This is a story of two educational systems heading in opposite directions.

In one, lesson plans tell children as young as five to chant genocidal slogans, that terrorism is justified and that Jews live on stolen land, and that they must take action to correct this historical injustice.

In the other, celebrations of terrorism have been removed, as have accusations that the Jews live on stolen land and belong elsewhere.

One of these is Portland, Oregon. The other is Saudi Arabia. By now you can probably guess which one is which.

At City Journal, Chris Rufo reveals the suggested lesson plans cooked up by the Portland Association of Teachers. The radicalism starts young: A prekindergarten lesson tells the story of a fictional Palestinian 10-year-old, who explains, “A group of bullies called Zionists wanted our land so they stole it by force and hurt many people.” The tots are then instructed to help the boy return to his home, represented as a map of Palestine from which all references to Israel have been excluded.

Young schoolchildren are taught to attend anti-Zionist protests and chant “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” the famous Hamas-charter-linked slogan calling for the mass murder and expulsion of millions of Jews. The model lesson plans put a special focus on “Palestinian children’s resistance.”

The child soldiers of Portlandia are given this potted history of the conflict: “75 years ago, a lot of decision makers around the world decided to take away Palestinian land to make a country called Israel. Israel would be a country where rules were mostly fair for Jewish people with White skin. There’s a BIG word for when Indigenous land gets taken away to make a country, that’s called settler colonialism.”

In contrast to the depraved indoctrination of Portland, Oregon, sit the vastly improving Saudi textbooks, which are moving in the right direction a bit more each year, though this year seem to have made a leap. IMPACT-se, an organization that studies anti-Semitic curricula, announced just last week that the “curriculum no longer teaches Zionism as a ‘racist’ European movement and no longer denies historical Jewish presence in the region.” Additionally, “All remaining problematic examples relating to violent interpretations of jihad were removed or altered in this year’s textbooks.”

The textbooks are far from perfect but have made massive improvements and in some cases, as shown above, they portray Israel and the Jews in friendlier and more legitimate terms than the teachers union in Portland. Saudi schoolbooks still often refer to Israel as “the Zionist entity,” so there is some content that would please American teachers unions.

There are two related points to make. The first was made by Phil Klein last night: “This is the sort of stuff I used to write about being taught in Gaza 20 years ago — to the generation that would grow up to perpetrate 10/7.”

Indeed, the Palestinian schools—many run by the UN—make Saudi curricula designers look like the Israeli Education Ministry. This incitement has been a sticking point in the Palestinians’ relations with the West for decades. As then-Sen. Hillary Clinton said in 2007: “These textbooks do not give Palestinian children an education; they give them an indoctrination.” A system in which children are “encouraged to see martyrdom and armed struggle and the murder of innocent people as ideals to strive for” is, Clinton said, essentially “child abuse.”

The point is that grooming child soldiers for a war of annihilation against the Jews has precisely the intended outcome—except for the part where the “martyrs” bring about the destruction of Israel while bringing about their own destruction.

And that’s the second, related point. The focus on textbooks in the Arab world was a post-9/11 project. The United States pointed to the global radicalization that encouraged the terrorist attacks that killed 3,000 Americans on that day and other murderous plots like it. It was a matter of global security, the U.S. made clear, that the anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism—the two often go hand in hand—and the glorification of religious and political violence be removed from the curricula.

It is deeply disturbing to see that which has been correctly called “child abuse” and “indoctrination” embraced by progressive educators whose focus is on building children into political machines instead of thinking humans. The “decolonization” narrative is popping up everywhere, and it is pure, unadulterated incitement designed to raise up a generation of foot soldiers. We should take it no less seriously in Portland, Oregon, than we do in Riyadh and Ramallah.

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