Public School District Tells Its Teachers 'Israeli Terrorism' Has Been 'Significantly Worse' Than Hamas

Massachusetts-based Revere Public Schools touts anti-Israel resources in email to staff

(Ronen Zvulun/Reuters)
October 11, 2023

Days after Iran-backed terrorist group Hamas launched an assault on Israel that killed more than 1,200 civilians, a Massachusetts-based public school district sent its teachers a resource that argues "Israeli terrorism" has historically been "significantly worse than that of the Palestinians."

Revere Public Schools superintendent Dianne Kelly on Monday sent an email to teachers outlining the "difficult conversations" they may need to have with students following Hamas's terrorism. The email, unearthed by watchdog group Parents Defending Education, directed teachers to the Southern Poverty Law Center's "Resources For Learning About Israel and Palestine," which touts a Middle East Policy Council report downplaying Hamas terrorism. "Contrary to the standard mythology, especially in Israel, Israeli terrorism has been significantly worse than that of the Palestinians," the report says.

The revelation comes as student groups across the country work to blame Israel and praise Hamas for the terror attacks that saw Israeli women and children slaughtered and kidnapped. At Harvard, over 30 student groups blamed Israel for provoking Hamas’s mass terrorist attack, arguing in a statement that the Jewish state is "entirely responsible for all unfolding violence." An anti-Israel student group at U.C. Berkeley, meanwhile, praised Hamas's attack and claimed Israel is playing "victim" in its aftermath.

"We invariably reject Israel's framing as a victim," the group, Bears for Palestine, wrote in a Saturday letter. "Whereas to demonize and condemn indigenous resistance is to overshadow the decades of oppression, ethnic cleansing, and destruction of the Palestinian people."

Parents Defending Education director of federal affairs Michele Exner said Revere Public Schools "should be ashamed" for spreading "anti-Semitic lies and propaganda."

"It is unconscionable that anyone, let alone educators connected to America's K-12 classrooms, would be trying to find moral equivalency between the nation of Israel and the evil terrorists that targeted and brutally murdered innocent people, including babies," she told the Washington Free Beacon.

Kelly, the district's superintendent, did not return a request for comment. Her email also referenced an ongoing investigation within the district over "racist and anti-Semitic graffiti" found on Revere High School's campus.

In addition to its downplaying of Hamas terrorism, the Middle East Policy Council report included in the district's "resources" for teachers argues that Palestinian actors no longer want to "destroy the state of Israel." Instead, the report argues, they are now working to "end the Israeli occupation and create an independent and viable Palestinian state," a mission that the report says is "clearly just." The report also minimizes Hamas's power and goal to destroy Israel.

"[Former deputy director of the CIA's Counterterrorism Center Paul Pillar] sums up what the evidence demonstrates: 'Rather than saying Hamas is dedicated to the destruction of Israel, it would be closer to the truth to say that Israel is dedicated to the destruction of Hamas,'" the report says.