The New York City Council's education committee approved a curriculum on Israel initiated by the public relations department of the Israeli Consulate in New York.
The curriculum will be integrated into the training program for educators teaching in 1,400 public high schools in New York City. The teachers will be able to register to a 30-hour course dealing with the history of the State of Israel, its economy, the high-tech industry, Israeli art and Ethiopian Jews.
The incentive offered to teachers who will take the course: Credit points for an academic degree.
The teachers responded so positively to the course, that by the third day of registration all seats were taken. Following the teachers' request, the consulate decided to add more seats.
Israeli Consul General in New York Aryeh Mekel said that "through the teachers a generation of leaders will be educated to maintain the special relations between the United States and Israel."
We are not bringing politics, but are exposing them to Israel as we know it and as we would like people to know it," he added.
I'm not aware of other instances of foreign embassies "initiating" American public school curricula, but I suppose exercising influence over what American schoolchildren are taught is part of the "special relationship."
It will be interesting to see what sort of history is given in these classes. I'm going to take a wild guess that neither Deir Yassin nor Sabra and Shatila will be included in the reading.
Speaking of ethnic cleansing, here's Israeli Knesset member Effi Eitam on Monday (I'm guessing the kids won't be learning about him either):
"We will have to expel the great majority of the Arabs of Judea and Samaria," Eitam urged, referring to the whole of the West Bank.
According to Eitam, experience showed that Israel cannot give up the area of the West Bank. "It is impossible with all of these Arabs, and it is impossible to give up the territory. We've already seen what they're doing there."
Turning to the subject of Israeli Arabs, Eitam said, "We will have to take another decision, and that is to sweep the Israeli Arabs from the political system. Here, too, the issues are clear and simple.
"We've raised a fifth column, a league of traitors of the first rank. Therefore, we cannot continue to enable so large and so hostile a presense within the political system of Israel."
Apparently, no one told Effi that the removal of Palestinians from their homeland is the subtext of Israeli policy.