The Israeli Embassy in the Netherlands capital of The Hague denounced Tuesday a Dutch high school history textbook for alleged anti-Israel sentiments. The textbook "Geschiedeniswerkplaats," or "History Workplace," by the Noordhoff Uitgevers, also generated complaints among members of the country's Jewish community.
The book claims that "Jewish militias committed murder in Arab villages" ahead of the declaration of Israeli statehood after the 1948 War of Independence. "Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled and arrived in refugee camps across the border," the book states, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
Emmanuel Nahshon, the Israeli Foreign Minister in Berlin, said, "The ministry attributes utmost importance to the fight against the falsification of history and the slandering of Israel in textbooks," reported JNS.org. "History Workplace" is used by some high schools in the Netherlands and is approved by the Dutch Education Ministry.
The book also claims that Israel's former Prime Minister "Menachem Begin entered the history books as a peacemaker, which is surprising considering that much of his life he was known as a terrorist" and includes a picture of a Palestinian boy throwing a stone at an Israeli tank. The picture's caption reads, "Small opposition against Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories in 2000. Nine days after this picture was taken, this 13-year-old was shot dead while participating in a similar action."
Barak Gorni, a 16-year-old Dutch Israeli student attending the Maimonides Jewish High School in Amsterdam was one of the first to call attention to the book. "What's clear is that the person who wrote this book is a hater of Israel, and sadly there isn't a lack of those here," wrote Gorni's father, Dror, in a letter to the embassy, according to JNS.org.
In their statement, the Israeli Embassy in Holland said that it was checking whether the wording in the textbook "constitutes a distortion of facts or even incitement."