Letters to the Editor: Why do some activists insist on anti-Israel ethnic studies?

A project  board in a classroom features flags of nations and the words Immigrant Rights above a map and photos on the sides
A project on display in an ethnic studies classroom at Camino Nuevo Charter Academy Miramar Campus in Los Angeles in 2019.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: The Times Editorial Board is correct that California’s model ethnic studies curriculum needs some tweaking.

The original draft was racist and offensive, and not only to the diverse Jewish community, whose members are part of the groups that suffer systemic racism and are also exposed to hate resulting from the misapprehension that one must be anti-Israel in order to desire peace for Palestinians.

Other groups also objected to bias in the first draft of the ethnic studies curriculum. It’s unfortunate that the original authors who promoted the antisemitic components of that draft chose to quit when they didn’t get their way and instead have spread their “liberated” ethnic studies curriculum to local school boards.


Districts that choose to design their own ethnic studies courses should welcome oversight from the experts in the state Department of Education so that the subject is taught correctly and consistently across California.

Shelley Rivlin, Encino


To the editor: If a course in ethnic studies is designed to help students understand and value the many different cultures in our society without politicizing the content, it is of great value and very necessary.

If it is not and does not, it is harmful. End of discussion.

We certainly don’t need more “stuff” to divide us and make us hate the “other.” We’ve got enough of that already.

Diana Wolff, Rancho Palos Verdes

The writer is a professor emerita of education at Cal State Dominguez Hills.