High school; curriculum spreads lies about Israel

Posted: 1/17/2012 7:04:00 PM
Author: Amichai Farkas
Source: This article was originally posted on the Stand For Israel website on Dec. 22, 2012.

High school curriculum spreads lies about Israel
by Amichai Farkas

The Arab World Studies Notebook
A Boston-area newspaper, the Newton Tab, recently reported that local parent Tony Pagliuso was horrified when his daughter, a freshman at Newton South High School, brought home an article on women in the Middle East that claims “Several hundred [Palestinian women] have been imprisoned, tortured, and killed by Israeli occupation forces since the latest uprising, ‘Intifada,’ in the Israeli occupied territories.”

The article, which was distributed to Pagliuso’s daughter’s class by her world history teacher, makes it sound like Israel arbitrarily imprisons innocent Palestinian women. What it fails to mention is that Palestinian women have been responsible for carrying out some of the most horrific terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians. For example, Dalal Mugrahbi, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization, carried out the 1978 coastal road massacre in which 38 civilians were murdered, including 13 children.

On top of this, the accusation that Israel tortures female prisoners is simply false. Palestinian female prisoners serving in Israeli jails enjoy full prisoner rights as stipulated by the Third Geneva Convention. In Israeli jails, Palestinian prisoners – male and female – are given decent living quarters, food, clothing, medical care, religious and physical activities, newspapers, phone calls, visits from friends and family, and a canteen where relatives and friends deposit money for their use inside the prison.

The article refuting these truths was taken from a controversial textbook called The Arab World Studies Notebook. In 2005, the American Jewish Committee (AJC) prompted many schools across the U.S. to ban the book from their high-school curriculum. In its critique, the AJC said that the book “is replete with factual errors, inaccuracies and misrepresentations about Middle East history.” The textbook goes so far as to suggest that “students repeat Arabic phrases that are confessions of belief and proposes that Muslim faith statements be transmitted to others,” concludes the AJC report. The textbook even makes the claim that Muslims discovered America prior to Columbus. Unbelievable!

This textbook is not about genuine learning — it’s a propaganda tool meant to shape the minds of American high school students to adopt false and radical views of the Middle East. No school in the U.S. should allow impressionable young people to be subject to this propaganda. Find out if The Arab World Studies Notebook is part a high-school curriculum near you — and, if it is, follow Tony Pagliuso’s lead and protest directly to school officials.