(JNS.org) The advocacy group Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT) on Thursday released a video (see below) that sounds the alarm on a Boston University-affiliated high school workshop that APT says attempts “to indoctrinate students, especially Jewish students, against the state of Israel.”
While Axis of Hope (AOH) claims that its mission is “developing in young adults an understanding of alternative, non-violent approaches to resolving complex conflicts locally, nationally and internationally,” AOH’s “Whose Jerusalem?” workshop runs mock negotiating exercises that specifically select Jewish students for roles that try to get them to empathize with Hamas, the Palestinian terror group whose charter calls for Israel’s destruction and the murder of all Jews.
Carl Hobert, AOH’s founder, has admitted to receiving guidance for the workshop from anti-Israel professors Noam Chomsky (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and Denis Sullivan (Northeastern University), according to APT. Hobert has told the Al Jazeera broadcaster that one of the workshop’s goals is “putting pressure on our government to create a Palestinian state.”
AOH has worked in at least 28 high schools across the U.S., which are listed on its website at http://www.axisofhope.org/index.php/testimonials/clients. The 27-minute film by Boston-based APT, titled “Axis of Bias @ Weston High School,” focuses on AOH’s presence at Weston High School because APT received outreach from a concerned individual in that area.
APT President Charles Jacobs explained that while Jewish organizations are finally taking action on the threat of anti-Zionism on college campuses, the new film shows how “the poison that we now know is on the campuses” is also spreading on the high school level. Programs like AOH are “grooming these kids” in a way that by the time they reach college, “they’re already coming pre-heated against Israel,” Jacobs told JNS.org.
“Under the banner of global education, and peace studies, and conflict resolution, and activist diplomacy, all kinds of things are being brought into the schools that are anti-Israel,” Jacobs said. “This is one of the more egregious examples, and we’ve got it on film. We’ve shown this film around to people who are experts in education, and also to Jewish leaders in the city, and they’re absolutely appalled.”
Dr. Sandra Stotsky, former senior commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Education, said, “This is a must-see video for parents who care about their children’s education and want educators with academic integrity in the classroom.” Dr. Sandra Alfonsi, chair of the “Curriculum Watch” initiative at the women’s Zionist organization Hadassah, called AOH “a pedagogically flawed program by a self-styled guru of educational civil disobedience promoting anti-Israel propaganda to well-meaning students who want to bring peace to the world.”
The AOH website says that the initiative “is no longer conducting official teacher training sessions,” instead pointing visitors to new conflict resolution teacher training programs on the Boston University Global Literacy Institute website. Those programs are also led by Hobert.