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Monday, June 5, 2017

These Powerpoint slides were shown - and a worksheet based on them handed out - at Bellaire High School in Houston, Texas for a tenth grade class on decolonialization.

They start off merely as ahistorical. They then move into lies and culminate with blatant anti-Israel propaganda that would make Electronic Intifada and Mondoweiss proud.

 The McMahon-Hussein correspondence did not include all the land taken by the Ottoman Empire; there were explicit exceptions in Syria and the British interpreted the letters as specifically excluding Palestine.
Not one mention of the Jewish people's history in the region. 

There were always Jews in the area, and the more modern migration began in the 19th century, before Arab nationalism.




The graphic does not mention that the Muslims built their structures, deliberately, on top of the site of the Jewish Temples. 

It, unbelievably, does not mention the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah. It does not mention the Bible.

Oh, and ever hear of another religion called Christianity that also finds the region to be slightly important?


"Civil war begins"? Arabs attacked Jews within hours of the partition resolution.

Opposite to what this slide claims, the Jews accepted the two state formula, the Arabs didn't.  

The British withdrew in 1948. 

No one considered the territories "Palestinian,." 

The territories were never controlled by the UN.

Jordan and Egypt's control of the territories is not mentioned.  

This slide is a series of lies from top to bottom.



The photos here are taken straight out of the "Israel is Evil" playbook - the Neturei Karta member who represents exactly zero percent of all Jews worldwide, the implication that Israel has not wanted negotiations while Arabs have which is the exact opposite of the truth, the photo of an Israeli soldier that, while it may or may not be Photoshopped,  makes no sense as reflecting reality (soldiers don't pose with their weapons in such a bizarre way where they would fall on their rumps if they fired, for example, and the angle of the photo with a shaky provenance is intended to make it look like the soldier is aiming his weapon at the poor Arab family, when he is not.)

The text is just as bad - nothing about Israeli offers of land for peace, nothing about the wars that Arabs started to try to destroy Israel, nothing about Palestinian terrorism. Nothing about how Israel reached peace treaties with its two most important Arab neighbors. And nothing about how Israel built an amazing nation while under constant threat from hundreds of millions of antisemitic Arabs. The only Arabs in these slides are the ones who are today referred to as Palestinians.

This isn't theoretical. Here is a photo of the final slide taken by a student when it was taught this year in the classroom.



Here's the worksheet with the flawed information verbatim from the slides.




The first question is predicated on a false assumption about the McMahon-Hussein correspondence, written in a way to elicit an "It's not fair!" reaction from students who assume the "fact" about the letters are accurate.

But look at that last question, in the present tense, stating as fact that Jews are warmongers and there would be peace if those uppity Jews just let the UN do its job.

Even with the understanding that teachers must condense facts for tenth graders, this lesson is outrageous in its lies, focus and omissions. It looks like it had been written by a member of "Students for Justice in Palestine."

This slide deck is educational malpractice and it is unimaginable that the creator did not know the actual facts. It is propaganda aimed at high school students who implicitly trust that what they are being taught is true.

It appears from the metadata on the original show that the slide deck is at least a couple of years old. (I have the name of the most recent editor of the deck who is indeed a teacher at that school.)

And this is just one school among thousands. What are the others teaching? Who fact checks these teachers?

There is something very rotten going on, and students are getting taught propaganda instead of facts.

(This is not the first problematic issue at Bellaire High School, by the way.  A ninth grade geography teacher once had students read an ISIS recruiting blog for a "critical thinking" exercise. )




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