SEATTLE – The largest independent Jewish newspaper in America published an article advising Jews against living in America because of anti-Semitic indoctrination in government schools.
The recent Jewish Press article, titled “Why Jews Should Stay in Israel,” specifically warns of the Palestine Teaching Trunk, a new curriculum that has made its way into at least a few Washington State high schools.
The controversial curriculum was created by Linda Bevis, a lawyer, activist, and former high school social studies teacher.
Bevis’ Palestine Teaching Trunk – both an actual trunk of teaching material that can be checked out by educators for temporary use and downloadable online content – contains videos, activities, and 700 pages of information that Bevis says “provides multiple perspectives” of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. There are others, however, who strongly disagree.
Rob Jacobs from the Israel advocacy organization StandWithUs Northwest not only sees a problem with the contents of the trunk, but, according to The Jewish Sound, also questions “why the same people who put ads highly critical of Israel on the sides of Metro buses and local billboards should be offering its teaching materials in our schools.”
Jacobs is referring to the fact that Bevis is co-founder of the Palestine Information Project and the Seattle Palestine Solidarity Committee, sister organizations that produce propaganda declaring that “the racism and colonialism of the Zionist movement, with its quest for an ethnic supremacist state, remain the fundamental causes of the current conflict.”
As recently reported, the Palestine Solidarity Committee also advocates for the boycott of Israeli made products and of companies doing business with Israel.
In an effort to push back against the Palestine Teaching Trunk, StandWithUs Northwest has asked highly respected faculty from around the country to review the contents of the trunk. According to the organization’s Facebook page, Prof. Michael Weingrad, Academic Director of the Harold Schnitzer Family Program in Judaic Studies at Portland State University, has declared the trunk to be a “virulently anti-Israel high school curriculum,” adding that reading through the material “felt like swimming long-distance through a sewer.”
In November, The Weekly Standard published a three-page article on the Palestine Teaching Trunk, referring to it as a collection of “solemn idiocies” that “lurk with malice… ignorance and dishonesty.”
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According to the Standard article, the trunk’s recommended reading list includes books by Rashid Khalidi, the Columbia University professor with ties to the Palestine Liberation Organization, and leftist professor and political activist, Noam Chomsky.
No less than five other books recommended were written by former Columbia professor Edward Said, who the Standard reports has declared that “Jews are not truly a people because their identity in the Diaspora is entirely the result of external persecution.”
According to The Jewish Sound, Sarah Stroup, a Professor of Comparative Religion and Jewish Studies at the University of Washington, says the curriculum “puts words and political intentions in the teachers’ mouths.”
Stoup also notes that the curriculum focuses heavily on emotions, so “the topic is bound to give lies to emotions.”
You try to prevent a soldier from inappropriately touching your sister at a checkpoint. Spin the wheel:
1-2: go to ARREST
3-4: go to BEATING
5: go to Action Card #21
6: they berate you and let you go
You are shot by Occupation soldiers and die instantly.
You hover over the world for some time, unable to leave because you love and fear for your family and friends.
You have desires but no power. You wait, along with the living, for the Occupation to end.
When the Jewish Sound interviewed Linda Bevis in mid-November, she stated that so far, only three teachers had checked out the trunk, but about 200 people had visited the website.
Since that time, the trunk as been presented at social studies conferences in Oregon and Washington with the support of the Washington State Council for Social Studies.