Middle East studies in the News
Macmillan Geography Textbook Filled With Anti-Israel Lies: "Jews Were First Modern Terrorists," Palestinian Terror Justified
Elder of Ziyon Blog
Here are the first paragraphs of a section on terrorism written in the textbook World Regional Geography (with Subregions), 4th edition by Lydia Mihelic Pulsipher, Alex Pulsipher, and Conrad M. Goodwin, published by Macmillan:
Seriously? The first modern terrorist attack in the Middle East was done by Jews? Whether the King David bombing - targeting a military headquarters - was terror is debatable, but it was by no means the first terror attack in the region. What was the 1929 massacres of Jewish civilians if not terrorism? What about the many terror attacks perpetrated by the Black Hand, the terror group founded by Sheikh Izz ad-Din al-Qassam in the late 1920s to kill Jews and the British in Palestine? (Outside the region, there were many terror groups in the 19th century, including in the Ottoman Empire and the US.)
But this passage is much worse than that. It justifies Palestinian terrorism and Arab aggression (saying that Israel provoked each war - yes, I guess that if breathing is provocation, this may be true.)
It says that Israel was created on "Palestinian lands," a falsehood that is seen throughout the textbook as the headline on this page shows:
They were "Palestinian" lands? What contemporaneous source from before 1948 ever referred them to them that way? (The book makes the same claim in several other places, like page 49, and most egregiously on page 38 where the claim is that the land "belonged to Palestinians," which is false in every sense.) (These claims don't seem to be in the 6th edition. Instead, the newer edition refers to the territories Israel gained in 1967 as "Palestinian lands" rather than lands controlled by Jordan and Egypt.)
The outrageous lies don't end there. The caption beneath the maps on page above says that it was the "Jewish settlers" who didn't agree to the 1947 UN partition plan, and they started a war themselves - exactly 180 degrees from the truth. (The 6th edition has the identical caption under the map, although the text is more accurate.)
Another section, filled with the usual anti-Israel propaganda, claims that "thousands of Palestinians have been displaced" by Jewish settlements. This is another absolute lie, the vast majority of Jewish communities did not displace a single person, and in the rare cases that they did, it was because the land belongs to Jews either to begin with or via purchase.
There is plenty of other bias to be seen in that page, such as the bizarre opinion that Israel "negated" its withdrawal from Gaza by imposing a blockade - without mentioning Hamas or rockets.
The separation barrier's purpose to stop terror attacks isn't mentioned, the authors make it appear that the barrier was built to grab land (without mentioning the any settlements that are on the east side of the fence.)
Also, as far as I can tell, the figure of 30,000 farmers separated from their land is fiction. The best number I can glean is that there are a total of about 120,000 Palestinians who work in agriculture in both the West Bank and Gaza, the idea that such a high percentage happen to farm on lands that happen to be divided by a fence is simply incredible. I would love to know the source for this.
What is clear is that the authors have an anti-Israel bias in this textbook, and that many of the facts that they are teaching students are simply lies.
The main author is roundly criticized by her students for her intolerance for other opinions and her liberal/socialist, anti-American stance.
The book was published by WH Freeman which is owned by Macmillan. You can contact Macmillan Education at this webpage.
UPDATE: I got a copy of the 6th edition, which removed some of the examples here but kept others, annotated in the post.Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
Campus Watch contact e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org