(JTA) — A Dutch publisher that created school textbooks accusing Israelis of ethnic cleansing has released a new one omitting Jerusalem’s significance to Jews.
The omission occurred in a textbook about social issues titled “Plein M” by Nordhoff Publishers for preparatory middle-level applied education level schools, including public schools. It states Jerusalem is holy to Muslims and Christians, but does not mention Jews.
It also states that Jews and Christians were “mostly treated well” by Arabs throughout history. It does not mention capital taxes and many pogroms perpetrated against Jews in Arab countries before and during the flight of at least 800,000 Jews from those countries in the 20th century. Today, there are fewer than 7,000 Jews living in Arab countries.
Likoed Nederland, a pro-Israel group, called the book a form of “historical falsification” in a statement Sunday, adding it “reads like Palestinian propaganda.”
Nordhoff did not reply to JTA’s request for reaction.
In 2015, the same publisher defended a history book that 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.” That book does not mention Arab atrocities during the same conflict.
The Dutch education ministry has a relatively liberal policy as to which textbooks may be used as teaching materials, placing such choices at the discretion of schools and, at times, individual teachers.