Student exposes Dutch textbook’s distortion of Israeli history

The Dutch flag. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to An official high school history book in Holland claims that during Israel’s 1948 War of Independence, “Jewish militias committed murder in Arab villages. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled and arrived in refugee camps across the border.”

Barak Gorni, a 16-year-old Dutch Israeli attending the Maimonides Jewish high school in Amsterdam, was the first to notice and call attention to the false and distorted depiction of Israel’s history. In another instance, the book says that “[former prime minister] Menachem Begin entered the history books as a peacemaker, and this is surprising, because for much of his life he was known as a terrorist and a radical.”

According to the book, “After World War I Menachem Begin moved to Poland. Following the German occupation he fled to Palestine, where he became the leader of radical Zionists.”

Gorni complained to his teacher, who agreed that the passages in question were indeed “historically mistaken.” Gorni also told his father, Dror, who turned to the Israeli Embassy in Holland and provided photographs of the relevant pages of the textbook.

“What’s clear is that the person who wrote this book is a hater of Israel, and sadly there isn't a lack of those here,” the father wrote to the embassy.

The Israeli Embassy in Holland said in a statement that it was checking the exact wording in the textbook “and whether it constitutes a distortion of facts or even incitement.”

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said, “The ministry attributes utmost importance to the fight against the falsification of history and the slandering of Israel in textbooks.”

Posted on May 27, 2015 .