Holding Antisemites Accountable.

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Washington State Superintendent Pulls Antisemitic Elementary History Lesson Teaching “Israeli Dominance

Washington state schools were offered a curriculum that mirrored propaganda you’d read from terrorist organization Hamas. The 5th-grade lesson plan compares the treatment of Native Americans by European settlers to the treatment of Palestinians by the state of Israel. Thanks to “Israeli dominance,” the curriculum claims, Palestinians lost their “sacred homelands.”

It was so offensive that the state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) edited it out of the document after the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH started asking questions.

The curriculum, posted on the OSPI website, was part of a lesson plan titled: “Independence: Revolution and U.S. Constitution in Indian Country.”

It covers a number of historical events, including the French and Indian War, the Conestoga Massacre, and Pontiac’s War. But it also aims to make comparisons to other issues. It tells teachers that students should “compare the similarities between the struggles for Independence of the Indian Nations, the U.S. Colonies, and (if the teacher chooses) another contemporary struggle, such as the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.”

The bizarre and historically illiterate comparison shows up in a student learning activity. The document says:

“Students will create a Timeline of Events that lead up to either the Indian or American Fight for Independence. (If you plan to make contemporary connections, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would work. Why do the Palestinians want to be free from Israeli dominance? Have their sacred homelands returned to them?).

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The claim that Israel stole land from Palestinians is, of course, inaccurate. Jewish leaders building modern Israel, starting in 1881, were trying to escape persecution. The land itself was originally Jewish land.

The term “Palestinian” in the context used in this example didn’t even exist before the mid-1960s. It was a political invention unconnected to any historical claim to Jewish land. In other words, there are no historical “sacred homelands” to be “returned.”

And any comparison to settlers and Native Americans is outrageous. Unfortunately, it’s part of a radical fringe, left-wing antisemitic narrative that pretends Israel commits genocide against Palestinians while seeking to erase Jewish history.

OSPI confirmed to the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH that they edited out the comparison from the curriculum document. The move came after he asked if Superintendent Chris Reykdal thought the comparison was appropriate.

“As we immediately read it, [we] said this is completely inappropriate and took it down,” Reykdal explained on the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH.

Reykdal said it was posted online about a decade ago by a contractor who wrote lesson plans for the office. He acknowledges he does not know how many teachers used the lesson. But that is one reason why he said he took it down quickly – to keep it from being used.

“This is one of those places where I think two people like you and I who don’t always see the world similarly, certainly see the devastating effects of antisemitism. And it comes in extreme forms like a tragic shooting in Seattle, but it comes in smaller forms too, like the implicit bias of a lesson plan that somebody might have thought 10 years ago was innocent,” Reykdal told me.

The curriculum itself is mandated by the state Legislature and is called Since Time Immemorial: Tribal Sovereignty in Washington State (STI).

The superintendent said his office will now institute a “bias and sensitivity review process … to this curriculum going forward.”