The National Union of Teacher’s has ‘temporarily withdrawn’ a controversial pro-Palestinian resource pack following criticism by CFI Parliamentary Chairman, Rt. Hon. Sir Erick Pickles MP, and CFI’s Deputy Chairmen Guto Bebb MP and Andrew Percy MP.
Last week, it was revealed the NUT had designed and promoted a teaching resources pack, which asks teachers to explore themes of Palestinian “occupation, freedom and resistance” with school children.
The ‘My Name is Saleh’ resource was particularly criticised for using the term “Jews” to refer to Israelis – a recognised form of anti-Semitism.
Earlier in the week, Sir Eric had said: “The NUT have well and truly crossed the line as to what is acceptable with this appalling document. It’s reference to ‘Jews’ as opposed to ‘Israeli’s’ is particularly objectionable. I would suggest this pernicious document be withdrawn immediately”.
Following its withdrawal, Guto Bebb MP said: “The very fact that the NUT had to withdraw this document under pressure is a sad state of affairs. As a left-wing organisation professing inclusivity, it is shocking that it does not have a system of checks and balances in place to prevent this sort of offensive publication that masquerades as an educational resource”.
Andrew Percy, Conservative MP for Brigg & Goole said: “I welcome the fact that the NUT have withdrawn the document but notice that it is only temporarily. The fact still remains that by conflating ‘Jews’ with ‘Israelis’ they are actually stoking anti-Semitism. The Palestinian issue has become a cause célèbre for those on the Left, like the supposedly balanced NUT. Unfortunately, like so many that comment on this issue, the NUT clearly haven’t bothered to look at the issue from the other side. It’s a shame the document doesn’t tell the story of Israeli children having just 15 seconds to run to bomb shelters to avoid rockets deliberately fired by terrorists towards Israel’s civilians”.
Stuart Polak CBE, Director of CFI, added: “The fact that it took a national newspaper to expose the use of this material is worrying. There needs to be proper scrutiny of how the custodians of our children’s future teach and what materials they use”.