Thursday, May 07, 2020

The Fight Against Growing Propaganda

Nadene Goldfoot                                                   
British held the mandate for 30 years, up May 14, 1948
The promise of the Jewish Homeland for Jews
Came after WWI's where Germany and Ottoman Empire lost
A fact many Jews haven't even learned about in school or synagogue

Propaganda against Israel is as insidious as it is obvious.  For those people with the inclination to believe anything bad about Israel, it's an easy thing to believe just about anything that they hear about today.  I see this in Syria, for example where Israel is used as the cause of bad weather; anything that comes along to upset a person's day.  

It's the liberal Christian groups who are the ones attacking Israel the most out of all the Christian denominations.  They have world-wide campaigns working against Israel.  They are quick to attack Israel's legitimacy.  The group of Christians who back President Trump are supportive of Israel.  They are ones who study the Old Testament.  John Hagee is a Televangelist preacher
who as written the book, In Defense of Israel, copyright 1979.  He feels that the mandate for supporting the Jewish State is the Bible.  They have a group, Christians United for Israel.   
BDS on college campuses in USA

The campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) has been going on for a long time,  aimed at delegitimizing the Jewish State.  Some college campuses have had student senate resolutions calling for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions and divestment from companies doing business in Israel.

The BDS movement has also moved into high school social studies curriculum.  One such way has been the "Palestine Teaching Trunk." It may have already come to a high school in any of our 50 states.  This was developed by a retired lawyer teacher under the auspices of the Seattle-based Palestine Solidarity Committee.  The group supports a boycott of all Israeli goods and reject Israel's rights to exist as a Jewish State.  I remember that Saudi Arabia also had a teaching packet before this, but certainly not as elaborate.  

This convenient packet-the teaching trunk- comes with teaching plans, DVDs, maps of "disappearing Palestine," and an "occupation" game and selective readings, including articles by pro-BDS Israeli historians Simha Flapan and Ilan Pappe.  The materials are intended to present "different perspective," which is one considers Hamas, the Electronic Intifada, former USA president Jimmy CArter and anti-Zionist Israelis to represent a diversity of viewpoints.
2nd largest University in Oregon
Portland State U with over 29,000 students
This is where I graduated as an educator in 1958
after having two children.  

Professor Michael Weingrad of Portland State University reviewed the materials in the PTT, and reports to us:

The history is so distorted and selective, the amount of sheer pro-Palestinian agitprop so striking...the class lessons designed to forge students' emotional connections with the  Palestinian narrative so manipulative and one-sided, that it is difficult to imagine a student exposed to this curriculum drawing any other conclusion than that Israel is a vile, criminal regime..."
Looking in on an American high school social studies class
This means that those educators who okay programs in their schools did not understand what this program was designed to do: that it was propaganda against the state of Israel.  It was a political and religious piece of ammunition against the only Jewish state in the world.  The PTT was being used in at least a few high schools in the state of Washington and probably also in other states.  Hopefully it was under the radar of the pro-Israel communities, but one can't be sure today.  What is troubling is that it won praise from the curriculum editor of RETHINKING SCHOOLS, a well-known national organization of curriculum developers.  

The "Trunk" was introduced in the fall of 2013 at the annual Northwest Conference on Teaching for Social Justice, which draw hundreds of high school instructors from Washington, Oregon and California, the WESTERN STATES.  
I want to emphasize this.  Yesterday, during our coronavirus month of May 2020,  I watched a Family Feud program where the 2 family groups were to name a western state.  One named Georgia.  Another named Virginia.  The audience's #1 choice that they had named was TEXAS!  Evidently none of the people knew where the west was!  I wondered about their high school classes!  Evidently they all failed in geography.  
Portland, Oregon with Mt. Hood in Background
By mid-October of 2014, the curriculum was showcased at the year's NWTSJ conference in Portland, Oregon and also at a statewide in-service training sponsored by the Washington State Council for the Social Studies.  So it had plenty of advertising.  

Was anything being done to stop the pro-BDS propaganda from seeping into many other classrooms?  Was Israel's studies being presented to counter such propaganda?  We're fighting against religious anti-Semitism from both certain Christian groups and Muslims, as well as the political ones of just plain old hatred, of being used to use Jews as their scapegoats for the world's ills.  We've got to be educated as defenders in a courtroom of the rights of Israel to exist; something that was taken for granted by most in 1945.  

The "trunk" is evidently still in use.  They even have  WEBSITE.  Here is what they say:  It's a 2 week unit.  Here’s how some educators have described the Trunk: “comprehensive”, “develops critical thinking”, “makes it possible for students to hear silenced Palestinian voices, along with Israeli voices”, “exposure to both sides of the conflict”, “very useful to Social Studies teachers”, “diverse, well-chosen, nuanced materials”.  This is how they sell it.  

Rob Jacobs from the Israel advocacy organization StandWithUs Northwest not only sees a problem with the contents of the trunk, but, according to The Jewish Sound, also questions “why the same people who put ads highly critical of Israel on the sides of Metro buses and local billboards should be offering its teaching materials in our schools.”

