was informed Reese threatened a child's life. The said student had pointed at the Israeli flag and asked the teacher why the Israeli flag was hanging in his classroom. Reese reportedly responded by saying "that he was Jewish and has family members that still live there." The student allegedly expressed that she found the flag offensive as "Israelis were killing the Palestinians." It was unclear whether the student was referring to the Israeli actions in Gaza in the ongoing war against Hamas. The incident report further included that the student was saying that the teacher "was trying to keep her from leaving and demanded to know who she was and who was her first-period teacher."

Neighboring classes heard Reese yell, "You don't make an antisemitic comment like that to a Jew!" and "You motherf*****g piece of s**t! I'll kick your a**. I should cut your motherf*****g head off." A witness said the girl and the other students left the classroom, but Reese followed them down the hallway. The same witness said the teacher was later seen returning to his classroom, cursing extremely loudly and saying "I will drag her a** into the parking lot, slit her f*****g throat and kill her."

A deputy at the school interviewed the witnesses and they confirmed they heard Reese make similar statements. They included other teachers, staff members and students who were in class for tutoring or after-school detention. The student with her friends was reported to walk away from the teacher visibly upset while some teachers even expressed fear for their safety following the incident.

When the principal reportedly confronted Reese, he became agitated, asserted his civil rights and then left. An audio less CCTV footage of the hallway was also recovered by police. It showed Reese yelling down the hallway and heading back into his classroom.

The middle school teacher was later arrested and has been released on bond set at $2,500 for the terroristic threat charge and $5,000 for the charge of cruelty to children in the third degree. According to school officials, the teacher has not been on the school campus since Dec. 7 and the safety and well-being of the students and staff is their number one priority. (Related: Biden condemns antisemitism, claims to be a Zionist as he professes continued military support for Israel.)

Report: Israelis being 'unofficially boycotted' in global academia

Meanwhile, the National Council for Civilian Research and Development sent a letter to Israel’s unicameral legislature Knesset's Science and Technology Committee Chairman Prof. Peretz Lavie and policy advisor Debbie Kaufman, to report that there has been "a quiet unofficial boycott of Israeli researchers'' in Western academia.

According to the correspondence, the ban poses "dangers to Israel's scientific standing and could harm its economy." As per the paper, the scientific research ties between Israel and the world are reflected in the exchange of researchers within the framework of agreements with academies across the world, in scientific conferences, the provision of sponsorships for prestigious programs and post-graduate scholarships, international scientific organizations and active membership in international research facilities. And these provide recognition, familiarity, exposure and international scientific standing. So now that they are being boycotted, the Israeli economy could be affected as it relies on scientific capabilities as a start-up country. The council points out that "over the years, Israel, despite the scientific recognition it receives, fights for its scientific rights in the face of antisemitism."

"Israel is being subjected to an unusual wave of antisemitism, and there is a rise in hatred towards Jews and Israelis. Since Oct. 7, a sort of quiet boycott of Israeli researchers has begun, of the kind that has never been seen before. This boycott is reflected in the cancellation of invitations to joint conferences, the rejection of articles for publication, the rejection of grants to Israeli researchers, and more," the paper included.

The council is now calling on the government to take immediate steps to address threats to Israel's scientific standing. They have urged the government to "not cut research budgets of the Ministry of Science and the Council for Higher Education; strengthen the bi-national foundations that support joint research with researchers from countries around the world; call for Israeli and leading Jewish scholars abroad to move to Israel and strengthen support for their absorption; and allocate designated funds for international scientific conferences in Israel for the hosting of foreign scientists and for Israeli scholars to travel to conduct research abroad.

They appealed that Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack and Israel’s war against Hamas must not "be a turning point in the level of research and Israel's scientific relations with other countries." has more stories related to this.

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