Published on Apr 22, 2015
A Boston University based group called Axis of Hope conducts workshops, on the Arab-Israeli conflict in many schools across the U.S., including in Weston High School in Massachusetts.These workshops reflect a highly inaccurate account of history, fail to meet the basic rules of evidence and logic and attempt to indoctrinate students, especially Jewish students, against the state of Israel.
APT president Charles Jacobs said, “Axis of Bias @ Weston High School’ (www.stopmiseducation.org) shows how AOH exploits the concept of ‘global education’ in order to promote an anti- Israel and anti-American political agenda.”
In an interview with Al Jazeera TV, AOH founder Carl Hobert defines his program as “Educational, civil disobedience where students are … putting pressure on our government to create a Palestinian state. He also teaches that the use of military drones by the United States is terrorism — a high tech version of suicide bombers.”
Hobert acknowledged that he received guidance in developing the workshop from prominent anti-Israel professors including MIT’s Noam Chomsky and Northeastern University’s Denis Sullivan.
As part of simulated negotiation exercises, workshop teachers are instructed to single out Jewish students for roles that have them empathizing with Hamas. Hamas explicitly calls for the genocide of all Jews in its founding covenant.
Dr. Sandra Stotsky, Former Senior Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Education, said, “this is a must-see video for parents who care about their children’s education and want educators with academic integrity in the classroom.”
Dr. Sandra Alfonsi, president of Hadassah’s “Curriculum Watch,” said, “Axis of Hope is a pedagogically flawed program by a self-styled guru of Educational Civil Disobedience promoting anti-Israel propaganda to well-meaning students who want to bring peace to the world.”
“Despite its bias and serious flaws, the Boston University/AOH workshop is Common Core compliant, and is being is being promoted by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the National Association of Independent Schools, and the Massachusetts Council for Social Studies,” said Jacobs.
“The Axis of Hope workshop is one of many initiatives that seek to promote anti-Israel or anti Jewish propaganda in American classrooms under the banner of teaching “dialogue for peace,” “critical thinking skills” or “conflict resolution skills.”
Jacobs noted, “At a time of growing anti-Semitism on U.S college campuses, it is very disturbing that both Boston University and Weston High School would permit or promote such biased educational materials in the classroom.”
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Response to "Axis of Bias" video
I want to comment on the topic raised in the “Axis of Bias” video recently posted by Charles Jacobs and the “Americans for Peace and Tolerance” organization as it relates to Weston High School. Neither I nor the faculty of WHS believe our students were exposed to only one side of a debate or to blatant propaganda, and I thus would like to provide some context and clarification.
As Dr. Maloney’s message on the WPS Website explains, Weston High School students participated in two activities sponsored by the organization Axis of Hope in 2010 and in 2013. In 2010 a small group of students attended a day-long workshop at Revere High School, and in 2013, Weston High School hosted the same event for many of its then 10th grade students.
The focus of the program was to engage students in considering the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The educators who brought the program to WHS felt that program’s “compassionate approach” to this topic could help build their students’ understanding of both sides of a difficult issue without presenting that information from a biased perspective. Another major goal was to encourage their students’ critical thinking skills and thus enable them to apply this learning to other complex historical realities. This opportunity and its goals are fully in alignment with WHS’s core values of engagement, integrity, resilience and responsibility, and thus I fully supported bringing this program to WHS.
Axis of Hope is not part of the WHS curriculum and has not returned to WHS since 2013. It is instead but one example of the varied opportunities for extended learning that WHS endeavors to make available to students beyond the standard curriculum.
Anthony Parker, Principal
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Axis of Bias -- in our Public Schools
The community is invited to a screening of a documentary – “Axis of Bias” – an expose of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish teaching materials in Newton and Weston public schools and disseminated by Boston University’s School of Education.
Viewers will see how bias against Israel, which we now know is rampant on college campuses, is now seeping into our high schools, under the guises of teaching about “Global Understanding”, “Dialogue for Peace” or as exercises in “Critical Thinking.”
TUESDAY, JUNE 21, 2016
West Newton Cinema
1296 Washington St, West Newton, MA 02465
Q&A session to follow with the filmmakers:
Avi Goldwasser, Executive Producer, Director, and Writer
Dr. Charles Jacobs, President of Americans for Peace and Tolerance
Program is free and open to all.
RSVP suggested via email or phone:
apt (at) peaceandtolerance.org or 617.202.3004