Teach-Palestine-only in US schools and parents’ rights
Talk to the National Education Association and request to withdraw their NBI 13: “Teach-Palestine-only” is not education, it is indoctrination. Suggest to replace it by a new resolution supporting the teaching of both perspectives of the Arab-Israeli conflict: the Arab and Jewish perspectives. Both perspectives should be discussed in class, so students can develop and come to their own conclusions.
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.
The Jewish perspective is presented in my book. The book (March 2023 edition) can be downloaded for free at:
Teachers are free to distribute digital copies of my book or print as many copies of the book as they need for their class. To maximize accessibility, the book is also available at Amazon (including a Hebrew edition.)
The National Education Association (NEA) is the largest union in the US: It represents 3,000,000 teachers in elementary and secondary public schools. Their influence in setting the curricula, what is taught in public schools, is immense. The NEA adopted last July 2022 a resolution in support of teaching the Palestinian narrative in K12 schools. This resolution (“NBI 13”) says:
“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.”
What are they afraid of? Be inclusive!
“Teach-Palestine-only” had been included in the 2019 “Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum” (“ESMC”) for high-schools in California. This led the governor of California, Gavin Newsom, to veto this curriculum, since it served in practice as a venue for anti-Jewish content.
Today, there are about 1,000 independent public-school districts just in California alone, and each one usually uses state or federal funds to contract outside groups to develop the curricula and materials for the newly mandatory “Ethnic Studies” courses. A significant number of these outside groups are pushing again the inclusion of the “Teach-Palestine-only” narrative (under the disguise of “Arab American Studies”) as a tool to de-legitimize the State of Israel. This process is not transparent: school districts are not forwarding in details, and curricula being developed are not published. Parents are kept in the dark.
To make matters worse, NEA’s NBI 13 “Teach-Palestine-only” attitude expands to all grades in elementary and secondary schools (whereas the California Assembly Bill 101 restricted on purpose the mandatory “Ethnic Studies” course to high-school students only): children from young age, attending elementary and middle schools in all the 50 states, will now be exposed to one-sided anti-Jew indoctrination and hatred under the mantra of “teaching about the Palestinian people.”
Parents have the right to know what their children – who are minors – are taught at the public schools, and intercede on their behalf. It is enshrined in 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”:
Jaime Kardontchik, PhD (Physics)
Silicon Valley, California
The above is a letter I recently sent to professors at various US universities. I need you to join this effort. If you live in the US, contact the teachers in your local school district, contact the legislators in your state and in Congress and urge them to tell the NEA to withdraw their NBI13 resolution, or replace it by a resolution supporting the teaching of both the Jewish and Arab perspectives of the Arab-Israeli conflict in US public schools.