The “Liberated Ethnic Studies” movement failed in its attempt to introduce “Teach-Palestine-only” in the curriculum of the “Ethnic Studies” course(s) for high-schools in California when governor Gavin Newsom vetoed it in 2021 due to its anti-Jewish content. However, it came back through a back door: A seemingly innocent resolution at the annual meeting of the National Education Association last July 2022, when it managed to pass the New Business Item (NBI) 13 at the closing day of the NEA meeting.
Through NBI 13, “Teach-Palestine-only” is back not only in California but now in all the 50 states of the Union, and not only in high-schools – California’s original intention – but in all grades, from kindergarten till high-school graduation.
The new May 2023 edition of my book “Boycott of Israel is Wrong: How to fight it” adds three more chapters to answer to this new situation. Let us first remind the reader what the NBI 13 says.
NEA’s NBI 13 states: “NEA will support members who educate students and other members about the history, geography, and current state of affairs of the Palestinian people. NEA will provide state affiliates with a clear protocol for members doing this work to utilize when they are under attack.”
NEA’s NBI 13 should be withdrawn or replaced by a new resolution that includes the perspectives of both sides of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The most effective way to fight against the NBI 13 is a two-pronged approach: bottom-up and top-down.
The bottom-up approach: Talk to teachers and local school boards. Remind them about the resolution HR 185 adopted by the US Congress in year 2008. HR 185 states: “Middle East refugee resolutions which include a reference to the Palestinian refugee issue must also include a similarly explicit reference to the resolution of the issue of the Jewish refugees from Arab countries.”
The story of the systematic legal and social discrimination against the Jewish minorities in the Arab countries, the pogroms they endured and the ethnic cleansing of almost one million Jews from the Arab countries, must be taught too. Israel was born as a nation of refugees. It emerged from the ruins of the Jewish communities in Europe and the Arab countries. This story must be told too.
Be inclusive! What were the proponents of the NBI 13 afraid of, that they had to include in the NBI 13 the strange phrase “NEA will provide state affiliates with a clear protocol for members doing this work to utilize when they are under attack.”? No one would feel afraid if both perspectives are presented and discussed in class.
Remind teachers and school boards about Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.” Jewish parents have the right to ensure that their children and the Jewish State are treated fairly and that the Jewish perspective is included when any aspect of the Arab-Israeli conflict is discussed in class. How can the US preach to respect the basic Universal Human Rights of people anywhere in the world where they live, if it cannot be inclusive and does not have the guts to apply them within the US too?
The top-down approach: Talk to your representatives in the US House and Senate. We should encourage the Senate to enshrine Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights into law, by adopting the recent House Resolution H.R.5, the “Parents Bill of Rights Act”. The present text of this resolution, as adopted by the House of Representatives, is not perfect, but through dialog between the two sides of aisle, Democrats and Republicans, a common text can be achieved and enshrined into US law. A Parents Bill of Rights signed into law will provide the needed legal tool for parents to defend their rights and their children’s rights against anti-Jewish indoctrination and hatred.
I also updated the companion book “Ethnic Studies in K12 schools: The Jewish module”, whose latest edition is now time-labeled “March 2023”. The format of this latter book stayed the same: it still consists of five chapters whose titles have not changed. But they are now enriched with multiple examples in the form of Appendices to each chapter.
The latest edition of the two books is available at Amazon. However, the two books can be downloaded for free at:
“Boycott of Israel is Wrong: How to fight it” (May 2023 edition):
“Ethnic Studies in K12 schools: The Jewish module” (March 2023 edition):