Publisher Hodder Education has caved in to pressure from a pro-Israel lobby group and withdrawn a GCSE history textbook containing details of the conflict between Israel and Palestine. The book was intended for use with the Edexcel syllabus.
Lobby group UK Lawyers For Israel (UKLFI), which was recently challenged for spreading misinformation, complained about what it called “misleading and confusing content” in Conflict in the Middle East 1945-95.
According to UKLFI, there was “a plethora of inaccurate and confusing content” in the book, which “frequently refers to Jewish terrorists when their actions were against military targets.” The group also took issue with the land being referred to as Palestine during the post-Roman era. The description of early 20th century Jewish immigrants to Palestine as “settlers” was another bone of contention.
The period saw the Jewish population of Palestine increase from less than 5 per cent to around 32 per cent in the space of three decades. With indigenous Palestinian communities displaced as a result and hopes of Palestinian independence thwarted, the surge in European Jewish immigrants fuelled communal tensions.
Critics of Israel and its well-funded lobby groups are likely to view UKLFI’s complaints against the use of the term “Jewish terrorism” particularly jarring. The pro-Israel group itself has gained notoriety for labelling pro-Palestinian groups as terrorists.
In March as part of a legal settlement, a Palestinian children’s NGO stated that UKLFI recanted allegations that the NGO provides material support to designated terror groups.
Moreover, it is well-known that Jewish extremists were indeed responsible for some of the most heinous terrorist attacks during that period when Zionist extremists became British spies’ main enemy. In November 1944, for example, the Stern Gang assassinated the British Minister for the Middle East, Lord Moyne.
Two years later, a Jewish terror group bombed the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, killing over 91 people and injuring many more.
The bombing is said to have been planned by the leader of the Irgun, Menachem Begin, who later became Prime Minister of Israel. Six members of the terror group entered the hotel disguised as Arabs, carrying milk churns packed with 500 pounds of explosives.
In another terrorist incident that shocked the world, Jewish militants assassinated UN mediator and Swedish aristocrat Count Folke Bernadotte. His “crime”, in the view of Jewish terrorists, was to suggest that Jerusalem be placed under Jordanian rule, since all the area around the city was designated by the UN Partition Plan for the proposed Arab state. In fact, the 1947 plan called for Jerusalem to be an international city that was to be ruled by neither Arab nor Jew. The Jewish extremists rejected this and were horrified by Bernadotte’s suggestion.
The leader of the gang that assassinated Bernadotte was Yitzhak Shamir, of the Stern Gang, or Lehi. In 1983, Shamir became the second known terrorist to become the Prime Minister of Israel.
Note: This page was updated at 08.52 UTC on 7 May 2020 – we previously incorrectly said that DCIP successfully sued UKFI at High Court of Justice in London. DCIP stated that UKLFI recanted allegations. DCIP issued proceedings in the High Court, but they lapsed after no further action was taken.