Breaking News

ADL downplays controversy over anti-Israel texts in curriculum of Newton, Mass.

By Jacob
Kamaras/JNS.org

The Anti-Defamation
League (ADL) and Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT) are at odds over the
presence of anti-Israel materials in the public school system of Newton, Mass.

The anti-Israel "Arab World Studies Notebook," which has appeared in the public school curriculum of Newton, Mass. Credit: Amazon.

The anti-Israel “Arab World Studies Notebook,” which has appeared in the public school curriculum of Newton, Mass. Credit: Amazon.

APT—a Boston-based
nonprofitdedicated
to promoting peaceful coexistence in an ethnically diverse America by educating
the American public about the need for a moderate political leadership that
supports tolerance and core American values in communities across the nation”—is calling for reforms in Newton schools to
prevent the reappearance of those materials, most notably the Arab
World Studies Notebook
, which claims that Israeli soldiers murdered
hundreds of Palestinian nurses in Israeli prisons.

According to the Newton
School Superintendent David
Fleishman, the Arab World Studies Notebook was removed from Newton’s public school curriculum. Nevertheless, many parents and other citizens
have expressed concern about other anti-Israel materials they say remain in
distribution. Local ADL leaders, however, are downplaying the uncertainty
as to which anti-Israel texts are still being used in Newton classrooms.

“There is currently no
evidence of ‘Saudi-funded hate education’ in Newton public schools,” Acting Director of ADL’s New England
Region Robert Trestan and ADL New England Region Board Chair Jeffrey Robbins
wrote in a recent letter to the editor in The Jewish Advocate of Boston.

 Caption: Neil Armstrong, who according to "A Muslim Primer" converted to Islam and was threatened to be fired by the U.S. government if he did not "keep his new religion to himself. Credit: NASA.

Caption: Neil Armstrong, who according to “A Muslim Primer” converted to Islam and was threatened to be fired by the U.S. government if he did not “keep his new religion to himself. Credit: NASA.

Research by concerned
parents and students in Newton has indicated that questions surrounding the
curriculum extend beyond the Arab World Studies Notebook. This
research, which was obtained by JNS.org,
reveals the presence of controversial texts in the Newton curriculum that
include the following: A Muslim Primer, which claims that astronaut Neil
Armstrong converted to Islam, but that the anti-Muslim U.S. government warned
him “to keep his new religion to himself or he could be fired from his government
job;” Choices for the 21st Century Education Program, which speculates that
a U.S. Navy ship off the coast of Egypt mistakenly bombed by the Israeli air
force during the 1967 Six-Day War had
been intentionally targeted by Israel; World History-Human
Legacy
, which, in its discussion of the Jewish state’s 1948 victory in the
War of Independence, omits that Arabs rejected the United Nations partition
plan and attacked Israel after independence was declared; and Flashpoints, which claims that “over
recent decades, Israel has continuously strengthened its influence over
American domestic politics and Middle East policy,” also asserting that Tel
Aviv, not Jerusalem, is the “capital” of Israel, and that Jerusalem is the
capital of Palestine.

A source with
knowledge of the situation, who asked to remain anonymous, told JNS.org that according to information
provided by Newton parents and students, Choices for the 21st Century
Education Program
and World History-Human Legacy are “likely to be current” texts in the
Newton curriculum, and that portions of A Muslim Primer and Flashpoints were “handouts used in a
classroom.”

In their letter to
the editor, Trestan and Robbins were responding to a …read more
Source: JNS.org

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Posted by on April 15, 2013. Filed under Breaking News,U.S. News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.