I’m Not Anti-Semitic – I’m Anti-Stupid

My father-in-law gives me a ton of lectures about how impolite it is to call people stupid. As much as I respect my father-in-law, sometimes in situations when my mouth hangs agape in frustrated confusion, the word stupid is my weapon of choice. Such is the case regarding a Tennessee school district’s textbook controversy.

According to a Fox News report, Williamson County, outside of Nashville, selected “The Cultural Landscape: An Introduction to Human Geography” as a textbook for an advanced placement (AP) class. The book suggests students ponder the following question. “If a Palestinian suicide bomber kills several dozen Israeli teenagers in a Jerusalem restaurant, is that an act of terrorism or wartime retaliation against Israeli government policies and army actions?”

I read the question twice but failed to find a problem with it. All I saw was an opportunity for students to debate an important issue with as much modern day relevance as historical. I’m a huge fan of debate. I believe we only grow and learn when we are able to listen and consider the views of another while defending our own. At this point in the article I’m thinking the parents just need to chill. Then the Director of Schools, Mike Looney spoke. “No one else has complained”. Not only is that one of my most despised statements but it is also a pretty stupid defense. Look around you. If no one ever dared to color outside the lines or raise questions where there had been none before, we would still be peddling around in Flintstone cars and marveling over the wonder of fire.

Some parents find the sentence is anti-Semitic but Looney maintains they are taking it out of context. Okay, lets see how that holds up.  The entire paragraph reads, “Distinguishing terrorism from other acts of political violence can be difficult. For example, if a Palestinian suicide bomber kills several dozen Israeli teenagers in a Jerusalem restaurant, is that an act of terrorism or wartime retaliation against Israeli government policies and army actions? Competing arguments are made: Israel’s sympathizers denounce the act as a terrorist threat to the country’s existence, whereas advocates of the Palestinian cause argue that long-standing injustices and Israeli army attacks on ordinary Palestinian civilians provoked the act.” Now, let’s break it down.

Sentence one reads, “Distinguishing terrorism from other acts of political violence can be difficult.” Um….no not really. Political, medical, global whatever the venue, anytime violence is used to try to force someone to agree with you or at least make them afraid to disagree, is terrorism. I didn’t need an AP class to figure that out.

In a futile attempt at clarity the paragraph continues. “For example, if a Palestinian suicide bomber kills several dozen Israeli teenagers in a Jerusalem restaurant, is that an act of terrorism or wartime retaliation against Israeli government policies and army actions?” So, as long as it’s considered retaliation it’s acceptable? Well, that’s just what we need to teach in high school.   Lets go into the place were far too many use bulling as justification for mass murder and have them ponder the merits of murdering teenagers in retaliation. Yea, THAT’S a good idea.

The paragraph closes with, “Competing arguments are made: Israel’s sympathizers denounce the act as a terrorist threat to the country’s existence, whereas advocates of the Palestinian cause argue that long-standing injustices and Israeli army attacks on ordinary Palestinian civilians provoked the act.”  Sooooo, depending on your point of view terrorism is acceptable? Seriously? That’s what we want to put out there? Good Lord no wonder America is dangling at the bottom of the educational chain.

Ironically, the entire paragraph is a great deal more worrisome than the single sentence. Even more worrisome is the fact Looney didn’t get that. The last thing we should EVER be doing is teaching our kids to question the motives of terrorism. They need to be learning ways to cope with pressure and differing views while predicting and avoiding violent situations. The father who shoots the man who murdered his daughter is still a murderer, regardless of how “justified” it may seem.

I am dumbfounded that anyone would even remotely consider terrorism acceptable regardless of the reason. If we allow our students to even consider terrorism in any form, we are flinging the door wide open to violence and putting a bulls-eye on all of us. Because whether we acknowledge it or not, there are hundreds of thousands who consider themselves at war with America everyday.

http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/parents-call-textbook-anti-semitic.html

 

 

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9 thoughts on “I’m Not Anti-Semitic – I’m Anti-Stupid

  1. The entire controversy is like a bunch of blind people competing in a staring contest. Haha suicide bomber killing teenagers in a restuarant isn’t terrorism? WTF? How is this an Advanced placement class? Good ol’ Nashville, home of America’s academic elite!

  2. Was the Boston Tea Party an act of terrorism? How about the French Resistence during WWII. One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. Clearly the very point of the question was to provoke passionate debate not actually take a position.

    One would think that we would forever abhor any terrorist yet somehow the World gave one a Nobel Peace Prize.

    July 2, 1946: The King David Hotel in Jerusalem was bombed, killing 91 people.

    Menachem Begin, who was later awarded the Nobel Prize for peace, is the same man who planned the destruction of the King David Hotel and the massacre of Deir Yassin. Ex prime minister, Shamir, was originally a member of the Jewish terrorist gang called Irgun, which was headed by none other than Menachem Begin. Shamir later moved over to the even more radical “Stern Gang,” which committed many vicious atrocities.

    Shamir himself has defended the various assassinations committed by the Irgun and Stern gangs on the grounds that “it was the only way we could operate, because we were so small. So it was more efficient and more moral to go for selected targets.” The selected moral targets in those early days of the founding of the state of Israel included bombing of the King David Hotel and the massacre of Deir Yassin.

    1. If we use terrorism as a response to terrorism then we are terrorists. I somehow can’t equate dumping tea in a harbor the same as blowing up the Boston Marathon. If my child wants to rebel by dumping his clothes in the river I may be mad but we will all get over it & likely find humor at some point. If he rebels by shooting up his classmates there will never be humor or recovery for anyone. I thank you for reading and respect your right to an opinion but I have too many images of bloodied kids & devastated parents in my mind to ever condone a textbook encouraging kids to debate the merits of terrorism.

  3. Robert, just as in the textbook in question, you are putting an inaccurate spin on the facts. You omit certain facts, like in the textbook, to fit your racist, bigotted, anti-semitic views (or should I give you the benefit of the doubt that you are just a gullible uninformed troll). One blatant example that you conveniently leave out of your King David Hotel incident is that there was an alert sent by the very same organization that planted the bomb to PROTECT INNOCENTS. As for the Deir Yassin incident, please get all facts before opining: again, citizens were warned to evacuate before the assault began, which many heeded; and when the Arabs had initially surrendered, some had disguised themselves as women so they would be set free, or worse, when one was caught with a pistol and shot dead the Israeli commander, many of the Israeli soldiers there felt ambushed and lashed out.

    How many times and how many good soldiers have to die to show that the IDF bends itself backwards twice over to be 100% absolute that they don’t take out innocent lives? You can’t say the same for the terrorists whether they are Palestinian, Iranian, Iraqi, Afghani, Pakistani, Syrian, Chechan, the list goes on and on.

    The ones who kill innocents for their precious, demonic Allah are evil period.

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