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Public School Maps Erasing Israel – HotAir

One of the more disturbing facts about public schools–and let’s face it, almost all facts about our public school system are disturbing–is that foreign governments and Left-wing nonprofits now design a good chunk of the curriculum.

Planned Parenthood provides curricular support. The United Nations does. China does. And, in this case, Qatar is doing so. I’d love to see some investigative reporter dive into all the different groups that provide curricular material and/or funding to our public schools in order to slip into the curriculum their preferred propaganda.

The invaluable Free Press–Bari Weiss’ outstanding alternative news site–has a disturbing if unsurprising story about how a Qatari-funded “Arab Culture Arts” program is pushing its own propaganda to New York City school students, and in fact to students all around the country.

A New York City public school is being accused of “Jewish erasure” after a map from one of its classrooms surfaced showing all the countries of the Middle East except Israel, which is labeled “Palestine.”

The Free Press was shown a photo of the map of the “Arab world,” hanging in the art classroom at PS 261, a public elementary school in Brooklyn. Rita Lahoud uses the classroom to give lessons to pre-K and elementary students in the “Arab Culture Arts” program, which is funded by Qatar Foundation International (QFI). QFI is the American wing of the Qatar Foundation, a nonprofit owned by the ruling family of the wealthy Arab state, which harbors leaders of the terrorist group Hamas.

Actually, I think the Hamas leaders fled Qatar after Israel made clear that they would be hunted down and killed, but, likely, some Hamas leaders remain there, so I won’t dispute this claim.

The map of the region lists all the Arab countries, and they claim that they include the region in which Israel exists is legitimately labeled as such because about 20% of Israeli citizens are Arabic.

True enough. Except…they label the territory “Palestine,” which is a country that doesn’t actually exist. In other words, the map is intended to erase the existence of Israel and claim the territory as Arab.

Qatar can claim this all it wants, except this claim is not being taught to Qataris but to American public school students as a fact, and America recognizes Israel. The map does not reflect American policy, internationally recognized governments, or even the UN’s position. It is, in other words, pure propaganda.

The emergence of the map comes after a Free Press investigation showed how educators in American public schools are increasingly teaching students to hate Jews. One curriculum—the Brown University Choices Program—which presents ideas of Israel being an “apartheid state” and “a military occupier” taught to one million public school students nationwide, has been distributed by QFI.

QFI first posted a photo of the map at PS 261 on X (formerly Twitter) in April 2023 with the comment: “We love seeing #Arabic classroom decorations!” The colorful map, manufactured by Arab education company Ruman, purportedly shows all the countries of northern Africa and the Middle East, with photos of landmarks in each nation. At PS 261, the map is posted under the header “Arab World” with hand-drawn labels marking each nation. But the space nestled between Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt—where Israel has been a state since 1948—is marked “Palestine,” despite the fact there is no internationally recognized Palestinian state. The Instagram account for Ruman is filled with posts decrying Israel’s violence in Palestine.

The fact that this program exists is disturbing enough–do we really want other countries providing curricular material to our public schools along with what amount to bribes to induce teaching the material?–but it highlights the fact that much of what is taught in our schools is smuggled in by outside groups.

Qatar is one of many such groups. China is another, and I think we can all agree that China is a hostile power.

Over the past few months we have seen the fruits of these propaganda efforts, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

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