9th Grade Textbook: World History - Human Legacy

The textbook World History-Human Legacy, used by 9th grade students, has been the subject of analysis by at least two textbook 'watchdog' organizations. The analyses, which are below, describe inaccuracies in the text and cite references to numerous scholarly books and articles refuting those inaccuracies.

 At least half of the inaccuracies cited pertain to the Arab-Israeli conflict. For example, the textbook falsely claims that Arab refugees were “driven out” of the new state of Israel instead of accurately stating that the majority of refugees left of their own accord or at the behest of their leaders, who told the Arab populace that that they would return to their homes after the area’s Jewish inhabitants were killed or expelled, leaving their now-empty properties for the returning Arab population.

The book entirely fails to acknowledge the 800,000 – 1,000,000 Jewish refugees from Arab lands, who were expelled penniless after 1948, nor does it mention the numerous pogroms and murders that accompanied the forced expulsions of communities which had lived in these nations for thousands of years. Failing to address these issues presents a distorted view of both history in general and Arab-Jewish relations.

The book also states that “a series of wars [has] led to the expansion of Israel” without mentioning that each of those wars was a war of extermination against the Jewish state. Much as the Allies took control over many areas that had been subject to  German or Japanese rule after World War II (Poland, Austria, Manchuria, the Kurils and Sakhalin islands), Israel, as the victor in a defensive war, would be justified in keeping land won as a result of those wars to herself.

Instead, the vast majority of that land – an area many times larger than Israel herself – was ceded to Egypt in exchange for a peace treaty, to the Palestinian Authority in the hope for a peace treaty (which the P.A. has refused to negotiate), and to the Arab residents of Gaza, who elected Hamas as their representative, established a genocidal and totalitarian regime, and directed thousands of missiles at Israeli civilians during the last ten years.

These distortions seriously mislead students about the origins and history of conflicts that continue today, and prevent them from developing the knowledge and perspective needed when taking on leadership roles in the future.

The Verity Educate report also has a section on the text. The report is available here.
Newton Excellence,
Aug 8, 2013, 3:32 PM