Educational publisher Pearson is reviewing an international GCSE textbook about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict after a blogger and Israel activist accused it of bias.
The textbook, titled The Middle East: Conflict, Crisis and Change 1917-2012, was written for students studying for the Edexcel International GCSE in history.
In analysis jointly commissioned by the Zionist Federation and UK Lawyers for Israel, David Collier accused the volume of “unforgivable bias” suggesting it “whitewashes anti-Jewish violence” and contains “hard-core anti-Zionist revisionist material.”
Collier also claims the book does not contain “a single image showing the devastation on Israel and Israelis” and makes “excessive and unnecessary” use of Wikipedia.
“The book spends three pages explaining the Oslo Peace process – and then asks the students to explain the failure of the process – but never once mentioned the exploding buses in Israel’s streets – and only mentioned a single terror attack during this period. How can a student possibly explain the failure of Oslo if you don’t mention the 100s of Israelis slain in Israeli streets,” Collier wrote.
The Oslo peace accords, signed on the white house lawn 26 years ago, sought to start a peace process that failed amid renewed violence but collapsed entirely following the outbreak of the second intifada.
When approached for comment, the exam board’s parent company revealed it will “immediately launch an independent and impartial review” of the material and take action if warranted.
A spokesperson for Pearson added: “We always welcome feedback on our texts and we understand this is an important subject for students with difficult topics being explored. Pearson content is always written within the parameters of a rigorous global editorial policy ensuring quality.”