The city Department of Education has sent teachers a lengthy list of websites with information for class discussion on the Israel-Hamas war — including some slammed as strongly biased against the Jewish state, The Post has learned.
The guide includes 35 links to news, education sites, and organizations in alphabetical order, with No. 2 being the Arab-run Al Jazeera, which is heavily slanted against Israel, and categorizes the war as a Hamas “operation” or “offensive” by “Palestinian fighters” against the “Israeli military.”
The third link goes to the website of Amnesty International, which declares “Israel’s Apartheid Against Palestinians: Decades of Oppression and Domination.”
It also includes an article by Haaretz, an Israeli news site known for left-wing stances, and pieces by TeachMideast, from the Arab-founded Middle East Policy Council, which argue, for instance: “Israel has neither the moral legitimacy nor the national interest to refuse to negotiate with Palestinian organizations that have employed terrorism, particularly Hamas.”
While the list includes balanced sites like Facing History and Ourselves and the Institute for Curriculum Resources, some fear others give justification for the savage Oct. 7 terror attack by Hamas, which prompted Israel to retaliate.
After the brutal ambush on Israel, parents waited for days for any acknowledgment of the atrocities from their kids’ schools, or got a bland message that did not denounce the terrorism, but offered counseling for kids if needed, and a few links to educational sites.
The DOE’s legal department was screening messages that principals sent to staff or families about the war — vetoing some and watering down others, several sources said.
“I’m infuriated by the light, non-response,” SoHo mom Maud Maron told The Post.
In 2020, PS 41 in Greenwich Village sent a long email about the murders of black people killed by police, including Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmed Aubry, which the principal and other administrators signed onto.
Follow along with The Post’s live blog for the latest on Hamas’ attack on Israel
“After 1,000 Jews are massacred and babies and toddlers taken hostage, we get a tepid, both-sides, nuanced, ‘it’s complicated’ message about militants, not terrorists,” Maron said. “The discrepancy is so obvious.”
More than 3,200 people have been killed in Israel and Gaza.
City teachers said they’re left on their own to wade through the materials and decide which to use, or how.
Karen Feldman, an award-winning DOE social studies teacher and Holocaust educator, is worried that some of the writings will foster anti-Semitism.
“The DOE is offering resources with an anti-Israel bias, which may lead staff and students to justify the barbaric murder of innocent men, women, and children — the Hamas terror attacks meant solely to kill Jews,” Feldman said.
“This is not a time to focus on politics. The lessons should focus on crimes against humanity,” said Feldman, who teaches at a Manhattan middle school.
A Brooklyn high school teacher said students need more grounding in the volatile issues.
“It points to a larger issue of how the DOE teaches history. I still have students arriving in high school who have never heard of the Holocaust,” he said.
Some teens have asked him if the violent images on social media “are real or AI [artificial intelligence].”
A Queens high school teacher agreed.
“The DOE and the schools did not give a clear, straightforward plan or guidance on how to approach this topic, knowing the intensity of this event.”
Schools Chancellor David Banks on Tuesday released a statement on X saying, “In light of the attacks by Hamas on Israeli civilians, I am compelled to speak out to condemn these horrific acts of violence. It is heartbreaking to see the devastating impact of terrorism on innocent civilians, especially our most vulnerable — children.”
But his response was not universally praised.
One teacher blasted Banks for distributing “Zionist propaganda.”
“He’s a white supremacist, imperialist, scumbag,” tweeted Mohammad Jehad Ahmad, a teacher at Gotham Tech High School in Queens.
“He, and @NYCMayor only value white life.”
Asked for comment, Ahmad tweeted, “I want to clarify that my perspective on the chancellor and mayor has not changed: their Zionist stance is white supremacist and normalizes genocide … In their ‘neutrality’ the chancellor and mayor are complicit in normalizing Israeli terrorism.”
Ben Morden, a father of three girls, attended the prestigious Bronx High School of Science and was disappointed by his alma mater’s “boilerplate” statement, noting the school boasts a Holocaust Museum and many Jewish alumni.
“Bronx Science should be leading the way in explaining Israel’s reaction to students,” he said.
A DOE spokesman would not comment on Ahmad’s tweets or the list of resources.
Additional reporting by Georgia Worrell