Dhabah "Debbie" Almontaser, principal of the soon-to-be-opened Khalil Gibran International Academy in Brooklyn, has resigned.
Almontaser was hanging on to her job despite critics’ assertions that the Arabic school would be a "jihadi academy," insisting that the school would not be a hotbed of terrorist sympathizers. Then, a few days ago, Almontaser defended a T-shirt, reading "Intifada NYC" on its front, created by an organization to which she has close ties. Intifada, she said, meant "shaking off." While that may be technically correct, the word is universally associated with the Yasser Arafat led campaign of warfare against Israel that began in 2000.
The next day she apologized, but the damage was done. Yesterday Randi Weingarten, head of the teachers’ union, ripped Almontaser for her defense of the word. Today. she’s out of a job.
Not soon enough for City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (pictured), a leading critic of the school. "We do not yet know the
full extent of Ms. Almontaser’s involvement in this scandal, but I believe this
is the right decision," said Vallone. "No
principal in our schools should even give the impression to our impressionable
youth that they support violence."