'We Only Want One Side to Stop Fighting': Meet the Minneapolis Public School Teacher Who Called For Israel's Eradication at Socialist Rally

Meredith Aby-Keirstead celebrated Hamas 'freedom fighters' at event commemorating 'past socialist revolutions'

Meredith Aby-Keirstead (YouTube/@meredithaby-keirstead1689)
November 1, 2023

A Minneapolis public school teacher called for the eradication of the Jewish state during an event commemorating "past socialist revolutions," stating that she does not support a "complete ceasefire" in Israel because she "only want[s] one side to stop fighting."

Meredith Aby-Keirstead—a social studies teacher at Kennedy High School in suburban Minneapolis—spoke at an Oct. 21 Freedom Road Socialist Organization panel, which aimed to contrast "China's socialist policies to the imperialist agenda of the United States." During her speech, however, Aby-Keirstead steered the conversation away from China, opting instead to praise the "wins of Palestinian freedom fighters" and advocate for terrorism against Israelis.

"When I hear people calling for a complete ceasefire, I think, 'No, that's not quite right,'" Aby-Keirstead said. "Because we only want one side to stop fighting." The social studies teacher went on to chant, "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free," a rallying cry for the Jewish state's destruction.

Aby-Keirstead's support for Hamas's ongoing attacks against the Jewish state shows that American K-12 schools are not immune from the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rhetoric exploding on college campuses following the terror group's Oct. 7 assault.

Aby-Keirstead, who has worked as a Bloomington Public Schools teacher since 1997, is an active member of a number of far-left activist groups, including the Freedom Road Socialist Organization's Twin Cities chapter and the Anti-War Committee. Last week, both the public school teacher and her 14-year-old daughter were arrested for trespassing at an anti-Israel rally held at Rep. Betty McCollum's (D., Minn.) office, the St. Paul Police Department confirmed. Aby-Keirstead and other rally goers said they would not leave until they got to "speak with the representative about her silence on the loss of Palestinian lives."

Aby-Keirstead has also served as spokeswoman of the Anti-War Committee, a Minneapolis-based group that says its "main campaign is to end U.S. aid to Israel." In 2015, she helped the committee organize a protest that saw anti-Israel demonstrators shout down a Jewish professor during a lecture at the University of Minnesota. "I can't just stand by and watch the university hire a war crimes apologist to come and speak here," the public school teacher told the school's campus newspaper at the time.

In 2010, meanwhile, the FBI raided the homes of Aby-Keirstead and other Anti-War Committee and Freedom Road Socialist Organization activists as part of a terrorism investigation. The committee refused to cooperate with the investigation, and the FBI went on to rescind subpoenas issued to Aby-Keirstead and other committee members. Aby-Keirstead told the World Wide Socialist Website that investigators were seeking her testimony about meetings she held "with activists in Colombia and Palestine," and unsealed court documents later alleged that two Freedom Road Socialist Organization members told an undercover FBI informant that they raised money for terrorist groups in the two countries.

Neither Aby-Keirstead nor Kennedy High School returned requests for comment.

Aby-Keirstead's pro-Hamas speech at the Oct. 21 panel was revealed by the Freedom Road Socialist Organization's blog, Fight Back! News. That blog in 2015 expressed support for convicted Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh, who was involved in the 1969 bombing of a Jerusalem supermarket. The organization itself works to create "a new Communist Party based on Marxism-Leninism" and on Oct. 9 praised Hamas's attack on Israel as a "good turn of events."

"Israel, the U.S. government, and much of the media promotes [sic] the idea that the Palestinian resistance is somehow 'terrorist.' Nothing could be further from the truth," the organization said in a statement. "The Islamic Resistance Movement (HAMAS), the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and so many others represent the aspirations of a free people, Palestinians who insist on the end to occupation."

Aby-Keirstead's arrest outside of McCollum's office was not her first run-in with Minnesota police. The public school teacher was twice convicted of criminal trespass in 2002 and 2010, court filings reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon show. Those charges do not bar her from teaching in Bloomington Public Schools, as the district only considers felonies and child-related misdemeanors to be disqualifying offenses for prospective teachers.