California Parents Say No to Anti-Semitic Ethnic Studies

Lori Lowenthal Marcus and Jesse M. Fried:

A group of Jewish public-school parents and teachers filed a federal lawsuit Thursday challenging the adoption of anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist curricular materials in Los Angeles public schools.

Last year California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law requiring public-school students in the state to complete a course in ethnic studies to graduate from high school. He said it was needed because “students deserve to see themselves in their studies, and they must understand our nation’s full history if we expect them to one day build a more just society.” But the ethnic-studies movement has never been about representation or justice. A creature of 1960s radical left-wing activism, ethnic studies was from the start about attacking the U.S., capitalism and Zionism.

Advocates—including teachers union officials, public-school teachers and other ideologues—have formed the Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Consortium, through which they hope to influence the teaching of ethnic studies in the state. The consortium, which disseminates teaching materials lifted directly from radical anti-Israel websites, rejects the idea that all cultures should be studied. It asserts that ethnic studies is about only four groups: Native Americans, black Americans, Chicanos/Latinos, and Asian-Americans/Pacific Islanders. That last group includes Arabs from the Middle East—but not Jews, who’ve lived in that same region for millennia.