Thursday, January 13, 2022

  • Thursday, January 13, 2022
  • Elder of Ziyon

Jewish Insider/Circuit News has a really great profile of  U.S. Army General Miguel Correa, a Catholic Puerto Rican who worked on and coined the term "Abraham Accords." It is a must-read.

Correa has had a most interesting life. When he was a teen his family lived in Kuwait where he learned Arabic and made friends with the Kuwaitis. His understanding of the Arab world helped a great deal when the US was brokering the agreements between Israel and the UAE.

Here, he describes what he learned about Israel at his high school:

Correa completed eighth and ninth grades at the American School of Kuwait, which catered to the kids of diplomats and wealthy Kuwaitis. It was there that Correa learned Arabic and studied Islam, and it was also the first time he learned about Israel. Sort of. 

”You spent the first three or four days of every single semester taking your textbook, and you’d have a teacher at the front, and there was a Ministry of Education [directive] that would mandate what parts of your book you had to take out,” Correa recalled. Armed with a pair of scissors and a marker, he went through his textbooks, looking for offensive language and imagery. Any depictions of the Prophet Muhammad were cut out. Maps that showed the State of Israel were colored over in dark permanent marker. 

“Anything to do with Israel,” he said, “you markered it, or you cut the whole page out if it was trying to explain something from the Western way.” 

The “Western way” as it related to Israel meant describing the country as anything but an illegitimate Zionist entity occupying Palestinian land. “It was 100% one-sided, in that it was genocide, that the Israelis pushed out the Palestinians, period,” said Correa. 

“You’re a little kid, and so you think anything the government says, it’s law, it’s perfect,” he explained.

The Americans and others who send their kids to the American School of Kuwait (ASK) would naturally expect an education on par with an American school. That was the entire purpose of the school, as its website says, its goal is "giving our students the highest standards of American education in Kuwait."

Moreover, ASK is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, which accredits thousands of American schools and about 100 foreign schools like ASK.

Which means that any school accredited by MSA may censor textbooks.

It sounds like this is something that is simply accepted because it is the local law. But accepting censorship is unacceptable, and the MSA should have policies about that. I didn't see any on their site. 

In other words, a major accrediting organization that is itself recognized by the US Department of Education as a reliable authority allows textbooks to be censored for political reasons.

Does anyone think that ASK has changed a thing since the 1980s? 

Isn't it a problem that schools that allow censorship can be accredited?

Does anyone care that the children of diplomats are learning to hate a US ally?

Correa notes that his informal education also included antisemitism:
A couple years later, he found himself staring at an Israeli flag hanging in a friend’s dorm room at the Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale, where he attended high school as a boarding student. He did not understand.

“I remember taking this all in, like, ‘OK, what does this mean? He doesn’t have horns,’” Correa said of the first time he met Greg Wald, a Jewish teammate on the Pine Crest football team. Back in Kuwait, “anything that was derogatory to Jews was good.” His friends had taught him curse words in Arabic: Inta kalb. You’re a dog. Inta yahoodi. You’re Jewish. “And that was at the same level,” Correa said. “Think about that.” 
Anti-Zionism and antisemitism have always gone hand-in-glove.

(h/t Jim W.)

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