California School District Accused of Hosting Antisemitic ‘Teach-in’ Using Nazi Propaganda Imagery

Teachers in the Oakland Unified School District in California participated in a controversial “teach-in” on Wednesday, focusing on the Palestinian cause and incorporating anti-Israel and antisemitic materials. The event, known as the “Gaza to Oakland Teach-in,” was promoted through a video in late November, where a speaker referenced Israel’s response to a Hamas terrorist attack on October 7th.

Despite claims of providing “balance,” the promotional video failed to address Hamas’ use of rape as a weapon of war or their kidnapping and murder of civilians. The Oakland Education Association, the union representing teachers in the district, voted overwhelmingly in support of the event, although the district emphasized that the lessons were not officially sanctioned.

The curriculum for the “teach-in” is available online and includes age-appropriate lessons for children ranging from 4 to 18. Disturbingly, the materials feature an image of a Jewish man with the arms of an octopus, reminiscent of Nazi propaganda. Even kindergarten teachers were encouraged to share the book “P is for Palestine,” which introduces the concept of intifada and its violent implications to young children.

According to a report by Mercury News, the “teach-in” was conducted via video call, with participating teachers streaming the event from their classrooms across the district. The session included speakers sharing personal experiences and discussions on the history of Palestine and Zionism. Educators then proceeded with their own instruction, utilizing various resources to convey their perspectives on settler colonialism and the impact on the Gaza Strip.

Critics of the event pointed out that the materials neglected to mention the October 7th Hamas attack, failed to acknowledge the Holocaust as a part of the establishment of the state of Israel, and portrayed Zionists as bloodthirsty land grabbers who desire a state exclusively for Jews.

The Oakland Union’s decision to endorse the pro-Palestinian “teach-in” has sparked controversy and condemnation from various quarters. Critics argue that the event’s content promotes biased and one-sided views while omitting critical historical context. Furthermore, concerns were raised about the potential impact of such teachings on students, especially considering the inappropriate and inflammatory nature of the materials used.

The event has raised broader questions about the role of educators in addressing complex geopolitical issues and the need for balanced and fact-based discussions in educational settings. The debate surrounding the “teach-in” underscores the challenges of navigating sensitive and controversial topics within the school environment, as well as the responsibility of educators to present diverse perspectives in a fair and comprehensive manner. As the fallout from the “teach-in” continues, it remains to be seen how the Oakland Unified School District and the Oakland Education Association will address the concerns raised by the community and stakeholders.


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