In part one of this two-part online event series, author and activist, Miko Peled, hosted an excellent round table discussions featuring educators, activists, civil rights advocates, and law experts in order to tackle this critical topic.
June 25, 2020 Speaker Panel:
Jeanne Trabulsi, Education Committee @ Virginia Coalition for Human Rights
Dr. Samia Shoman Ed.D, Advisory Committee to the California Ethnic Studies Curriculum
Zoha Khalili, Staff Attorney @ Palestine Legal
Hosted by Miko Peled, Israeli-American Author & Human Rights Activist
In California, the Legislative Jewish Caucus campaigned against the inclusion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a statewide ethnic studies curriculum. In Florida, lawmakers passed a bill (signed into law, in Israel, by Gov. Ron DeSantis) which changed the state’s anti-discrimination law applying to public education to adopt a controversial redefinition of antisemitism that includes various criticisms of Israel. In Virginia, pro-Israel groups commissioned and submitted a report to the Virginia Department of Education that proposed biased and inaccurate edits to history and social studies textbooks up for adoption. In Texas, conservative and pro-Israel groups successfully implemented social studies curriculum which includes language that blames Palestinians and the Arab world for the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict.
These are just a few recent examples of the types of interventions and meddling that pro-Israel special interest groups have launched on the U.S. education institution. These censorship efforts and propaganda campaigns hinder critical discussion of Palestine and Israel in public and private high schools around the country. It’s not just curriculum that is being affected either; we have seen dozens of incidents resulting in both students and teachers being censored, silenced, and intimidated for simply recognizing Palestine and its culture in the classroom.