Maps of 'Vanishing Palestinian land'

These maps are used in at least one section of World History II (10th grade) in the Newton Public  Schools (NPS). The maps, which purport to show the shrinkage in “Palestinian” land from 1910 to 2000, are also on the website of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). The same maps are used in a controversial advertisement placed in train stations in Boston and other cities by an anti-Israel group. 

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) condemned the advertisement as “deliberately misleading and biased” and an attempt to delegitimatiz[e] Israel.


ADL Reaction to the Map Sequence As Used in Newton Schools

Although the ADL condemns the map sequence when used in advertisements, it finds the same series acceptable for use by Newton Public Schools (NPS) students. An ADL Report on Newton schools claimed (see 3rd page) that that use of the sequence was not objectionable because "it was revealed that the map was actually one part of a packet of a range of other maps utilized to provide diverse perspectives." The 'revelation' presumably came from the NPS.

The map packet provided to students is here. Of the fifteen maps in the packet, six are from an anti-Israel perspective, nine are neutral, and none represent an Israeli perspective at odds with Arab or other anti-Israel views. 

None of the maps students use counters the PLO maps even though other map sequences show the evolution of the Jewish homeland from a Jewish/Israeli perspective ; nor do students receive any of the numerous critical analyses of the PLO maps (here and here). This gives students a one-sided view of the Arab-Israeli conflict and endorses anti-Israel biases. The ADL of all organizations should know this.

Unfortunately, past history has shown that the NPS cannot be relied upon when asked about class materials. In fact, some of the NPS' statements about class materials are so far-fetched as to be ridiculous.

These include the claim by Superintendent Fleishman that the false, anti-Israel statement in the Arab World Studies Notebook "was actually used to teach about bias" (neither the student who reported the statement nor any other student said it was used as an example of bias, and it is not believable that an eight-page overview of Arab women was used to illustrate a single instance of bias) and the NPS' recent statement, cited on p. 3 of the ADL's Report on Newton Schools, that the book A Muslim Primer "is not being used as a text in classrooms" (a book chapter book distributed to and read by students is certainly "being used in classrooms" regardless of whether it is part of a textbook or used in stand-alone form).

There is a serious credibility problem with the NPS. This, combined with administrator's refusal to even read the Verity Educate and CAMERA reports analyzing student material, much less act on them, is a disgraceful show of educational incompetence and deceit by a district that boasts of its 'world-class' facilities.






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