Textbook questioning suicide bomber motives angers parents

May 14, 2013 at 3:07 PM
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FRANKLIN, Tenn., May 14 (UPI) -- A high school textbook asking students to decide if Palestinian suicide bombers in Israel are actually terrorists is under review by a Tennessee school board.

Local Jewish groups lodged a complaint about the book, "The Cultural Landscape: An Introduction to Human Geography," which is used in an Advanced Placement class. Williamson County Schools Superintendent Mike Looney told The (Nashville) Tennessean Tuesday he was unsure who filed the initial complaint, but the school board was investigating whether the book is appropriate or if it contains anti-Semitic references.

Its author is James M. Rubenstein, a professor at Miami University in Ohio.

The passage in question that triggered an angry response from parents reads: "If a Palestinian suicide bomber kills several dozen Israeli teenagers in a Jerusalem restaurant, is that an act of terrorism or wartime retaliation against Israeli government policies and army actions?"

The Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee issued a statement earlier this month opposing the book's use. Laurie Cardoza-Moore of the pro-Israel group Proclaiming Justice to the Nations also requested the school board remove the book from classrooms.

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