Parents at the elite Riverdale Country School in New York got a letter last week saying “We have looked into questions that were raised about the conduct of a very small number of faculty members and have initiated conversations with the faculty both broadly and specifically about the most effective and appropriate ways to deal with controversial subjects….As a result of these events, two faculty members will not be returning in September, and though the reasons are different, both are linked to this situation,” reported The New York Post.
One of the teachers was Shawn Redden, who was first suspended without pay after an incident in which, according to a parent, he bashed Israel after the country, in May, killed 60 Palestinians, the vast majority of whom were terrorists. Riverdale also booted Joel Doerfler, who said on a pro-Palestinian outlet that “there exists at Riverdale, and in the culture at large, assertive, influential and highly emotional supporters of Israel and of pretty much everything it does and has done, who are hell-bent on stifling…academic investigation.”
He talked to teachers and administrators a couple years ago and said “History curricula are controversial. Because ‘history’ (by which I mean what historians write and teach) is an important element in national invention and integration, national narratives…are frequently battlefields where contemporary political issues are fought out. In these often vitriolic debates far more is usually at stake than simple questions about ‘what actually happened’ in the past.”
So we immediately see that Doerfler subscribes to the progressive notion that there is a difference between history and the past. These people believe, like author and NDP politician Thomas King said, that “history is the stories we tell about the past.” When history is no longer just the unchangeable fact, leftists have an excuse to mold their politics into curriculum and discredit history they don’t like as some kind of “false narrative.” No! Bad Doerfler! The guy also says that when parents complained about his course, the headmaster encouraged the teacher to allow speakers picked by parents into the class.
About this, Doerfler said, and notice the word choice here: “what teacher, after all, wants to take on the Israel Lobby and its local minions?” But here’s the problem, dude: you can’t admit that you have a biased approach to teaching and then smear others with different points of view as activists, now can you? Why can’t we just agree to return to the days when kids were taught how to think, not what to think?
Palestinian Schoolbooks: ‘Tell A Story Of A Martyr,’ Insult Jews
A fifth grade Palestinian Authority textbook instructs kids to “tell a story of a martyr from [their] hometown, who rose in defense of his religion and his homeland Palestine,” reported The Algemeiner. ]
It also provides them with some examples. The book shows 5th graders Fatah terrorist Dalal Mughrabi, who helped kill 38 individuals, a third of whom were children, on a bus. The publisher covers her with a hijab and says:
“Her struggle portrays challenge and heroism, making her memory immortal in our hearts and minds….[She] irrigated the land of Palestine with her pure blood; to create a flourishing revolutionary history that will never calm down.”
Yeah, um, I’m not sure I’d want my ten-year-olds reading about how anyone has irrigated land with pure blood.
The book also insists “the enemies of Islam never stop at any time and place to use all means and methods to fight Islam and the Muslims.”
Hmmmmm. “fight Islam and the Muslims” is a very curious phrase. I mean, you could’ve used “defend against,” or “get blown up by Islamists” or a number of other expressions, but instead you pick something that makes Israel seem like the aggressor. And don’t worry, you can get your dosage of Palestinian agitprop in other grades, as well.
Twelfth grade textbooks call the whole group of Jews “sinful and liars” and refer to parts of Israel as part of that mythical nation Palestine. Negev Plateau is apparently “in southern Palestine” and Nazareth is in the “Palestinian North.” One map labels Israel “Palestine after the 1948 War” and then breaks the territory down into “Arab lands” and “lands seized by the Jews after the war.” One 9th grade social studies textbook argues that “the solution to the problem of overcrowding in the Gaza Strip lies primarily in the return of the displaced population to their homes” in Israel.
I don’t know about you, but the historians I typically read in school would typically just give me the facts and then let me use those to make my own arguments and draw my own conclusions. But, then again, I didn’t have the luxury of going to a Palestinian school.
‘If People Really Want To Do BDS, They Better Get Rid Of Their IPhones’
Rob Shimshock of Campus Unmasked spoke with Jessica Marzucco, national campus director for Christians United for Israel (CUFI) on Campus, and Michael Loughrin, a CUFI on Campus activist at Trinity Western University.
“We’ve had students who’ve had rocks thrown at them,” Marzucco noted. “They have been spit on. We’ve had our students…who have been afraid to walk back to their dorm after the divestment hearing because of the hatred and anger in the room.”
The national campus director termed Students for Justice in Palestine “intimidating,” but termed professors and administrators “influential” in encouraging activism.
BDS “has a massive negative effect on Palestine and especially the West Bank where there is industry and there are jobs at stake,” Loughrin told Shimshock. “If people really want to do BDS, they better get rid of their iPhones, they better get rid of their GPS system…and there’s all kinds of other innovations that are taking place with water and energy development.”
Hawaii Pacific University spokeswoman Lianne Yamamura could not confirm to Shimshock if anti-divestment legislation had passed at the school, which Marzucco had claimed.
“I believe that with our generation, the millennial generation, anger and outrage is seen and displayed as the side of truth,” Marzucco stated. “If you are this angry that you are tearing things down, of course you must be right. I believe even that is a form of propaganda and manipulation. … The level of outrage has nothing to do with who is right.”
Pro-Israel, Anti-Affirmative Action Official Gets Bashed
The Senate confirmed Kenneth L. Marcus as assistant secretary for civil rights in DeVos’ Education Department by a 50-46 vote, according to The Daily Caller News Foundation. Marcus served in the same position under former president George W. Bush and currently serves as president of the Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law which fights anti-Semitism on college campuses. Marcus has presented the case for why boycotting Israel is illegal, says that such boycotts are “arguably anti-Semitic,” and may breach the academic freedom of students and professors.
Rahul Saksena, who’s a staff attorney for Palestine legal, said: “Marcus’ record clearly demonstrates that his primary mission is not to protect students’ civil rights; it is to shield Israel from criticism. It’s unconscionable that the U.S. Senate has confirmed him to oversee civil rights enforcement in Betsy DeVos’ Department of Education even as Israel continues to gun down Palestinians protesting for their rights in Gaza.”
Yeah, you know, just innocent Palestinian protesters. It’s not as though Hamas launches rocket strikes and suicide attacks against Israelis. It’s not as though Palestinians get taught in school to hate and perhaps even kill Jewish Israelis. It’s not as though at least 50 of the 62 people killed by Israel during the May US embassy ceremony belonged to Hamas or Islamic Jihad, as claimed by the groups themselves.
But Marcus has also gotten heat for opposing affirmative action, which is equality of outcome and should be opposed by anyone who thinks that things like hard work, communication, and creativity MIGHT matter a bit more in the workplace than your genitalia or how much melanin you have.