Now, they take him and they teach him and they groom him for life
And they set him on a path where he’s bound to get ill
Then they bury him with stars
Sell his body like they do used cars
Now, there’s a woman on my block
She just sits there facing the hill
She say who going to take away his license to kill?
Now, he’s hell-bent for destruction, he’s afraid and confused
And his brain has been mismanaged with great skill
All he believes are his eyes
And his eyes, they just tell him lies (from Bob Dylan, “License to Kill”)
Part One: American Antisemitic Anti-Israel Children’s Book Authors
There are many studies of how the education system and the universities are brainwashing students to hate America and Israel.
Unlike the Palestinian direct incitement of students, in America, the pro-Muslim, antisemitic propaganda aimed at children is done in a more subtle, but nevertheless dangerous, way.
Here is how it is working in America:
The only worldwide professional organization for children’s book authors and illustrators is called The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and has over 22,000 members in the US and around the world.
As a result of the antisemitic pogroms attacking Jews in big American cities during the most recent Hamas war against Israel, it condemned antisemitism, which one would think is very appropriate. However it was deemed Islamophobic to do this without the moral equivalency of condemning the Jewish State of Israel at the same time. The “diversity officer” who had posted the message about antisemitism without also mentioning Islamophobia felt it necessary to resign.
The original SCBWI statement on anti-Semitism, published on June 10 acknowledged that Jews “have the right to life, safety, and freedom from scapegoating and fear.”
Noting the recent precipitous rise in anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic violence, the statement said, “Silence is often mistaken for acceptance and results in the perpetration of more hatred and violence against different types of people.”
“As proof, it saddens us that for the fourth time this year we are compelled to invite you to join us in not looking away and in speaking out against all forms of hate, including anti-Semitism,” it stated.
“As writers, illustrators, and translators of children’s literature, we are responsible for promoting equity and humanizing people in our work — all children and all families,” the group said.
However in the new America that equates terrorists with victims and uses intersectionality to link every perceived victim with every other perceived victim, the organization was quick to retract its message. SCBWI executive director Lin Oliver issued an apology, saying, “I would like to apologize to everyone in the Palestinian community who felt unrepresented, silenced, or marginalized. SCBWI acknowledges the pain our actions have caused to our Muslim and Palestinian members and hope that we can heal from this moment.”
Oliver said that board seats and Equity and Inclusion Committee slots would be created for Muslim members; and the committee would review its “policies regarding freedom of expression for all underrepresented members to make sure no one is silenced or unsafe.”
One of its Muslim members was quick to tweet, “ A reminder that there are two things that the SCBWI will most certainly NOT prevent me from doing: 1. continuing to speak out about the violent colonization of Palestine; 2. writing children’s literature’: #FreePalestine#kidlit
The organization already has, as is sadly common in such organizations, a Code of Conduct prohibiting “harassment” which could include as harassment any “(h)armful or prejudicial verbal comments, written comments, or visual images related to gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, religion, socio-economic status...” Presumably then, the organization deems this as not strong enough. It wants to better placate Muslims who feel unsafe should any words be uttered that criticize Islamism (which itself makes gays, women, Christians, Jews, Africans, and others feel unsafe in its world of jihad, sharia law and desire for a world-wide caliphate.)
It does not occur to these people that this is yet another case of submission to the Islamist agenda. I discuss this in detail in my book, The Ideological Path to Submission ... and what we can do about it (Mantua Books)
It is an especially dangerous development when it happens in our education systems, our universities, our media and, as here, among people who write books for children, which books must necessarily impart our current ideological confusion.
As noted in an article by Gabriel Greschler in The Jewish News of Northern California, in early May, the San Francisco teachers’ union voted to condemn Israel’s actions during the conflict in Gaza and support the boycott movement. Now others have followed in its wake: two union chapters in Los Angeles, the teachers’ union in Seattle and the statewide union in Vermont.
Part Two UNRWA and the P.A. Getting Away with Murder
In my last essay, “The re-settlement by the indigenous Jews of Israel”, I argued that archaeology and recorded history, including the Torah, evidence Jewish indigenous status in Israel. You cannot settle your own land or occupy your own land, and those who use those words do so to deny all history and law in the service of antisemitism.
The Palestinian Authority and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) have been for many yeats inciting children to terrorism, lynching, violent riots, launching of incendiary devices and anything else they can think of to murder the Jews of Israel and take over the land “from the River to the Sea”.
In late September, 2017, a study was released by the Center for Near East Policy Research, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Middle East Forum, found that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency textbooks were extremely hateful and false and acted as incitement to violence.
The research examined 150 textbooks of various school subjects, taught in grades one to 12. Seventy-five of the books checked were published in 2016 and 2017 as part of a project initiated by the Palestinian Authority, which provides its curriculum to UNRWA schools.
