Israeli embassy slams ‘outrageous’ Dutch textbook


THE HAGUE, Netherlands (JTA) — Israel’s embassy in Holland condemned the appearance of anti-Israel statements in a textbook on history for high school students.

The embassy’s statement on Tuesday about the book “Geschiedeniswerkplaats,” or “History Workplace,” by the Noordhoff Uitgevers followed complaints by members of the country’s Jewish community.

About the establishment of the State of Israel, the book states that David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, declared statehood after “Jewish militias carried out murders in Arab villages, and hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled and settled in refugee camp across the border.”

The book fails to mention Arab atrocities against pre-state Israel’s Jewish population or the invasion of several Arab armies into Israeli territory after its declaration of independence with the stated intention of destroying it.

“We are acting on the subject in several areas,” the embassy said. “We are looking into the outrageous statements to identify any factual inaccuracies and the possibility of incitement.”

“History Workplace” is on the Dutch education ministry’s list of textbooks for some of the country’s high schools, namely the ones offering the preparatory middle-level vocational education track.

The book also states that former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin is now known as a peacemaker, “which is noteworthy considering that much of his life he was known as a terrorist and extremist.”

The book also shows a picture of a Palestinian boy hurling a stone at an Israeli tank. “Small opposition against the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories in 2000,” the caption reads. “Nine days after this picture was taken, this 13-year-old was shot dead while participating in a similar action.”

Neither Noordhoff Uitgevers nor the Dutch education ministry were immediately available to comment on the book.

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