OpinionIsrael at War

Anti-Israel indoctrination in US schools

The brainwashing doesn’t start in college.

Illustrative image of a classroom. Photo: Lopolo/Shutterstock
Illustrative image of a classroom. Photo: Lopolo/Shutterstock
Ron Machol
Ron Machol
Ron Machol is the COO of Zachor Legal Institute, an organization using the law and activism to combat antisemitism. He can be reached at ron@zachorlegal.org.

There are regular news accounts of children in Gaza being indoctrinated via United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA) schools to dehumanize Jews, while portraying Israel as completely lacking in legitimacy. The role this played in the Oct. 7 Hamas massacre may well have been decisive.

IMPACT-se is the leading organization making this terror indoctrination in Gaza and Palestinian Authority schools accessible to English-speaking audiences. You can find examples on their website.

Most Americans I know, when they hear about the brainwashing of Palestinian youth, shake their heads and find it unbelievable that schools would engage in such actions, which are clearly detrimental to students. It is seen as the behavior of backwards third-world nations.

For Jewish Americans, it is even more difficult to accept, as the target of violence caused by this terror-related instruction is invariably Israel.

These same Americans are even more shocked to discover that similar incidents of indoctrination masquerading as education are occurring throughout the U.S.

Ethnic studies curriculums in K-12 schools, especially in California, are presenting as facts extremely defamatory misinformation about the Jewish state. This is not by chance or a case of a biased teacher here or there, but rather an organized effort by ethnic studies advocates nationwide.

The Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Consortium (LESMCC) is leading efforts to impose Critical Race Theory (CRT)-based ethnic studies courses on as many schools as possible in California and around the country. Inherent in LESMCC’s philosophy is that Israel is a racist endeavor, wreaking havoc for Arabs in “Palestine.” Unfortunately, supporters of the LESMCC are finding a large quantity of school districts receptive to their discriminatory propositions.

Are you aware of what public schools are teaching our children about Israel’s current war with the genocidal jihadist terror group Hamas?

We have heard examples of schools throughout the country teaching that there is a moral equivalence between the two sides of the war and that each side is equally at fault. This is an abomination.

California has mandated such ethnic studies as a graduation requirement for high school students and school districts are now starting to build the content for these courses.

Chillingly, many California school districts are introducing ethnic studies by using “whites as colonizer/settler/oppressor” models, with minority students being the victims. They often include Arab Americans as one of these minorities. This does not educate students but indoctrinates them with an ideology.

We know that some schools are taking the next step, teaching that Jews are “white” and Israel is colonizing/oppressing the indigenous Arabs of Palestine. All of this is not only wrong, it gets the facts backwards.

In addition, the University of California (UC) public universities are considering adding an ethnic studies admissions requirement. A letter co-signed by 115 organizations urged UC decision-makers to take a good look at those on the UC Ethnic Studies Faculty Council who are promoting this new admissions requirement. UC faculty who cannot acknowledge that the Oct. 7 Hamas massacre was terrorism and a crime against humanity, and state that anti-Zionism and the elimination of the Jewish state are core values of their discipline, cannot be trusted to establish state-wide ethnic studies standards for California students.

What will students think about Israel and Jews if this is what they are taught? The next generation doesn’t learn to see the world this way at universities. The brainwashing begins much earlier in their elementary and high schools.

If you’ve heard the messaging at pro-Hamas rallies being held throughout the country, the slanders directed at Israel are identical to what is being taught in these ethnic studies courses: oppressor, settler and colonizer. See, for example, the Santa Ana Unified School District and the Jefferson Union High School District.

The California Education Code requires that instructional materials be accurate, objective and free of bias. Whatever else one thinks of LESMCC, its material is clearly biased, inaccurate and intentionally subjective to the point of being sectarian propaganda. Schools that are offering one-sided anti-Israel content from LESMCC and others are therefore violating California educational codes as well as federal law.

Subjecting children to political biases is wrong, both in Palestinian-controlled territories and in the U.S. It is critical that everyone concerned make themselves aware of ethnic studies courses being taught in K-12 school districts and take action to ensure that anti-Israel lies are not being taught to their or anyone else’s children.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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