While the U.S. continues to be Israel's greatest ally, many of its youth are turning their backs on this historic friendship. New research suggests the educational system might be partly to blame. Writing at JNS, Rafael Medoff looks at how biased textbooks are turning a generation against Israel:
Anti-Israel bias in the textbooks used by many American high schools may be to blame for the decrease in sympathy for Israel among young adults.
According to the Brand Israel Group, only 54 percent of U.S. college students lean more toward Israel than the Palestinians, down from 73 percent in 2010. The decrease was even sharper among Jewish college students, dropping from 84 percent to 57 percent.
“The problem starts in high school,” Dr. Sandra Alfonsi, founder of Hadassah’s “Curriculum Watch” division, told JNS.org. “There’s no doubt the lack of sympathy for Israel on college campuses today is at least partly the result of several generations of teenagers being educated with textbooks that are slanted against Israel...”
“The problem is that for every school that removes an anti-Israel text, there are a hundred more that are continuing to use it,” Alfonsi said, adding, “When I began this work 20 years ago, we were reviewing curriculum materials used for the 6th to 12th grades. Now we are seeing anti-Israel in bias in texts going all the way down to the 4th grade. I’m concerned that many in the Jewish community still do not recognize how serious this problem is.”