Saturday, August 1, 2020

California’s Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum: New and….Improved?

Cross posted at Pro Israel Bay Bloggers:

California’s Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum: New and….Improved?


Last summer, California’s Department of Education unveiled a model curriculum for teaching Ethnic Studies. In addition to being loaded up with politically correct woke jargon (“critique empire and its relationship to white supremacy, racism, patriarchy, cisheteropatriarchy, capitalism, ableism, anthropocentrism and other forms of power and oppression at the intersections of our society.”), it had 500 pages in which Jews were mentioned 3 times. Arab Americans, however, had 25% of the curriculum, in which a significant portion was devoted to the Palestinian struggle, figures such as Linda Sarsour and Ilhan Omar, and included song lyrics about “Free Palestine”, and Israelis “using the press so they can manufacture”. The glossary defined BDS as a “a global social movement that currently aims to establish freedom for Palestinians living under apartheid conditions”. In terms of being representative of California’s demographics, there are more Jews of Persian descent in Los Angeles County alone than Palestinian Americans in all of California. In its list of kinds of hatreds against minority groups in California, there is no mention of antisemitism. Two antisemitic hate groups heralded in the ESMC as "African American spiritual and religious traditions" and so were recommended for study -- Nation of Islam and Black Israelites. The latter group’s teachings motivated the mass murders in Jersey City last December. Both groups are designed as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center


The outcry was immediate and fierce. On July 29, the Legislative Jewish Caucus submitted a letter signed by every member which stated—“We have been advised that this exclusion appeared to be intentional and reflected the political bias of the drafters of the ESMC. This purposeful exclusion is deeply insulting, fundamentally inconsistent with the purposes of ethnic studies, harmful to Jewish and non-Jewish students, and indicative of an anti Jewish bias in the ESMC that would be dangerous to institutionalize in our curriculum.”  Recordings of the meetings of the ESMC committee do show that they considered, and deliberately excluded, Jews as well as other minorities (Hindu-Americans, Armenian-Americans, Korean-Americans) in favor of those who were represented on the committee. 

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond held a pressconference on August 14 with members of the JLC and stated that the curriculum draft would be revised to reflect the experiences and contributions of Jewish Americans and all oppressed groups.

"To the concern that there is not enough balance in the model draft, we agree that there
can be more work done to achieve balance," Thurmond said. "We are being contacted
by many other groups that feel their story needs to be told."

Linda Darling-Hammond, president of the state Board of Education, issued a statement
“A model curriculum should be accurate, free of bias, appropriate for all learners in our
diverse state, and align with Governor Newsom’s vision of a California for all. The
current draft model curriculum falls short and needs to be substantially redesigned.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom, who signed AB2016 into law, called the draft “deeply offensive in so many ways” and vowed it would “never see the light of day.” Luis Alejo, the former Assemblyman who sponsored AB2016, called the draft curriculum“a setback” in need of revision. Assemblyman Jose Medina, who had introduced legislation to make ethnic studies courses based on this new curriculum a high school graduation requirement, was one of 16 state legislators who signed a letter stating that they were “strongly opposed” to the draft curriculum moving forward “without significant revisions".

In all, over 18,000 comments against the draft were received by the Board of Education, most of them the result of activism by Jewish groups.

Given all this, the Department of Education agreed to rework the project and take it up again in 2020. And almost immediately, the promises made to our community began to be backtracked. Tony Thurmond talked about keeping other minorities outside of the “Ethnic Studies” course. there are ways to include in some of the references opportunities that speak about other groups that have experienced mistreatment—to talk about the Holocaust, to talk about the experience of Jews in America and in the world, to talk about the Armenian Genocide, to talk about many groups. And so while it will while we are recommending to the IQC [Instructional Quality Commission] and the State Board that it be grounded in those four groups, there will be opportunities to have conversations about the experience and struggle of other groups..we owe it to those who founded the ethnic studies movement to kind of keep a sense of fidelity there. But please be sure that the California Department of Education will be leading conversations statewide about how we address hate, acts of violence, and how wepromote the beauty of the diversity of what our students represent in this state. And so it's not limited to just what happens in ethnic studies. And we'll be making sure to have broad and inclusive conversations for anyone who's interested."