The books contained the themes of delegitimization, demonization and indoctrination to violent struggle instead of peace.
According to the schoolbooks, Jews have no rights whatsoever in “Palestine” but only “greedy ambitions.” The books also say that Jews have no holy places there either – the Western Wall in Jerusalem, the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem are all presented as Muslim holy places threatened by Jews.
In many cases, “Palestine” appears on the map instead of Israel, and covers Israel’s pre-1967 territories as well.
The research showed that demonization and delegitimization were found by calling the State of Israel demonizing terms like “Zionist occupation” and the Arab-Israeli conflict is now termed the “Arab-Zionist conflict,” Israel is not recognized as the historical homeland of the Jewish people as it was for thousands of years, and the Jews are portrayed mainly as opponents of Muhammed, thus portraying the conflict as a religious war and thus a duty.
The Jews are portrayed as having the aim to expel or exterminate the Muslims. There is no discussion of a possible peace, but instead the books portray a violent struggle of liberation against the “occupation”. Books written as of 2016 now give the fate of the 6 million Jews living in the country after its supposed “liberation”. According to the texts, Jews will endure expulsion from the land and “extermination of its defeated and scattered remnants.”
Israelis are portrayed as especially interested in harming Palestinian children.
One book emphasizes a poem with the motif of the struggle for the liberation of al-Aksa Mosque and of the whole country, beyond the territories Israel took over in 1967, namely, Haifa and Jaffa.
A 2017 text referred to a Molotov- cocktail attack on an Israeli civilian bus as a “barbecue party,” and another such text exalts a Palestinian Arab female terrorist responsible for the killing of more than 30 civilians in an attack on another Israeli bus.
UNRWA betrays its moral obligation toward the Palestinian Arab children and youths’ human rights and well-being, by letting the PA prepare them for a future war with Israel; this agency of the UN is the only UN agency dedicated to one group of refugees helping to perpetuate the conflict. The report said: “It is now high time that UNRWA change its policy of nonintervention in the contents of local curricula taught in its schools... “An international organization of this caliber committed to the ideal of peace and relying in its funding on democratic countries mostly, should have a say in this matter, especially in view of its relatively large share of Palestinian educational activity.”
Trump pulled U.S. contributions to UNRWA in August, 2018. It supplied about one-third of the $1.1 billion budget. “The United States will no longer commit further funding to this irredeemably flawed operation,” the US State Department said in a statement adding it was not willing to “shoulder the very disproportionate share of the burden” for the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). Of course, soon after Joe Biden was sworn in as President, he restored the U.S. aid, without making further demands about fixing its curriculum and incitement. If the U.S. funds it, it bears moral responsibility for it; what does that say about the U.S.?
In September, 2019. a study headed by Professor Arnon Groiss, entitled “Israel, Jews and Peace in Palestinian Authority Teachers’ Guides” concentrated on teachers’ guides.
“From the teachers’ guides we understand how the students are manipulated to walk along a premeditated course of getting the one-sided information, internalizing it, creating the appropriate feelings around it and thus becoming a blind tool in the hands of the system. No self-criticism, no attempt to trace some other sources of information that would raise questions, lead to deeper understanding and – in fact – build a healthy thinking person that would contribute to the wellbeing of his or her own society. A whole generation is thus being lost.
“The Palestinian Authority that has been existent for over 25 years by now is responsible for this situation. But its responsibility is shared to a great extent by non-Palestinian actors. Chief among these is UNRWA that uses in its schools in the 'West Bank' and Gaza the PA educational material without the slightest effort to live up to the UN standards of peace education and to the expressed UN goal of solving the Middle East conflict peacefully. Thus, instead of caring for the safety and wellbeing of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian students under its sponsorship, it participates in the PA endeavor of turning them into gun fodder of the ongoing conflict. Instead of working towards the ending of the conflict, UNRWA’s educational system and the donor states that sustain it contribute to its perpetuation. The protracted misery and distress of the Palestinian youth will remain their fault for long.”
We are in a war, a culture war, We expect that war from UNRWA and the P.A. but we don’t expect that our educators in the West have already surrendered to the Islamists. The enemy is successfully stealing the hearts and minds of our children in America. We must also stop pretending that because UNRWA is part of the U.N. that its mischief should be tolerated; and we must get down in the trenches and fight our schools, universities and children’s book author’s associations to win the war before it is too late.
Howard Rotberg is the author of four books, including The Second Catastrophe: A Novel About a Book and its Author, Tolerism: The ideology Revealed, and most recently The Ideological Path to Submission... and what we can do about it. He writes for Israel National News, Frontpage Magazine and New English Review, among others. He is president of Mantua Books