Seattle Public Schools board member calls Israel a “right-wing apartheid force”


Parents Defending Education submitted a public records request to Seattle Public Schools in October 2023 seeking any emails from board members or the superintendent discussing the terrorist attack Hamas committed against Israel that month for the two weeks after it happened. The district provided PDE with the first batch of emails in April 2024 and explained that PDE would receive the next batch of emails in September 2024.

One email that PDE received was from board member Eliza Rankin dated October 13, 2023. A concerned parent had responded to the superintendent’s message to the community regarding the terrorist attack. This parent condemned Black Lives Matter and pointed out the organization’s questionable behavior in the past.

Eliza Rankin responded that she was “a Jewish person who fights for racial equity” and that the district “has no affiliation to the organization.” However, she then expressed her support for the Black Lives Matter movement. This board member, with pronouns in her email signature, then attacked Israel as an “apartheid” state:

Hamas is a terrorist organization that does not represent the Palestinian people. The Israeli government is a right-wing apartheid force that does not represent Jewish people.

PDE also received an email dated October 11, 2023, that included talking points for the district, including about Israel and Hamas. Notably, the talking points include “Filipinx Heritage Month” where the district appears to refuse to use the actual grammatically correct term “Filipino.” The Israel talking points refuse to condemn Hamas. The talking points just state: “While we as individuals hold different opinions about the conflict and complex history of Israel and Palestine, anti-Semitic or Islamophobic speech or acts will never be tolerated in our district.”