The publisher of a British high-school text has admitted error in suggesting that Israel was a long-term cause of the September 11 attacks on the U.S. and said it will remove the book from sale and review the passage in question, The Jerusalem Post reported on Thursday.
In Hodder Education’s “Understanding History: Key Stage 3,” a question in the section on the Mideast reads:
“How could it be argued that the creation of Israel was a long-term cause of the 9/11 attacks?” The question was printed in a “reflect” box, apparently aimed at getting students to think more deeply into historical events.
Instead, it prompted the publishers to think more deeply into the presentation of history.
In response to media queries, Hodder Education issued a statement saying that it was removing the text book from sale.
“We appreciate the phrasing of the question is not as precise as it might have been, and we are very sorry for any offense this has caused. We have removed the book from sale, we will have the content reviewed, and will then reissue a revised edition,” the company said.
CEO of the Impact SE education watchdog group Marcus Sheff said that Hodder had “dropped the ball in the most embarrassing way possible, putting Jews in the UK at risk in the process.”
“This is the kind of conspiratorial nonsense and delegitimization of Israel we are used to seeing in Middle East textbooks, not in British educational materials,” said Sheff.
“It breaches at least four UNESCO declarations signed by the UK government in relation to school materials, including no hate, no incitement, unbiased information and respect for the other.
Besides the 9/11 question, various other flaws were found in the text, including mislabeled maps of Israel and the Palestinian territories, and the number of Palestinian refugees who fled in 1948.