Reasons Why Boston University’s “Whose Jerusalem?” Workshop for High Schools Is Biased and Politicized

Reasons Why Boston University’s “Whose Jerusalem?” Workshop for High Schools Is Biased and Politicized

Instead of teaching students how to understand the complex hundred-year-old conflict between Arabs and Jews, Axis of Hope is encouraging teenagers to come up with political solutions based on misleading teaching materials. Axis of Hope founder Carl Hobert has publically stated that the real purpose behind the “Whose Jerusalem” workshop is to use “educational civil disobedience” as a vehicle to advocate for the creation of a Palestinian state. This establishes the workshop’s a priori agenda as political, not academic.

  • Educational’ materials used in the workshop contain misleading information, significant omissions and distortions of important historical facts and some falsehoods. These appear to have been selected to promote the pro-Palestinian narrative.
  • Hobert exploits young students’ idealism to seek world peace by enlisting them as political lobbyists and activists to his cause. He suggests that this workshop may lead students to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Hobert’s workshop requires students to write letters outlining their suggestions for peace in the Middle East through the creation of a Palestinian state and to submit them to the US President, Secretary of State and Middle East envoy.
  • Under the guise of helping students develop “empathy,” Hobert singles out Jewish students to assume the role of Hamas leaders in group discussion simulations. Hobert’s manufactured version of Hamas, whitewashes the organization’s genocidal intents. (Hamas’ Charter calls for the death of all the world’s Jews.) In his book, Raising Global IQ, Hobert proudly writes about a Jewish girl who had her Bat-Mitzvah in Jerusalem passionately playing the role of a Hamas spokesperson speaking against the oppression of the Palestinians by the Israelis.
  • Hobert’s pedagogical methods are transparently manipulative. He uses false equivalence, moral relativism, deceptive framing of issues and whitewashing of terrorism in order to create the narrative he wants his students to, uncritically accept, advocate for and embrace:

False Equivalence

Hobert promotes a false equivalence as way of facilitating his simplistic solutions for peace.
Hobert presents the US-designated terrorist organization Hamas as a functional equivalent of Israel’s democratically elected Likud party by claiming both are legitimate “political parties” who are ideologically on the same spectrum; “extremists, and “war mongering,” creating parity between them. Hobert deliberately omits the following factors:

  • The Hamas’ charter calls for the genocide of all Jews wherever they are.
  • Hamas is an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, the source of much of Islamist terror today.
  • Hamas is designated as a terrorist organization by the US, the UAE, Egypt and several European nations.
  • Hamas is a non- democratic, Islamic theocratic and fascistic terrorist organization which does not respect individual rights and freedoms such as women’s rights, gay rights, freedom of speech or press. It has imposed Sharia Law on all Gazans and vows to do the same for all Palestinians.
  • Hamas abuses its own citizens and commits war crimes against them by using them as human shields, storing weapons in their homes, firing rockets from schools, hospitals, and publicly executing dissidents.
  • Hobert presents Fatah as a moderate, dovish and peace seeking political party akin to Israel’s democratically elected Labor party. Hobert deliberately omits the following facts:
    • Fatah entered into a “unity” government with Hamas.
    • Fatah makes “martyrs” of suicide bombers, naming streets and institutions after them, and financially rewards their families and those of imprisoned terrorists, as a debt of gratitude.
    • Fatah indoctrinates Palestinian children with hatred of Jews and Israel.
    • The president of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas has refused to hold democratic elections since he was elected to office in 2005, for a 4 year term, replacing Arafat.
    • Fatah imprisons and murders its dissidents calling them Israeli “collaborators.
  • Hobert presents The Arab League and the UN Quartet as unbiased and honest peace brokers. Hobert deliberately omits the following facts:
    • The Arab League summoned all its member states to mount a genocidal war against Israel the day after the Jewish state’s formation and when that failed it called for an international boycott against Israel. As recently as March 2014, following a summit in Kuwait the Arab League stated: “We express our absolute and decisive rejection to recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.”
    • The UN is the most hostile forum to Israel consistently singling her out among all other nations and consistently voting against the only Jewish state. In 2013, for example, the UN adopted a total of 21 resolutions condemning Israel, and a total of 4 resolutions for the entire world combined. (The four were against Syria who has murdered over 200, 000 of its own citizens; Iran, the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, financing Hezbollah its proxy who kill Israeli citizens, and who threatens to wipe Israel off the map while seeking to acquire nuclear weapons to achieve this end; North Korea which routinely threatens South Korea and is a nuclear proliferator; and Myanmar, where the Burmese government is displacing and ethnically cleansing its Muslim population.)

Hobert’s selective approach to historical facts is a necessary element in his methodology of making his political “solution” for a Palestinian state seems an easily reachable and eminently reasonable resolution to the conflict.

Moral Equivalence

Hobert’s teachings assume that ethnic and international conflicts arise from mutual misunderstandings between morally equivalent entities. Hobert excuses terrorism by suggesting a moral equivalence between suicide bombings that deliberately target innocent civilians, with the military use of drones, the purpose of which is to stop terrorism and minimize civilian casualties. In his workshops, Hobert teaches students that American drone strikes – which aim to avoid civilian targets — are equivalent to terrorist acts which aim to murder innocents.

Because students are not allowed to discriminate between good and evil, they are limited in their ability to make moral decisions. Instead, they are forced to identify and empathize with a terrorist organization like Hamas.

Whitewashing and Excusing Terrorism

Hobert, adopting Professor Noam Chomsky radical anti-American rhetoric, tends to blame America for many of the world conflicts, while elevating terrorists to the status of co-equal partners in a political struggle between rich and poor, exploiter and exploited, all the while excusing extreme acts of violence to achieve a political objective by whatever means.

What Hobert omits to mention:

  • Incitement to hatred of Jews by Fatah, whom Hobert portrays as a “moderate political party,” while they advocate for the outright murder of Jews through acts of terrorism against Israel.
  • Hamas’ genocidal goals and its willingness to use its own citizens as human shields in the name of destroying Israel.
  • Hamas’ indiscriminate targeting of innocent civilians by suicide bombers in public venues like restaurants, on buses, shopping malls, in order to instill terror and maximize the carnage.

Deceptive Framing and Teaching of the Conflict

Hobert presents the Arab-Israeli conflict as mostly a land dispute and a clash of two national movements. He minimizes the religious factor of Islamic supremacist doctrines involved in the rejection of a Jewish sovereignty in the Middle East.

Hobert presents the protracted conflict between Israel, the Arab states and the Palestinians as a series of wars where both sides were equally complicit in aggressing against each other. What Hobert omits to mention:

  • The genocidal nature of Arab wars, initiated against the Jewish state. Hobert falsely presents the source of the conflict as Israel’s refusal return “Palestinian” land so Palestinians can “re-establish a Palestinian state.” This falsely implies that the Palestinians were a sovereign people with a sovereign state.
  • Hobert mostly ignores the fact that Arab claims to the land of Israel is a result of Arab/Muslim conquests of the Middle East during the 7th century
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