Sunday, July 06, 2008

Middle East Jewish history denial begins at school

Distortion of Middle East history begins at school, but few educators seem willing to change their ways. Letter by Israel Bonan published in the MetroWest Daily News (Boston, Mass. USA):

I am a Framingham resident since 1980, and I am writing to you to express my disappointment regarding how an important episode in history is being taught in our public high school.

History as taught in Framingham High School distorts the Middle East narrative by suggesting that 850,000 Jews from Arab countries left their countries of birth voluntarily. Nothing can be further from the truth. I am a perfect example, being myself a refugee from Egypt, who was expelled in 1967 after being incarcerated and physically abused for the single reason of being Jewish.

My Personal Exodus narrative can be found here.

I have tried to draw the attention of the Framingham School Committee chairman, as well as the Chair of the History Department at the high school. The former did not reply to my query, while the later was cordial and correct enough to suggest that he would pass my request for speaking about my experience to his staff, without making any promises, since he left the matter at their discretion.

I am writing to you, as my last resort, to draw attention to our plight, which will be ignored and historically will continue to be forgotten if not stressed and asserted as facts in an otherwise unbalanced Middle Eastern narrative.

I have endeavored to check how that same history is taught in different high schools around the area, and the record is mixed; with some high schools aware while others ignorant of that period in history. I am also in contact with the State's education board to make sure our history is not denied.

ISRAEL BONAN,
Framingham

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