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Richard Cravatts

For educators seeped in a contemporary cultural of political correctness, it is nearly unbelievable that not one person in that committee room failed to see the moral lethality of the assignment’s language. No one has accused anyone involved with the assignment of being anti-Semitic, but in the highly unlikely event that had anyone on the committee had even proposed a topic that touched upon any other intellectually or culturally incendiary topic, it would have been instantly suppressed.

The assignment was meant to promote critical thinking, and there is certainly a wide range of relevant though controversial topics that might have provided a rich source of intellectual wrestling for those middle school minds; topics that would not require students to contradict historical fact and that are still open to actual debate and investigation. For instance, they could debate whether African Americans are socially and culturally inferior to white people in America, a topic for which there is undoubtedly much opinion on both sides of the argument. They could, as Lawrence Summers did before he was forced to resign as president of Harvard University for having done so, question whether the reason women fail to excel in math and the sciences, and do not therefore fill faculty slots in those fields, is due to a genetic superiority in men, a controversial but oft-debated theory.

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There are other relevant and current debates in the marketplace of ideas that certainly are open to opinions from both sides, such as whether when a woman undergoes an abortion she is murdering a child, or if homosexuality is a mental disorder and lifestyle choice as opposed to a physiological condition predetermined at birth. If the committee wished for students to evaluate politics and theology, they might have asked if Islam is actually “the religion of peace” or instead is actually an intolerant cult that rejects modernity, requires submission by its adherents, represses women, and has a long history of terror, aggression, and jihad against the infidel world.

All of these topics differ from the one actually chosen by the committee in that none of them can be proven absolutely, and all can be vigorously argued from differing points of view –exactly what the assignment in question was meant to inspire. But obviously none of them was chosen, and the reason is just as obvious: had anyone on the committee even dared to have articulated any of the examples above, the other committee members would have been apoplectic at the very thought of questioning prevailing orthodoxies or offending members of the groups involved.

In the rarified atmosphere of present-day American culture, particularly on campuses, certain topics are off limits and the behavior of certain groups can never be questioned. None of these topics and behaviors would ever be considered for use as a critical thinking assignment precisely because every educator in that committee room would intuitively realize that members of the groups targeted might feel maligned, insulted, libeled, or intimidated by the ensuing discussion.

But when Jews, and the central horror of Jewish history, were the topic, that moral sensitivity was strangely absent, and the lesson of this incident is to be found just there: that anti-Semitism infected the student assignment completely and no one even knew it had entered the room.

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Richard L. Cravatts, Ph.D., is president emeritus of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, and the author of “Dispatches From the Campus War Against Israel and Jews.”

40 COMMENTS

  1. But students have no idea of past history. They say history can repeat itself. I think yes, but through ignorance. These teachers are teaching these kids to stop and look formfacts before listening to bias bigotry from those who have rhese things handed down to them. I would say from all the enormous facts there could not be but one answer if one looks. I think it would not bring but awareness of the evil of a dictator. One would only have to visit europe or the museum here to see this evil. Maybe a field trip

  2. Parents need to seek a very good education for their children. My daughter has her PHD in brain neuroscience, at 27. She was raised Catholic and rhus raised to love and respect the Jews. But those with less education will be good for them to learn to find things out before l

  3. I found anti-Judaism at every level of education in my own personal experience as a student and a teacher. Perhaps being in a predominantly fundamentalist state was part of it. I was told I needed ‘to find Jesus’ after I stopped laying low as a Jew for 5 years. A year later I was out of teaching. Stopped laying low? Admitting I was Jewish when asked.

  4. Anything my Daddy says must be true! Unless he says check with you your Mom first! Next in the docket Asian Students take over major campuses! Like stealth geniuses they changed the course of campus life from rowdy to quiet. From Partay, to Studey! Any complaints? Try to get through their Tiger Moms!

  5. All they really wanted was to sow the seed of doubt and ambiguity in their little 8th grade minds. And so they have. It may not take root in all, but if it does in even one, they will have accomplished their mission for now. It’s a long, tedious, patient war they wage, one they feel confident to win…in time.

  6. All they really wanted was to sow the seed of doubt and ambiguity in their little 8th grade minds. And so they have. It may not take root in all, but if it does in even one, they will have accomplished their mission for now. It’s a long, tedious, patient war they wage, one they feel confident to win…in time.

