In the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas atrocities in Israel, Americans have become overwhelmingly aware of woke antisemitism on U.S. college campuses. According to JNS editor-in-chief Jonathan Tobin, however, an underreported aspect of the problem is that the same indoctrination that has created pro-Hamas mobs calling for Israel’s destruction and the genocide of Jews is happening in elementary and secondary schools.
Tobin is joined by Deborah Project legal director Lori Lowenthal Marcus, whose group assists parents dealing with antisemitic and anti-Israel discrimination, including litigation. Marcus says propaganda masquerading as educational material about the Middle East is being incorporated into instruction in K-12 schools by teachers who have been indoctrinated by critical race theory and intersectionality to believe that Israel and the Jews are “white oppressors.” This subjects Jewish students to bullying and antisemitism.
A major element of this trend that has spread across the country is the role of the teachers’ unions. Those political entities are immersed in the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) mindset that promotes lies in which Jewish history and facts about Jews being the indigenous people of the land of Israel are erased in favor of intersectional myths that ultimately justify or rationalize Hamas terrorism.
Just as troubling as teachers with free-speech rights to impose these toxic ideas on their students, says Marcus, is the failure of Jewish organizations to do anything about it. These leaders are supposed to be defending Jews against antisemitism, but too many of them are more interested in retaining their influence rather than fighting back. There needs to be accountability not just from the educational establishment but from Jewish leaders as well.
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