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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Tennessee textbooks downplay terrorism, classify Hamas et. al. as "political parties"

From Washington Times:

Several Tennessee parents are outraged over a textbook distributed in their children’s high school “human geography” class that suggest Hamas, Hezbollah and the PLO are political parties.

One statement from the 10th edition of “The Cultural Landscape: An Introduction to Human Geography” textbook was most alarming to one of the parents, Hugh Nemets, who is Jewish.

“If a Palestinian suicide bomber kills several dozen Israeli teenagers in a Jerusalem restaurant, is that an act of terrorism or wartime retaliation against Israeli government policies and army actions?” the book asks.

Nemets said, “It smells of anti-Semitism to me. It opened the door to legitimizing terror,” Mr. Nemets told Nashville’s News 2.
He is one of 10 Williamson County parents who voiced their concerns at a board meeting earlier last week.

A Williamson County school district spokesperson told the station that the book was selected from a list given to them by the State Department of Education.

Parents concerned about the textbooks can submit a formal written complaint. The school district told Nashville’s News 2 it has not yet received any such complaint.

WKRN, Nashville News, Nashville Weather and Sports

Glancing at an online version of sections from the book, I see other issues. It has a ton of information about Islam but very little about Judaism.

It includes a few problematic questions:

The Western Wall in Jerusalem remains an effective boundary between:



Two problems: it doesn't describe the Kotel at all as to its importance, and it implies that Jews have no business on their holiest site.

Another:

Using this diffusion map of religion, the hearths of the three religions illustrated in this map are



"Palestine"?  Is that where Judaism and Christianity came from? Funny, I don't think Jesus ever used that term.

I wish that full textbooks were online - I'm sure that there is a ton of bias that is evident, but it takes a lot of effort to find it.

(h/t Einfal)