What is Actually Taught about the History of the Jews and the Jewish State in Virginia Schools?

German-Israeli woman Shani Louk, whose semi-naked body was paraded through Gaza by Hamas, has been declared dead. Her skull was found separated from her body. Credit Instagram

by James C. Sherlock

What comes first? Sadism or hatred? Does religious radicalism create sadists or do sadists flock there for approval and opportunity?

Some on the radical right and the radical left in the United States share a hatred for Jews.

The radical right may not be able to remember why, but pursue it anyway.

Radical Islam combines Nazi views and medieval sadism and does not hesitate to act them out. Remember the Munich Olympics massacre, 9/11 and the ISIS beheadings? Now Oct. 7th? Any questions?

Virginia’s schools have lessons to teach. Unfortunately it is not clear what the message has been and will be in the future.

Jews were in 1948 awarded a homeland in Israel by a United Nations shamed by the Holocaust and its own hesitance in mentioning the slaughter of Jews before the end of the war.

The modern radical left, in a twisted logic only it can explain, has labeled Jews oppressors for even being in Israel, much less defending themselves.

Islamic radicals under the Hamas flag of convenience have not just killed Jews, but engaged in ritual torture on October 7th. Some of the academic left spoke out, but more remained silent. A few publicly approved and retained their jobs

Muslim Americans. A powerful speaker at the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church learned that language, and fired up that congregation with a closing exhortation (at 30:40 mark on video) that they “hold the oppressors accountable, not only in the hereafter, but in this life.

By contrast, an Imam in D.C. preached the sanctity of human life and against revenge.

So, it is fair to ask which view will prevail. And what their kids are learning at public school.

Jewish Americans. More than half of the world’s remaining 24 million Jews are citizens of the United States. Thirty percent are Israeli citizens.

What are the obligations of the American people to educate and protect our Jewish citizens?

Virginia’s public schools. Who will teach our children about the history of persecution of Jews for two thousand years and the founding of Israel?

From the 2023 Virginia Standards of Learning for History & Social Science:

The standards provide an unflinching and fact-based coverage of world, United States, and Virginia history. Students will study the horrors of wars and genocide, including the Holocaust and the ethnic cleansing campaigns that have occurred throughout history and continue today.

Good. If it happens.

The question raised is “whose facts?”

Who will teach the history of the Jewish people and the circumstances of the founding of the Jewish state?

Do today’s teachers, virtually all born after 1960, even know? Who will teach them?

Will high school teachers gloss over what was done on October 7th because they are uncomfortable teaching it? Will they somehow rationalize that students, who are taught that the mutilation of children can be called gender affirmation, won’t be able to handle the story of beheading of babies by radical Islamic terrorists.

Only principals can enforce that accurate lessons are taught. They should be directly charged to do so.

Virginia’s public colleges and universities.  

In control of many colleges and universities, the left has established a political movement that features intersection of the oppressed, from which it specifically excludes Jews, even those otherwise of the political left. Excluding Jews from the ranks of the oppressed is labeled “scholarship.”

Leftist academics not of the fringe and credentialed in Democratic administrations in current Middle Eastern politics like Mara Rudman of the University of Virginia and the Center for American Progress in the recent past have treated Hamas as rational actors in a two-state solution.

I suspect she believed it.

Who will teach college students that the savage October 7 assault by Hamas was “pure, predatory sadism”? Characterizing it retrospectively as a political statement or military action by “resistance fighters” is a validation of the savagery.

On the evidence of what some teach now, it would be illusory to think that many high school and college teachers will be explicit going forward about what was done and defend Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state within secure borders.

Bottom line. It is the responsibility of the Commonwealth of Virginia to ensure that the history of antisemitism and of the circumstances that required the founding the Jewish state are actually taught, and accurately, in its schools.

It is the is duty of the Commonwealth of Virginia to protect Jews not just from violence but intimidation.

What we have seen from our elected leaders so far is not enough.