Israel advocacy groups demand questionable changes to Virginia textbooks

Israel advocacy groups demand questionable changes to Virginia textbooks

Our children need to see injustices in our history so that they can recognize it in the present and future. The Institute for Curriculum Services is fighting to erase the historical facts of injustice toward Palestinians.

The Institute for Curriculum Services (ICS), a pro-Israel curriculum provider (“to ensure that all students receive accurate, standards-based K-12 social studies education on Jewish history”), is working with local Jewish groups and the Virginia Department of Education to whitewash Virginia textbooks by removing words like “occupied” and “settlements” and replacing them with more favorable terms like “captured” and “communities.” 
According to Senior Editor Aliza Craimer Elias, ICS has already made more than 11,000 changes to U.S. textbooks.
Below are some of the maps that ICS makes available on their website. Notice the terminology used in the legends.
The word “gained” sounds more benign than “occupied”; “shared civilian administration” sounds more cooperative than “under military rule”; “administered by the Palestinians” sounds more autonomous than “under brutal siege.” These terms also hide Israel’s defiance of international law.

From Institute for Research – Middle Eastern Policy

RICHMOND, Va.April 16, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A consortium of state and national Israel advocacy groups has sent a detailed set of requested changes to textbooks and teaching guides used in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Requested changes include:

  1. Deletion of references to Israel “occupying” territories captured during the 1967 Six-Day War and substituting “controlled.” International conventions clearly outline the responsibility of occupying powers and the illegality of collective punishment and population transfers.
  2. Changes to maps to recognize Israel’s declared “annexation” of East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. The U.S. and most other countries do not officially recognize Israeli annexation of either territory.
  3. Substitution of references to “occupied territories” to “captured areas.”
  4. Substitution of references to “Jewish settlers” and “settlements” with “building of homes and communities.”
  5. Deletion of a lesson reviewing a video documentary by Iranian-American religious studies scholar, author, producer and television host Reza Aslan.
  6. Deletion of an activity based on reading the biography and work of Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi.
  7. Substitution of an editorial cartoon titled “The Mideast Peace Game Rules” with a cartoon of an Arab suicide terrorist holding a  “Road Map to Peace” game hostage.

California-based Institute for Curriculum Services (ICS) proposed changes were submitted to the Virginia Department of Education on February 28 on behalf of the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, the Jewish Community Relations Committee (JCRC) of Richmond, and the JCRC of Tidewater.

In a January webcast (YouTube video), ICS chief Aliza Craimer Elias claimed that “working behind the scenes” through state advocacy organizations ICS had successfully made more than 11,000 changes to U.S. textbooks.

Publishers of the textbooks targeted for changes include National Geographic, Prentice Hall, Five Ponds Press, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and McGraw-Hill.

All the documents submitted to the Virginia Department of Education were obtained by the Institute for Research Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep) and posted at the Israel Lobby Archive:

The ICS Adobe PDF documents are accompanied by IRmep’s analysis of how the proposed ICS changes contravene international law, balance and current, fact-based historical understandings.

The Israel Lobby Archive is a research unit of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep). IRmep is a Washington-based nonprofit organization that studies US-Middle East policy formulation. IRmep is the publisher of the book “Big Israel: How Israel’s Lobby Moves America” now available from Audible.

SOURCE Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy


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