Newton

New Ad Shows More Examples of Anti-Semitic “Lessons” in Newton High Schools

Lessons whitewash Hamas, promote the destruction of the Jewish state as a legitimate solution to the Arab-Israel conflict.

Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT) has placed a two-page ad in the Jewish Advocate rebuking Boston’s Jewish leaders for assuring parents and tax-payers that there is no problem with anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias in the Newton high school curriculum. To see the full sized ad, click here or scroll down to the bottom of this post.

The first page of the ad rebuts a controversial undated report by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) intended to exonerate the Newton school system from allowing bias against Israel into the classrooms. In the ad, APT charges ADL with making factually false statements and calls on ADL’s donors to demand that they use the organization’s resources to fight anti-Semitism instead of ignoring it.

Censored Hamas Charter Taught in Newton Schools
Censored Hamas charter taught in Newton schools

The second ad described two clearly biased anti-Israel lessons used in Newton classrooms. In one case, Newton students are given what they are told is the text of the Hamas founding charter. Yet the text they receive is a whitewashed edit of the Hamas charter, with the parts expressing the terror group’s religiously motivated genocidal hatred of Jews edited out. The Newton version of the Hamas Charter replaces the word “Jews,” whom Hamas identifies as its sworn enemies, with “Zionism.” A Newton teacher’s class notes obtained by APT shed light on why the schools might be using the censored Hamas Charter.

Newton assignment  promoting the destruction of the Jewish state as a legitimate solution
Newton assignment promoting the destruction of the Jewish state as a legitimate solution

The teacher writes: “I would assert this is not inherently a religious conflict. This is a conflict over land.” (Emphasis in the original.) The uncensored Hamas charter directly contradicts this dubious claim. “In defending their curriculum, Newton schools have claimed that they expose students to anti-Israel falsehoods to encourage critical thinking,” said Charles Jacobs, president of Americans for Peace and Tolerance. “But when actual facts contradict the favored narrative, the facts disappear. This is not education or critical thinking. This is propaganda. ”

The Newton curriculum also falsely depicts fringe anti-Israel activists as experts. In another lesson noted in the APT ad, Newton students receive an assignment called “Prominent Voices on the One State/Two State Solution.” The exercise claims to expose students to a range of opinions on solutions for the Arab-Israeli Conflict.

The “One State Solution” is a code word for the destruction of Israel. The premise of the exercise – that it is legitimate to debate whether the Jewish have a right to self-determination — is a travesty. Newton would never have its students debate whether any other people deserve to have their state abolished. Yet five out of the nine “prominent voices” presented in this handout support the destruction of the Jewish state.

Newton assignment promoting the destruction of the Jewish state as a legitimate solution to the Arab-Israel conflict.
Newton assignment promoting the destruction of the Jewish state as a legitimate solution to the Arab-Israel conflict.

Included among the so-called “Prominent Voices” is John Spritzler, who is described to students as a professor of biostatistics at Harvard. In truth, John Spritzler is a retired researcher at Harvard’s School of Public Health and a Somerville Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activist who runs a website full of conspiracy theories claiming that a shadowy cabal of elites have forced the U.S. government to support Israel and carry out the 9/11 attacks in order to “maintain elite control of working people.”

Other so-called “prominent voices” in the Newton handout include Ali Abunimah and Virginia Tilley. Both support BDS against Israel and have called for its destruction.

“Why are Newton schools legitimizing hatred under the guise of critical thinking?” asked Jacobs.

Jacobs said, “Newton school officials are betraying the students and misleading the community. The school committee needs to be held accountable for their incompetence and lack of accountability in these matters.”

APT is calling on all concerned individuals to contact the Newton schools and demand that they immediately remove all false and hateful teaching materials, allow public access to all school curricular materials, and institute accountability for biased teaching.

The Anti-Defamation League can be reached at 617-406-6300 and adlmedia@adl.org.

The contact info for Newton school officials is:

School Committee Chair, Matt Hills: matt_hills@newton.k12.ma.us, 617-559-6000

Vice Chair, Margie Ross Decter margie_rossdecter@newton.k12.ma.us, 617-559-6000

Superintendent, David Fleishman david_fleishman@newton.k12.ma.us, 617-559-6000

Jewish Advocate Centerfold Ad ADL-Hamas-Spritzler by Americans for Peace and Tolerance

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