And the Critical Ethnic Studies proponents formed a group, the Save Our Ethnic Studiescoalition, that sought to get school boards across the state to endorse the original 500 page draft on the grounds that any deviation from that document would be equivalent to rejecting ethnic studies entirely. They also falsely claimed  that the only opposition came from “white supremacist culture,privileged advocacy groups and institutional racism.”  

Now, the Department of Education has finally released their updated draft. You can find it here  (under agenda item 2/A/4), though it is split into multiple smaller documents. 

This new document, to its credit, has removed from its text the entire deeply flawed and jargoned “glossary” of the original. And there is no mention of the Israel-Arab conflict. But once again, while there are plenty of references to white supremacy, antisemitism (which led to the murder of 1/3 of the world’s Jews in the last century for the crime of not being white) is nowhere to be found. Nor, in the multiple lesson plans from around the state provided as models, are Jews. Well, except in a mention, together with Irish Americans, in a lesson on how we have gained “racial privilege”. 

And a dive into the sources and footnotes reveals that while the offending material is out of the text, it’s not out of the curriculum. One of the guidelines for the curriculum reads: “conceptualize, imagine, and build new possibilities for post-imperial life that promotes collective narratives of transformative resistance, critical hope, and radical healing.” The footnoted source is “Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales and Edward Curammeng, “Pedagogies of Resistance: Filipina/o Gestures of Rebellion Against the Inheritance of American Schooling,” in Tracy Buenavista and Arshad Ali, eds., Education At War: The Fight for Students of Color in America (New York, NY: Fordham University Press, 2018), 233–238.” Tintiangco-Cubales is a Critical Ethnic Studies proponent who co-chaired the group that produced the disastrous first draft. And that source includes this sentence: “The United States is war. Schools are battlefields where war is waged, and the fight is between the imperial and the colonized, white supremacy and antiracism, and dominance and resistance.”

But wait, there’s more! Another article that is cited in the section on “Connecting Ourselves to Historical and Contemporary Resistance Movements That Struggle for Social Justice on the Global and Local Levels”. It’s called “Meeting Asian/Arab American Studies:Thinking Race, Empire, and Zionism in the U.S.” and it calls Israel a “settler-colonial state”, and calls for “Grappling with ways to connect anti-Zionism in the context of Middle East politics to anti-racist and anti-imperialist movements in the U.S.”.


So—is relegating sources that promote antisemitism into the footnotes going to be an adequate fig leaf to get the Jewish community to ignore them? Is erasing Jews and other minorities (Hindus, Armenians, Koreans) from lessons on Ethnic Studies acceptable in California? I guess that’s what we are going to find out.


Thursday, July 2, 2020

What are American police learning in Israel?

What are American police learning in Israel?   We've heard the lies spread by groups such as JVP and If Not Now.   CAIR also ran with the lies, and went as far as recommending that city governments:

"End police exchange and training programs with Israel and other foreign governments
that engage in human rights violations, including violence against protesters, choke
holds and other forms of police brutality"

in their publication "Ending Racist Police Violence in America"


Has anyone thought to ask American police what they learned from visiting Israel?

In 1992, in an effort to secure the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia State University and the law enforcement community established the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange (GILEE).
There were three objectives:
*  To enhance inter-agency cooperation between State of Georgia law enforcement agencies and the police force of the State of Israel
*  To offer an educational professional program to senior Israeli law enforcement officials in Georgia, primarily in the area of community policing
*  To offer an educational professional program to senior Georgia law enforcement officials in Israel, primarily in the areas of counter-terrorism and drug interdiction

The participants from Georgia did not mince words describing their experiences in Israel.

Kimberly Payne, Major, Atlanta Police Department (2018)
The GILEE experience was one of the highlights of my career. This enriching and impactful experience enhanced my professional development as a leader. The experience with the Israel Police reaffirmed the need to create diversity within the agency so that it is a clear representation of the community served. This then helps gain public trust.”

Ricky Rich, Deputy Commissioner, Georgia Dept. of Driver Services (2017)
“I was most impressed with the intensive training programs for the Israel Police. Integrity, professionalism, determination, and courage, protecting human life, and patriotism are among their core values"

John P. Quigley, Captain, Atlanta Police Department (2016)
“A clear priority, evident to all of us during our visit, was the sensitivity, awareness and commitment of the Israeli National Police Leadership toward ensuring every meeting with citizens, and every police/citizen encounter was focused on earning the trust of the community...Our pride in the brotherhood of Law Enforcement could not have been more inspired by those we met in the Israeli National Police. They are the pinnacle of professionalism, devotion to duty, and commitment to all people and religions. "

Rodney Bryant, Major, Atlanta Police Department (2014)
“One of our greatest challenges in American policing is serving a community that is vastly more diverse than the local police department. Comparatively, the Israeli police are responsible for serving a variety of demographics. I was impressed by the level of community policing efforts employed by the Israeli Police to build relationships and maintain peace among such diverse populations.

Steven D. Heaton, Chief, Fayetteville Police Department (2009)
“I think I can speak for the entire delegation when I say that this program was the highlight of many of our careers. The information learned and shared with our Israeli counterparts was invaluable. The Israel Police are one of the best trained, professional, warm, and accommodating group of people I have met"

The truth is out there. You just need to ask the right people.



Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Hamas: Misplaced priorities during the global pandemic

(Cross posted at Pro Israel Bay Bloggers)

The world is at a standstill with shelter in place orders interupting all but the most basic routines.  Governments are investing significant resources to test and treat Covid-19 patients. Scientists are studying the virus, looking for points of weakness, and potential vaccines.

And in Gaza, they are shooting rockets at Israeli civilians, and digging terror tunnels.

On Tuesday, a rocket was fired from Gaza, targetting Israeli civilians in the southland. And today the military wing of Hamas- the al-Qassam Brigades- announced the death of 25-year-old Moamen Ahmed Abu Hajar after a terror tunnel he was working in collapsed.

Two examples of the woefully misplaced priorities of Hamas, directing their resources towards terror.

Moamen Ahmed Abu Hajar
Moamen Abu Hajar was given a hero's funeral in Gaza, with no adherence to the  "social distancing" guidelines meant to reduce the spread of infection.

Funeral of Moamen Ahmed Abu Hajar




Moamen Ahmed Abu Hajar in happier times, presented for those that still claim the tunnels are the work of a desperate starving people.


Why is Hamas spending its money, its time, and its energy on terrorism in middle of a global pandemic?  Why do they continually prioritize taking Jewish lives, rather than saving Palestinian ones?

Mays Abu Gosh: Firebomber wannabe, and JVP latest Cause célèbre

(Cross-posted at Pro Israel Bay Bloggers)

Has Jewish Voice for Peace ever met a terrorist they didn't embrace?  Jewish Voice for Peace is so devoid of a moral compass they honored Rasmea Odeh at their annual gala.  Odeh is a vile terrorist whose claim to notoriety was placing a bomb in a kosher grocery store in Jerusalem, just before Shabbat.

Ben Lorber of JVP up close and personal with convicted murderer  Rasmea Odeh


Mays Abu Gosh (aka Mais Abu Gosh) is the latest cause célèbre for Jewish Voice for Peace. 






Mays Abu Gosh's history is difficult to ferret out,  so dominant is the Palestinian narrative on the Web.  She's either

1) a student
2) a journalist
3) student journalist
4) a peace activist

depending on what what piece of agitprop you're reading.

Cospicuously absent from the online  #FreeMays puff pieces are any mention her family, and their history of violent terrorism directed against the Israeli people

Mays Abu Gosh's brother Hussein murdered a 24 year old, Shlomit Krigman, in front of a Beit Horon grocery store in 2016. He was shot by a security guard after he tried to attack  others in the  store. The  17 year old Hussein (yes, another one of the "children" dead in the conflict) had planned to detonate 3   pipe bombs before he was neutralized. His accomplice Ibrahim Osama Allan, 23,  was also killed

Mays Abu Gosh 's cousin Hussein Salem Abu Ghosh, 24, attempted to ram his car into a bus stop, near the town of  Kochav Yaakov.  He was shot to death, still clutching his  knife.

Mays' brother Suleiman is also current in prison.

Mays Abu Gosh is a member of Al-Qutub, the student arm of the terrorist PFLP group on campus and was found with several firebombs in her possession.  (descibed in some of the online hagiographies as "organizing nonviolent student activities" ) She 's been sentenced to 16 months in prison, and a fine of 2,000 NIS. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

"Palestine is not My Cause" trending in the Arab world

Cross posted at Pro Israel Bay Bloggers

The times, they are a'changin!