One thing that angers me is the part about "to hear silenced Palestinian voices."  What I heard in Israel in my over 5 years of living there (1980-1985) was never a silenced voice from the Palestinians.  Everyone spoke out about  whatever was on their minds.  If anyone is silenced, it's the Arabs themselves by their own leadership.  If they live in Gaza, they are under Hamas rule, and their aim is to destroy Israel.  Those that are brainwashed would go along with whatever their leaders say.  The over 20% of the population are Arabs, and they know they would rather live in Israel than any other neighboring Arab state.  As I see it, this in itself is propaganda against Israel.
Linda Bevis peddling the Palestine Teaching Trunk at last year’s NW Conference on Teaching for Social Justice. Photo: Palestine Information Project.
Your child is sitting in his High School classroom, the instructor explains that this week they will be focusing on the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Soon your child will be told that most Jews are not indigenous to the Middle East, that Zionism is a movement of ethnic cleansing and that anti-Semitism has nothing to do with Jews.

Far fetched?  Linda Bevis, Ed Mast and their cohorts at the BDS supporting Seattle Palestine Information Project are trying to peddle just that to Puget Sound schools with an anti-Israel curriculum they call the Palestine Teaching Trunk (PTT).

Linda Bevis  (1949-2015) 
was the creator of the Palestinian Trunk.  She was an educator who says that she had first used the Holocaust Teaching Trunk and thought there should be one for the Palestinians.  She has a
 JD and a Master’s in Education from the University of Washington "For Bevis, bringing a more nuanced view of Palestine is personal. Her family moved to Lebanon when she was four for her father’s position at AUB, and she calls Beirut the “first home I remember.” Even as a child, the injustices visited upon the Palestinians, particularly those living in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps Bevis passed on her way to the airport, were striking to her." I can see that living in Lebanon gave her a one-sided approach to understanding her surroundings and that is what she is projecting.  
 Bevis was co-founder of the Palestine Information Project and the Seattle Palestine Solidarity Committee, sister organizations that produce propaganda declaring that “the racism and colonialism of the Zionist movement, with its quest for an ethnic supremacist state, remain the fundamental causes of the current conflict.”

As recently reported, the Palestine Solidarity Committee also advocates for the boycott of Israeli made products and of companies doing business with Israel.                                                              
Ariel Sharon in 1982 with Israeli soldiers
in Beirut in First Lebanon War

"The Sabra and Shatila massacre was the killing of between 460 and 3,500 civilians, mostly Palestinians and Lebanese Shiite fighters, by a militia close to the Kataeb Party, a predominantly Christian Lebanese right-wing party, in the Sabra neighborhood and the adjacent Shatila refugee camp in Beirut, Lebanon."  This might be Major Hadad of the Christian Lebanese who went in at his insistence in 1982, instead of Defense Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel.  There is lots of information about this attack as this had caused Israel to have their military there under much attacking by the PLO.   The PLO had been attacking Israel constantly and Israel had had enough.  Sharon agreed to let Hadad go in as they also had had enough of the PLO.  The result turned out to be more of a massacre. 
           Hadad had been Israel's friend in that he and his group were patrolling the border between Israel and Lebanon and did not go along with the PLO.  When Hadad needed to, he would come to Israel for his R and R time.
It was a terrible event, but had 2 sides to understand, and chances are that this wasn't brought up in the packet which was checked out by Weingrad.  Did it ever explore the fact that if the PLO terrorists, for that's what they were, hadn't been attacking Israel beyond all comprehension that it wouldn't have happened in the first place?  I know that Hadad was not liked by all Lebanese.  He has his own history.  He was a friend of Israel, however.  

Israel fights back to defend their population.  She's a country who was promised land that had shriveled down to having 20% of what was promised and then having to have a large section of that go to Palestinians who were enemies only intent on destroying them no matter what.  Gaza and the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and what % is left of the 20%?  Israel waited for almost 2,000 years to regain land only to see it being given away, even after they had received it.  

"Israel's own Kahan commission found that only "indirect" responsibility befitted Israel's involvement.""The Kahan Commission concluded Israeli Defense minister Ariel Sharon bears personal responsibility "for ignoring the danger of bloodshed and revenge" and "not taking appropriate measures to prevent bloodshed". Sharon's negligence in protecting the civilian population of Beirut, which had come under Israeli control, amounted to a non-fulfillment of a duty with which the Defense Minister was charged, and it was recommended that Sharon be dismissed as Defense Minister."
Shahab missiles being tested in Iran

Israel has to be ahead of all the technical changes in ammunition against her.  She also has to be aware of all the propaganda that is coming out in the world against her that is just as deadly as the missiles, rockets and mortars that have bombarded her these past 72 years.  None of it will disway her in returning to her homeland, for as Golda Meir said, "we have nowhere else to go."

Israel is not perfect, but she sure is trying to be perfect and needs to be with all eyes her all the time, ready to tear her apart. 

The Jerusalem Report October 20, 11, The Palestine teaching trunk viewpoint by Robert Horenstein
Messages From a Syrian Jew Trapped in Egypt, by Nadene Goldfoot-telling how Syrians viewed Jews

No comments: