The “Teach-Palestine” movement in the US
The fight for the new curricula in K12 (elementary and secondary) schools in California (and additional states in the US) regarding the contents of the new compulsory “Ethnic Studies” courses continues unabated.
In the latest annual meeting of the National Education Association (NEA) in Chicago, July 2022, three New Business Items (NBI) were introduced by the Teach-Palestine proponents .
NBI # 1 recommended to teach in K12 schools about the Israeli persecution of Palestinians, using sources such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and B’Tselem. It was defeated. A similar proposition (NBI # 9) was defeated by a narrower margin. A third proposition (NBI # 13) was approved. NBI # 13 affirms that “the NEA will support members who educate students and other members about the history, geography and current affairs of the Palestinian people.”
The NEA is the largest union in the US: they represent 3,000,000 teachers in elementary, middle and high schools (“K12” schools).
How to fight the “Teach Palestine” movement?
The Jewish organizations confronted this issue in the past by fighting against the introduction of the Palestine narrative in K12 schools altogether, arguing that it was full of anti-Semitic content (which was true). Although they initially had some success, this strategy cannot succeed in the long run (witness NBI # 13): apart from some vitriolic presentations, the “Teach Palestine” movement will become more sophisticated. The result will be that many new materials that will be considered as anti-Semitic by some, will be considered as valid positions by others.
The problem is compounded because just in California alone, there are about 1,000 school districts. Every one of them can develop its own curriculum for the mandatory “Ethnic Studies” course in their schools. School districts are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars of State funds to develop materials for this course and the proponents of the “Teach-Palestine” curricula are eagerly taking these funds to sustain themselves and develop the materials for the K12 school districts. And, frankly speaking, they are well organized at the state and national level, experienced, aggressive, and they do not find much competition for these State funds. The Jewish organizations will not be able to scrutinize in real-time the content of every “Ethnic Studies” course taught in the California public schools looking for inappropriate content.
The right strategy in the long term is to let the proponents of the “Teach-Palestine” curriculum to teach their unfiltered position to students in public schools, but request the teachers and school districts to present side-by-side to it also the Jewish perspective. I explain the rationale for this request in my book “Ethnic Studies in K12 schools: The Jewish module”. The book can be downloaded for free at:
(Check specially the Preface, at the beginning of my book, and the last chapter of the book, titled “Teach-Palestine curricula and Human Rights”).
Furthermore, the Jewish organizations could require that teachers unwilling to present the Jewish perspective side-by-side with the Palestinian perspective should not be allowed by their school districts to teach in mandatory “Ethnic Studies” courses that include a discussion of any aspect of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Schools that will not follow this policy might be sued for violating the Human Rights of Jewish parents and their children.
A concrete proposal
If you are a concerned Jewish parent or a teacher in a public school in the US, you can join other equal-minded parents and teachers and propose in your school district and in the next NEA meeting to adopt my book “Ethnic Studies in K12 schools: The Jewish module” as recommended text representing the Jewish perspective. I believe that the Jewish congregations and organizations in California will find my book as quite representative of their general thinking about Israel, the conflict with the Arab world and the path to achieve a durable peace.
School districts need not spend precious budgets nor reach for State funds: My book is already available and can be read and downloaded for free by teachers, students and the general public. It will always remain available and free. And anyone can make any number of copies of my book, and print and distribute them, if he/she wishes: he/she will not infringe into my copyrights.
My book is also widely accessible in additional multiple formats through Amazon. The nicely-bound paperback was set at $3.95: It will remain forever at this low price. From my experience, you cannot beat this price: If you try a DIY (“do it yourself”) and take one of the free downloaded copies of the book and print and bound it at your local printing shop, it will cost you more and you will never even approach the neat and nice paperback quality that you can get from Amazon. And you have still the additional eBook format from Amazon that was set at $2 (the minimum price that Amazon allowed me to set). Students can read the eBook in their Kindle, Tablet and even the IPhone devices, if they wish.
 Jane Kaufman, “Teachers union OKs one item supporting Palestinians”, Cleveland Jewish News, July 7, 2022
 For additional details about the curricula fights in California, and about teaching and indoctrination in public schools, check my book:
Jaime Kardontchik, “Boycott of Israel is wrong: How to fight it”.
The book is available for free download at:
Also, my latest two books I introduced in my previous blog are now also available for free download. You can download “The root of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the path to peace” (English edition) at:
The corresponding Spanish edition, “La raíz del conflicto árabe-israelí y el camino hacia la paz”, is available for free download at: