FROM OUR PRINTED FEB. 2020 EDITION
Newton’s Anti-Jewish Curriculum Scandal
Makes it to the Pages of The New York Times
by Americans for Peace & Tolerance
In a groundbreaking New York Times op-ed, two prominent Reform rabbis describe the workings of a movement to demonize Israel now widely found in high school curricula across the nation.
They identified the anti-Israel high school curriculum at Newton Public Schools as part of “a much bigger problem” across the country: “Anti-Israel activism has spread beyond the college campus and into the elementary and high school classroom,” they write.
The rabbis caution: “A hateful obsession with Israel too often descends into hatred of Jews, even if it doesn’t start there.”
For the past nine years, Americans for Peace & Tolerance (APT) and fellow grassroots Jewish groups have fought to counter anti-Israel and anti-Semitic curricula in Newton Public Schools which is funded in part by Arab petro dollars. This, while Boston’s establishment Jewish groups — including the ADL, CJP, and JCRC — deny that the problem exists. The New York Times article is not the last word on the topic. Stay tuned.
Here are some excerpts:
“We recently spoke to some 500 high school students, teachers and administrators at Ethical Culture Fieldston School in the Bronx. As the senior rabbis of two major Reform synagogues with which dozens of Fieldston families are affiliated, we presented the Jewish community’s perspectives on the surge in anti-Semitic incidents in our area and throughout the country. …We also addressed the controversy that had erupted in the aftermath of Fieldston’s November assembly, in which a guest speaker equated Israelis with Nazis and asserted that Israelis are an example of ‘victims becoming the perpetrators.’ Several hours after we spoke last week, Fieldston fired a teacher who had posted tweets demonizing Zionism. Students reported that while we were speaking, the teacher flipped a middle finger at one of us.”
“…We are deeply worried about the effect that hatred of Israel has on students.”
“…The events at Fieldston have broad importance, and are reflective of a much bigger problem. Anti-Israel activism has spread beyond the college campus and into the elementary and high school classroom. In Newton, Mass., a high school taught that Israel was ‘murdering and torturing Palestinian women.’”
“A hateful obsession with Israel too often descends into hatred of Jews, even if it doesn’t start there. …Anti-Israel activity on some college campuses has led to verbal and even physical assaults on Jewish students. And we must be honest with ourselves. It is happening in our space — in the heart of intellectual liberalism.”
“Jewish parents should be especially worried. … Academic malpractice is unfolding with too little pushback from parents and community leaders.”
“… Schools need to respond — and so do the communities they serve…”
You can read the entire article at www.nytimes.com/2020/01/16/opinion/antisemitism-college.html. ♦