Recent distribution of a “Teaching Palestine” toolkit by BLM at School, a group connected to the Black Lives Matter movement, has sparked debate since it contains educational resources that depict Israel as a malevolent entity in the Middle East. According to the toolkit, Israeli settler colonialism, land dispossession, occupation, siege, apartheid, and attempted genocide against Palestinians are to blame for the recent violence that Hamas has incited.

BLM from the Viewpoint of the School:
The toolkit makes the claim that Palestinians are actively fighting for decolonization on a daily basis and urges that the curriculum include information about Palestinian existence, resistance, culture, and contributions to the world as well as the ongoing fight for a free Palestine. It also highlights the necessity of confronting head-on the ways that American imperialism is said to have encouraged and backed war crimes and apartheid in the area.

Included Resources: The toolkit offers links to a number of pro-Palestinian websites, such as the Ramallah-based website Decolonize Palestine. The website advocates for full decolonization and the right of return for Palestinians, criticizing Israel’s attempts to enhance its reputation abroad and contending that apartheid is an overly lenient phrase to characterize the reality.

BLM Analysis of Israel’s Reaction:
According to BLM activist Melina Abdullah, Israel’s response to the current crisis is a “blatant attempt to collectively punish the Palestinian people for exercising their right to resist their oppressors as they march toward liberation.” She made this statement on Instagram.

Dubious Connections: Some detractors contend that organizations that back Hamas and Black Lives Matter have a common “oppressed-oppressor narrative,” with Mike Gonzalez of the Heritage Foundation drawing a parallel. According to Gonzalez, these organizations associate their hostility to Israel with their more general anti-Western beliefs since they see Israel as a symbol of the West and America.

Educational Impact: According to a press release from Parents Defending Education, the dispute arises at a time when the teaching guides for BLM at School are being utilized in twelve school districts nationwide. There are worries about how the presence of materials that portray Israel unfavorably may affect students’ views and comprehension of intricate geopolitical matters.