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Ads blast Newton Mass., schools over anti-Israel texts

Newton_Schools_Globe-BW.indd(JNS.org) A new advertising campaign in Boston area newspapers calls out officials in the public school system of Newton, Mass., over the alleged presence of anti-Israel materials in those schools.

The Boston-based nonprofit Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT) took out the ads in the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Newton Tab, Boston Metro, and Jewish Advocate. The ads cover research by concerned parents and students that has revealed the presence of anti-Israel texts in Newton schools including The Arab World Studies Notebook, which claims that Israeli soldiers murdered hundreds of Palestinian nurses in Israeli prisons; A Muslim Primer, which claims that astronaut Neil Armstrong converted to Islam, but that the anti-Muslim U.S. government warned him “to keep his new religion to himself or he could be fired” from his government job; Flashpoints: Guide to World History, which asserts that Tel Aviv, not Jerusalem, is the capital of Israel, and that Jerusalem is the capital of “Palestine”; and other materials.

Newton School Superintendent David Fleischman “tried to charge the taxpayers $1,600” for a list of the anti-Israel teaching materials, while Newton School Committee Chair Matt Hills “told staff not to let citizens see the offending materials,” according to the ads. Fleischman and Hills both did not immediately return requests from comment from JNS.org.

Charles Jacobs, the head of APT, told JNS.org that the ads are “getting enthusiastic response” in the form of calls to his organization and letters to Setti Warren, the mayor of Newton. Warren’s office did not immediately return a request for comment. Jacobs added that since the ads have circulated, parents have sent APT more materials on texts appearing in Newton schools, and that APT is considering another ad campaign based on those materials.

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