A Muslim preschool teacher from Texas with Palestinian roots was fired after posting violently anti-Semitic comments on her social media feed.
A Texas pre-school teacher, fired on Wednesday for encouraging followers to “kill some Jews” on social media prior to her employment, expressed remorse for her offensive comments the next day.
Nancy Salem told the local Arlington news station CBS11 that she made her “racist and anti-Semitic” comments when she was a teenager, and that they “are not a reflection of the beliefs I hold today.”
“These statements were made at a time when I was not strong in my faith; nor do they reflect the family values of inclusivity and respect for all faiths that my parents have worked very hard to instill in us,” she said.
The young “often get involved with individuals that influence their behaviors and not always for the better, and I deeply regret having been influenced in such a way,” Salem said, adding that it “does not excuse my actions and I am truly sorry for the pain and hurt my words caused, especially to members of the Jewish faith.”
Citing her Muslim-American and Palestinian heritage, Salem said, “I am all too accustomed to being bullied and the target of hate speech, so the fact that I made such statements is even more offensive, because I should have known and acted with more compassion.”
Addressing her termination at The Children’s Courtyard pre-school, Salem said, “I take full responsibility for my past statements and respect the actions my employer took to address the concerns as a result.”
Salem was among 24 anti-Israel activists exposed earlier this month by covert campus watchdog group Canary Mission for expressing racist and violent sentiments online.
“Have a safe trip Lulu. I love you baby girl! See you in 3 weeks! Kiss the Palestine ground for me and kill some jews! <3 #IMissYouAlready,” she tweeted in 2013.
When Salem’s posts were exposed, The Children’s Courtyard Facebook page was inundated with messages from parents urging the pre-school to fire her.
“Absolutely appalled that Salem is teaching impressionable pre-schoolers,” Sierra Milton wrote. “She needs to be immediately terminated for racist incitement of murder.”
Maor Malul wrote, “How can you hire someone filled with such hatred to teach children?”
An activist associated with the University of Texas, Arlington chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and a supporter of the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, Salem used her now-disabled Twitter account to post remarks such as, “How many Jews died in the Holocaust? Not enough…HAHAHAHA” and “Gassed a Jew. I’m sweating. Heil.”