A school district in the suburbs of Chicago recently recommended a workshop, titled “Teaching Palestine,” to its educators. Run by an organization called Teachers for Social Justice, the workshop aims to provide information to instructors about how they can make “Palestine and the Palestine liberation struggle” part of their curricula. Jonathan Marks comments:
The workshop explains not only how to teach Palestinian history but also “how to counter objections from Zionists” to an “anti-Zionist curriculum.” Further information . . . isn’t available, but a previous Teachers for Social Justice workshop featured Muhammad Sankari, a youth organizer with the Arab American Action Network. Sankari is the author of [an anti-Semitic] poem relating the shooting of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri to a host of other kinds of violence. . . .
One can only imagine how that workshop fulfilled its promise to “break down Zionism, as well as relate the situation in that part of the world to displacement, eviction, brutality, and resistance that may look familiar to Chicago students.” Sankari’s co-teachers were Shira Tevah, then a member of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN), and Ruby Thorkelson, who, though she kept a lower profile, signed on to an IJAN letter calling for “the full economic, cultural, and academic boycott of Israel.” . . .
While we focus on anti-Israel activities at the college level, comparatively limited attention is paid . . . to the middle-school and high-school level. It’s safe to assume that the boycott-Israel movement, which targets cultural and educational institutions, is working at those levels, indirectly—our K-12 teachers are trained at colleges and universities—and directly, through workshops like the one in question.