Portland teachers union believes the intifada starts in kindergarten, pushes anti-Israel lessons

The curriculum calls Israeli Jews “colonial settlers” and the war against Hamas “Israel’s Genocide on Gaza.”

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Ari Hoffman Seattle WA
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Portland Oregon parents are enraged over the plans of a teachers union to have children as young as kindergarten study a curriculum that claims "Jewish people" are "settler-colonial" oppressors, celebrates Palestinian "martyrs" and encourages children to attend "protests."

Parents first learned about “Teaching and Organizing for Palestine,” created by the 4500-member Portland Association of Teachers, last month. This is when the union hosted anti-Israel activists at an advocacy meeting at its headquarters, where activists encouraged teachers to hang Palestinian flags in their classrooms, wear T-shirts with anti-Israel, pro-Hamas, and antisemitic messaging and teach the terrorist organization’s false narrative on the events in Gaza.



The union posted a guide to its website entitled “Know Your Rights! Teaching & Organizing for Palestine within Portland Public Schools” and linked videos, lesson plans, slide shows, and other resources that omit the Oct. 7 attacks and other atrocities committed by Palestinian terrorists, including the murder and rape of civilians and kidnapping of hundreds of hostages. 



The curriculum calls Jews who have lived in Israel consistently for thousands of years “colonial settlers” and called Israel’s war against Hamas “Israel’s Genocide on Gaza.”



Children in kindergarten were taught that Zionist Jews are land thieves who wanted to create "a country where rules were mostly fair for Jewish people with White skin." 



The material also features posters for the classroom with antisemitic phrases such as "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” and encourages children to attend pro-Hamas and anti-police rallies.



Union members at the meeting were given Palestinian flags and t-shirts emblazoned with the phrase calling for the destruction of Israel and the genocide of all Jews, Christians, and Muslims who live there.



The material included chant sheets for teachers which included the phrases “Resistance is justified when people are occupied!,” a justification of terror attacks and “We salute all our martyrs! mothers, fathers, sons and daughters!,” a glorification of terrorists.

Rabbi David Kosak of Congregation Neveh Shalom in Southwest Portland, and a parent at Portland Public Schools, told the Oregonian that the guide attempts to “inculcate and indoctrinate” students and has left area Jews feeling “unsafe and attacked.”

“Any person with a heart ought to be disturbed about the conditions in Gaza, but using words correctly matters. And it creates hatred when you use them incorrectly. …They’re laying the groundwork for ever increasing amounts of hatred of Jews,” Kosak said.

Parents have said the indoctrination has been going on since October 7 and this was the final straw.

Angela Bonilla, president of the union, claimed the lesson plans aren’t antisemitic, telling the outlet, “We are vehemently against any forms of bigotry, including antisemitism.”



Despite Bonilla’s claims, following the backlash, some of the antisemitic material was removed from PAT’s website, but the “Know Your Rights! Teaching and Organizing for Palestine within Portland Public Schools,” is still online.



According to the outlet, the guide used many photos by The Oregonian/OregonLive photographer Mark Graves, but “neither the union nor Oregon Educators for Palestine, which produced the guide together, had the permission of the news organization to publish them. Monday, the union said it’d remove those photos from its guide.”
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