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Video approved by Education Ministry contained slurs including “the Israelis use violence and destructive tactics to continue their occupation.”

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A screenshot of a video included in the curriculum for Grade 10 Civics in the York Region District School Board (Ontario) featuring a young boy accusing Zionists of occupying “Palestinian Land”

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A three-minute video of a young boy smearing Israel was shown in an Ontario grade 10 Civics e-learning course, as part of students’ required viewing. Luckily caught by a Jewish student, the matter has been taken up by a host of advocacy organizations, all baffled how such material could have ever been approved.

The Jewish student was taking the summer school course through the York Region District School Board’s (YRDSB) e-learning platform this month when he saw the video as part of the curricula.

The mother of the Jewish student said she was disturbed by the school board’s using heavily biased propaganda educational material that represented distortions, and highly disputable assertions, and called this education.

The video showed a young boy, “Naj,” making baseless accusations against Israel.

Israelis, Naj said, “have deprived the Palestinians of natural resources, such as water, and taking the majority of it for themselves” and “the Zionists that are granted these privileges are backed by the military.”

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Naj also said, “the Israelis use violence and destructive tactics to continue their occupation.”

He spoke of the “occupation of the Palestinian land by the Zionists,” and “the USA has been funding the Israeli military, enabling them to continue their destructive and violent occupation” among other antisemitic tropes.

“The Gaza militants have retaliated by firing rockets at Israel,” he continued. “This conflict continues to rage on because the Israelis live as occupiers while the Palestinians live under occupation.”

In the video, the boy states that Israelis and Zionists “have violated the human rights of the Palestinians”

She immediately contacted Jewish agencies and advocacy groups. One of those agencies, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, contacted YRDSB Trustee David Sherman. He connected with other members of YRDSB, who had the video removed from their course site. 

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Canada (FSWC) reached out to the provincial Minister of Education Stephen Lecce’s office to demand action be taken.

The YRDSB uses D2L to deliver content for their e-learning courses, approved by eLearning Ontario, and the Ontario Ministry of Education.

The YRDSB and the Minister of Education have since issued statements expressing regret that his video made its way into a course, but no clear answers have been provided on how it got there in the first place, or what the next steps are.

Israel is accused of maintaining the existence of the conflict in the video

Meanwhile, MPP Gila Martow (Thornhill) alerted to the situation by some of her constituents, spoke directly with Minister Lecce, who then had the video completely removed from the eLearning Ontario course. 

TheJ.ca learned in conversation with Martow that she is not satisfied with the simple act of removing the harmful video. “Who thought that this was appropriate to include in a course? Who is responsible for this?” Martow added that she believes this video could be used as a learning tool of the dangers of propaganda.

Several organizations are now working in tandem to address the issue, such as JTeach.ca, FSWC, and CIJA. They all expressed an urgent need for the Ministry of Education to build and deliver training, on the topic of antisemitism education, across Ontario schools.

Corey Margolese is the founder of JTeach.ca, a not-for-profit organization that offers training and resources in the dangers of antisemitism, Holocaust education, and in Judaic traditions, culture and religion. He is a public school teacher.

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Happy reading!

Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

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