The State of California Puts Anti-Semitism and Critical Race Theory on the Public-School Curriculum

Jan. 29 2021

In 2016, California passed a law mandating that ethnic studies become part of the high-school curriculum, and set a task force to work on developing such a course of study. Three years later, the task force came back with a 600-page document, that helpfully defined ethnic studies as the examination of “people whose cultures, histories, and social positionalities are forever changing and evolving,” as well as “mixtures, hybridities, nepantlas, double consciousness, and reconfigured articulations.”

The document also lists the anti-Israel boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement alongside domestic America movements like Black Lives Matter and refers to the creation of a Jewish state as the nakba (Arabic for “catastrophe”). Moreover, Emily Benedek notes, it neglects to mention Martin Luther King, Jr. or Thurgood Marshall as influential “people of color,” but does find room to praise Pol Pot. Nor does it mention anti-Semitism in its laundry list of other forms of bigotry. But, Benedek explains, all this is to be expected from a document shaped by the fashionable academic ideology known as critical race theory, the roots of which she traces to the backlash against the firing of George Murray by a California university in 1968:

In a speech a week before his firing, George Murray, who also served as the “minister of education” for the Black Panther Party, declared the U.S. Constitution a “lie” and the American flag a “piece of toilet paper” deserving to be flushed. He also attacked Jewish people as “exploiters of the Negroes in America and South Africa” and called for “victory to the Arab people” over Israel.

This approach saturates the model curriculum, which received ample criticism, as did a second version. Now the state government is evaluating third draft, which, writes Benedek, is little better:

For example, a historical resource was added with the following description of prewar Zionism: “the Jews have filled the air with their cries and lamentations in an effort to raise funds and American Jews, as is well known, are the richest in the world.”

To placate critics, the third version [also] has added lessons about Korean Americans, Armenian Americans, and Sikhs. Two lessons have been offered about Jews. One . . . teaches that Mizraḥi Jews coming to the United States from Arab lands were mistreated by “white” Ashkenazim. The other suggests that Jews of European descent benefit from “white privilege.”

Read more at Tablet

More about: Anti-Semitism, BDS, California, Idiocy

American Aid to Lebanon Is a Gift to Iran

For many years, Lebanon has been a de-facto satellite of Tehran, which exerts control via its local proxy militia, Hizballah. The problem with the U.S. policy toward the country, according to Tony Badran, is that it pretends this is not the case, and continues to support the government in Beirut as if it were a bulwark against, rather than a pawn of, the Islamic Republic:

So obsessed is the Biden administration with the dubious art of using taxpayer dollars to underwrite the Lebanese pseudo-state run by the terrorist group Hizballah that it has spent its two years in office coming up with legally questionable schemes to pay the salaries of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), setting new precedents in the abuse of U.S. foreign security-assistance programs. In January, the administration rolled out its program to provide direct salary payments, in cash, to both the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Internal Security Forces (ISF).

The scale of U.S. financing of Lebanon’s Hizballah-dominated military apparatus cannot be understated: around 100,000 Lebanese are now getting cash stipends courtesy of the American taxpayer to spend in Hizballah-land. . . . This is hardly an accident. For U.S. policymakers, synergy between the LAF/ISF and Hizballah is baked into their policy, which is predicated on fostering and building up a common anti-Israel posture that joins Lebanon’s so-called “state institutions” with the country’s dominant terror group.

The implicit meaning of the U.S. bureaucratic mantra that U.S. assistance aims to “undermine Hizballah’s narrative that its weapons are necessary to defend Lebanon” is precisely that the LAF/ISF and the Lebanese terror group are jointly competing to achieve the same goals—namely, defending Lebanon from Israel.

Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Israeli Security, Lebanon, U.S. Foreign policy