Examples of Inaccurate and/or Biased Material

The following are some of the worst material used in Newton high school history classes. All of them contain inaccurate, biased, and anti-Israel/anti-semitic statements - not one or two passages, but large amounts. Some of the material consists almost entirely of inaccuracies.

Keep in mind that the below includes only material that we believe is currently used, not material already removed after parental protest. (As far as we are aware, the NPS has not removed any material of its own volition). In addition, as only a fraction of the material used in NPS high school World History courses has been reviewed by Verity Educate, PENS, CAMERA, or any other entity (the NPS has not reviewed any material), there may be other objectionable material which remains hidden.

This list contains the worst material and leaves out most material that 'only' contains a moderate amount of bias and/or inaccuracy.

Material Reviewed In Verity Educate Report

(Letters refer to the sections in the Report)

D. POV Timeline

Although presented as an ostensibly 'neutral' review of the history of Israel, with contrasting timelines for Israelis and Palestinians (the role of Arab states such as Syria, Jordan, Egypt, etc. in carrying out terror attacks and offensive wars receives little mention), the Timeline was actually written under the supervision of an avowed anti-Israel advocate. The Verity Educate report devotes 12 pages to correcting inaccuracy and bias in the first 8 pages (of the 10-page summary) alone. The Timeline also omits significant facts that support the Israeli version of events.

For example, the Timeline entirely skips the years 1936 through 1947 - the years during which the Holocaust, Arab riots, the refusal of almost every nation on earth to allow Jews to emigrate, the internment of Jewish refugees in Cyprus, and other events essential to the understanding of Middle East history occurred. The omission of these years renders the Timeline useless in any attempt to obtain a basic knowledge of the history of Israel or the Arab-Israeli conflict.

F. Perspectives on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

This compilation (material is here; analysis here) includes 3 speeches by Yassar Arafat, Ariel Sharon, and Yitzak Rabin, along with 'explanations' of each speech. It also includes a deceptively edited version of the Hamas Covenant.

Both the speeches and the Covenant have been altered, either through editing the documents themselves or the addition of text 'explaining' the document - to the extent that they cannot be considered true or accurate representations of the originals. For example, all references in the Covenant to the genocide of Jews and descriptions of Jews as 'Nazis' have been removed.

The speeches are also misleadingly presented. For example, Arafat's speech is titled "We Recognize Israel", even though the speech has no such title, does not say that Arafat or the Palestinian Authority recognizes Israel, and thirty years after Arafat gave the speech, the Palestinian Authority still does not recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

G. The Palestinian National Charter (1968)

This copy of the Palestinian National Charter, provided by a student, has been altered to remove Article 2, which states: "Palestine, with the boundaries it had during the British Mandate, is an indivisible territorial unit". The Charter has had its numbers removed to hide the alteration.

Assuming that this version of the Charter was actually presented to students - and there is no reason to think that it is not - it is yet another indication that students are being taught not only from material that is biased and inaccurate, but from material that is actually deceptive. Unfortunately, the Charter is not the only document to receive this treatment (see sections F and U).

Z. The Middle East in Transition

The Verity Educate Report describes numerous inaccuracies and biases in the text. The most worrisome aspect of this material is that it teaches students that there is little or no connection between the Jewish people and the land of Israel. This bond, which has been explicitly recognized by every major Jewish denomination, is one of the main tenets of Judaism.

According to the definition of "anti-semitism" used by the U.S. government (a more detailed version of the "3D" test formulated by Natan Sharansky), attempts to deny this relationship are anti-semitic.

This is the text's section on Zionism (p. 6):

What was Zionism?

"Zion" is a Hebrew word for the land of Israel. Zionism, the movement for establishing the state of Israel, had its origins in Europe, where Jews had long been subjected to persecution. At the end of the nineteenth century, some Jewish intellectuals argued that their people could flourish safely only by establishing an independent state. They looked in East Africa and South America before settling on Palestine, a significant region in Jewish history as the best choice. In the early 1900s, these Zionists started buying land there for Jewish settlements.

The description of the Jewish homeland as no more than a "significant place" in Jewish history and the false contentions that leading proponents of Zionism seriously considered adopting Uganda or South America as a new 'homeland' meets the "delegitimization" prong of the test in that it denies the relationship between Jews and the land of Israel. As such, the text can fairly be considered anti-semitic.