  7. Most are leftists and “progressives” who secretly approve of this kind of education when it comes to anyone who hates the USA. At best it keeps them from battling against the enemy…at worst it contributes to the destruction of both US and Israel. I am a Jewish man who abhors these kinds of wafflers and twisters of Jewish and American history in order to prove they “belong” to the elites in America. They appear to think that it somehow helps them. It is not OK to trade Israeli lives, or anybody’s at that, to save your own skin.

  8. In the UK where I come from schools were taught
    About the Holocust but now many schools have
    Band it because muslium children and there parents
    Are offended for there children to study about
    Jews during WW2 . Every collage and Univercity
    In the UK most of them have been over run by
    Exstreamist Islamist who are making Jewish students lives Hell . The heads of these places are turning a blind eye because they are getting donations
    For there Unis from the Saudis and the Emirets
    Islamic oil countries . Then you’ve got the
    Lecturers who are exstreamist Lefties . They allow
    Into these places exstreamist Imams to preach hatred
    Nothing has been done by the government it’s too late for the UK but if you don’t get Reid of OBAMA
    God help The USA !!!

  9. This has been an ongoing problem in California schools for the nearly the last two decades. For twenty years while my children were in schools, I was very much “in their faces” if I saw something that was not “kosher”. I compared my education of a different time to what was being pushed upon my children and would be part of the “site council”, be there for the school board meetings and insisting that instead of whitewashing history to teach the facts and let the children understand that this should NOT happen again. I’ve met with teachers who should NOT have been given the opportunity to go near a child for many reasons and praised those teachers who clearly enjoyed what they did and gave from their heart to the children.

    I tell new parents of school-aged children to find a charter school or talk to a private school about reducing the fees. If you tell them that you want a better education for your child than what today’s public school has, they will work with you – even if it is a parochial school. In the end everyone wins.

  10. There is freedom of religion but how what about factual education? That does not exist under Common Core. Mazel tov on your daughter with her Ph.D. That is good to hear. I work in Mental Health and see the new doctors coming in. Some are naturals and have the hunger and feel for the patients while others want just the money. I am sure your daughter is of the later. May she continue to shine and make you proud.

  11. First of all the author writes as if people with education degrees actually have an education – almost certainy not. Education programs for open to nearly everyone and you have to be serious mentally incompetent not to get a degree from one of these joke ‘schools.’

  12. No, while Americans are guaranteed freedom of religion by the Constitution the Obama, the DNC, and every liberal hates that so while they are still in the process of tearing up the Constitution they are trying to make your life hell if you don’t agree with them 100%.

  13. That is Christian at the moment. But United States is made uo of millions of Catholics and next to Israel as many Jews. Then the most Christians of various denominations. They are way outnumbered. And our leaders are a Catholic, Jewish, and Christians…Its sad but many states have already had to make laws protexting the bible and other Christian crosses etc. Such as the Jews..But still between Jews and Christians we hold the ground..

  14. Chrisrians have been taught to be meek and mild and were slaughtered as lambs. We are just starting to push back and when one is pushed in a corner then you have to do these things. A Chrisrian church today with several hundred Christians hiding in it was destroyed and all killed. Christians are slaughted many days now in the middle east. A lot of left , so soon they will be there no more..

  15. And the ..no cnild left behind was the worst idea. You were certainly left behind in my days of education..and you will be left behind if you attend a good university or college..my child grew up in a Catholic school…very good education and well worth the money..I would never allowed her to go to a public school..

  16. Oh Hinda, you are so righf. I just had two surgeries from a doctor in his thirties. He is such a natural and caring surgeon..loved him and so smart..

  17. Believe it or not i am a democrat but more conservative side. President Obamawith all his faults as one wants to find has done good things as well. If only you want to praise him for finding Bin Laden who destroyed the twin towers and killed many many people just working. And many cnildren in those buildings in childcare. Along with firemen and others trying to help people escape. Only president to take a big chance xuring an election. If onl y killing Bin Laden and throwing his body in the ocean one should be grateful of bis presidency. Ten hears later, how soon we forget the deeds of this madman

  18. When this happened,. He knew personally the stewardness who had her throat sliced. He broke in tears..such evil those who hate us…they love to die as martyrs..

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