The trending hashtag "Palestine is not my cause" (In Arabic  #فلسطين_ليست_قضيتي   ) from the Gulf states is surprising, to say the least.

Here's a sample of whats appeared  today on Twitter

One post blames the Palestinians for selling their land to the Jews.


Another shows a  Palestinian mother feeding her baby a diet of hatred and treachery


This cartoon seems fairly obvious





The Palestinians reaction to this affront?  Of course, they blamed Israel!

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Extremist AROC seeks to reinstate discredited California Model Studies Curriculum

Cross published at Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers

The extremist San Francisco based Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC) is attempting to breathe life into the dead horse of the widely discredited California Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum.

You may remember Lara Kiswani, head of the AROC,  for her assault on Jewish elders.  Witnesses reported her physically ripping signs from the hands of the elders, and doing a victory lap with the destroyed signs held high over her head.





Lara Kiswani after her assault on a Jewish elder
Does Lara Kiswani seem like the type of person we want influencing curriculum for young people?

From the Progressive Zionists of California, a grassroots coalition of California Democrats:

Lara Kiswani and the Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC) have helped sponsor a petition called “Save CA Ethnic Studies” which states, “Will it [the California Department of Education] institute a Ethnic Studies curriculum that uplifts the stories of all communities of color or reject one that includes Arab Americans—bending to the desires of pro-Israel groups [emphasis added]….”

Progressive Zionists points out that it was not "pro-Israel" groups alone objecting to  the "exclusionary and antisemitic Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum".  It widely condemned by a consortium of groups, including Armenian Americans, Greek Americans, Hindu Indian Americans, Assyrian-Americans, Sikh Americans, Korean Americans, on the grounds that it was "not inclusive enough".

They write:

To be clear, diverse communities came together to respond to the curriculum based on their own concerns. Claiming in this petition that they are “bending to the desires of” Jewish groups erases their lived experiences and concerns. This dangerous trope of Jews controlling other minorities deeply motivated the Poway, Pittsburg, New Jersey mass murders and the repeated attacks on Jews in Brooklyn and Monsey. PZC condemns this language as both racist and antisemitic.

We encourage the IQC to continue to reject extremism and antisemitism in the curriculum, and commend them for the progress they have made so far. It is crucial that the kind of hatred and misinformation Kiswani has trafficked in not be allowed to become the norm or sanctioned within any public education curriculum.  

Read the full statement here:

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Glorifying Jew Killers at UC Berkeley

Last semester, Bears for Palestine, an anti-Israel group on the UC Berkeley Campus set up a display in the Student Union, glorifying terrorists and Jew-killers.


The hateful display and the subsequent direct action by outraged Jewish students was met with indifference by the larger campus community.

Maya Reuven, sophomore at Cal writes in today's Daily Cal about feeling unsafe on campus

It’s hard to feel completely safe as a Jewish person anymore. I find myself second-guessing attending the concerts of Israeli artists, and I never sit by the street window during Shabbat dinners at Chabad. Watching security pile up at the Jewish spaces I call home breaks my heart. Is it really so much to ask that we don’t idolize those that cause this fear and pain in a university building? How can Jewish students feel supported during these dark times when we walk through a campus every day that has posters of our murderers in its buildings?

As a Jewish student, I am tired. I am tired of having to fight for the acknowledgment of anti-Semitism on a campus that claims to stand up for the marginalized. I am tired of having my people’s suffering justified to me time and time again. I am tired of people’s excuses for why their own anti-Semitism is only “anti-Zionism,” as if the two are not practically identical. 


Maya's weariness is justifiable.   Who are the women being lionized in the Bears for Palestine poster? At least 3 are terrorists who targeted innocent civilians. 

Rasmea Odeh of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror group confessed to the bombing of a SuperSol Supermarket in Jerusalem, that killed two young men.

Fatima Bernawi placed a bomb in a Jerusalem cinema in 1967.

Leila Khaled also of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror group attempted to  hijack two planes in Europe in 1969 and 1970.  In a shameful glorification of gun-violence, the campus display has her holding an AK-47 rifle.

The open glorification of terror on campus, and the subsequent silence from the administration and student body has contributed to an uneasy campus climate at UC Berkeley for members of the Jewish community.

Read Maya's essay in its entirety:  ASUC should condemn Bears for Palestine’s display