A leading educational publisher has removed from sale a history textbook asking pupils to speculate on “how it could be argued” the creation of Israel was a long-term cause of the 9/11 attacks.
The key stage three volume, spanning British history from the middle-ages until the modern-day, was written for pupils aged 11 to 14.
The book, entitled “Understanding History: Key Stage 3: Britain in the Wider World, Roman Times–present,” was published by the Hachette UK-owned Hodder Education Group.
The Board of Deputies’ vice president Edwin Shuker warned: “This sort of leading question is dangerous as it invites the students to find a link between the creation of Israel and the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which feeds into a prevalent antisemitic conspiracy theory.”
“This is an outrageous warped version of history,” he added.
Joshua Forman, executive director of the Zionist Federation of UK and Ireland, urged the publisher in a letter on Thursday to withdraw the textbook and revise it.
The backlash came after the question was uncovered by the pro-Israel activist David Collier, who tweeted his findings on Wednesday and expressed antisemitism concerns.
A statement from the Hodder Education Group on Thursday revealed the textbook had been removed from sale. The publisher said it will release a revised issue after a review of the material.
“We appreciate the phrasing of the question is not as precise as it might have been and we are very sorry for any offence this has caused,” the statement read.
The suggestion Israel may be linked with the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre is a trope sometimes peddled in antisemitic conspiracy theories.
Hachette UK was approached for comment.