Israel’s Embassy in the UK has condemned a homework sheet asking school pupils to justify Palestinian “terrorist activities”‘ as abhorrent.
Members of Scotland’s Palestinian community called it ‘ignorant’ and and said the homework should be withdrawn.
The handout from New Stevenson Primary School, which states “Palestinians feel they have the right to use terrorism against the Israelis”, has sparked widespread complaints.
North Lanarkshire Council said the material was taken from a teaching pack which is now obsolete.
An Israeli Embassy statement on the issue called the homework task “which asks children to justify Palestinian terrorism”, ‘abhorrent’.
“It is deeply hurtful to Israelis affected by terrorist attacks, a betrayal of Palestinians who stand up against terrorist groups, and above all, an educational and moal abuse of the young students themselves. “
Dr Essam Hijjawi, chair of the Association of Palestinian Communities in Scotland, said the homework given to primary seven pupils demonstrated a “fundamentally flawed reading of history and geography”.
He told the BBC: “We are calling for the immediate withdrawal of all such materials from Scottish schools, a public apology to the Palestinian community in Scotland, and a meeting with education department officials in North Lanarkshire, with the leader of the council and Scotland’s minister for education.
“We ask that all materials used in schools relating to the teaching of the history of Palestine is discussed between Education Scotland and the Palestinian community.”
The worksheet asks pupils to give two reasons why Palestinians “feel they have the right to use terrorism against the Israelis” and goes on to ask for “two examples of Palestinian terrorist activities”.
It is understood a picture of the handout was posted on social media by the older sister of a child given the homework.
A spokesman for North Lanarkshire Council’s learning and leisure services said: “The homework material used was taken from a teaching pack which is now obsolete. We are contacting all schools to ensure this particular material is no longer used.
“The topic is explored by pupils as part of the social studies programme People, past events and societies, and this includes conflict situations around the world.
“This topic aims to gives pupils a greater understanding of the nature of different conflicts and their regional, global and historical significance, and does not pass any judgment on the subject.”