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Report: High school curriculum says Israel tortures Palestinian women

A recent expose in Tablet revealed that one Massachusetts high school has trucked alarmingly in anti-semitic class material, curricula which the school defended when confronted about it.

In a lengthy feature published last week, the magazine detailed how, in 2011, Newton South High School student Shiri Pagliuso returned from school to ask her father, Tony, if Israel was “systematically torturing and killing Palestinian women.”

Shiri showed her father a class handout titled “Arab World Studies” that made numerous inflammatory claims about Israel.

“Over the past four decades, women have been active in the Palestinian resistance movement. Several hundred have been imprisoned, tortured, and killed by Israeli occupation forces,” the handout declared.

From the article:

[Tony] Pagliuso, a dual citizen of the United States and Israel, was alarmed that such claims had somehow found their way into the curriculum of a public school. He called his daughter’s teacher, Jessica Engel.

“I fully expected when I called that I would be told, ‘Jeez we didn’t catch this and this shouldn’t be in the curriculum,’” he told an interviewer shortly thereafter. “This was my full expectation. I was very wrong.”

Instead, according to Pagliuso, Engel informed him that the material was wholly appropriate. Pagliuso called the head of the school’s social studies department, Jennifer Morrill, only to hear a similar message…

Pagliuso finally managed to secure a meeting with the principal, Joel Stembridge. In an email to Tablet, Stembridge said that the book was not formally being taught; it was a reference available for teachers. In any case, according to Pagliuso, at the time Stembridge told him not only that the book was legitimate for use, but that the following year his daughter would study “some things that are going to be even more upsetting to you about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Read the full report here

IMAGE: KelseyJ/Shutterstock

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