UKLFI: Supporting Israel with legal skills

Pearson should withdraw GCSE Middle East Textbook

UK Lawyers for Israel has written to Pearson Educational, asking them to withdraw a GCSE Textbook dealing with recent Middle East History, which has been found to contain anti-Israel views.

The Zionist Federation asked UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI) what should be done about a book for school students studying for the International GCSE in history, with the title “History: Conflict, Crisis and Change: The Middle East, 1917 – 2012”. The book was written by Hilary Brash and published by Pearson, with an endorsement by the Examination Board, Edexcel, which is owned by Pearson.

UKLFI invited David Collier to analyse the content. His blog is here: and his report “Indoctrinating Children in the UK, a textbook example” is here:

Mr Collier reviewed in detail the first chapter and found a litany of problems, for example:

  • It describes the massacres of Jewish communities by Arab mobs in Mandatory Palestine in 1929 as ‘Arab / Jew’ clashes
  • It fails to mention the Palestinian leadership’s alliance with the Nazis
  • It shows images of violence carried out by Jews, but no images of atrocities carried out by Arabs against the Jews
  • It fails to mention the many terror attacks against Israelis by Arabs after the Oslo accords
  • The timeline from 1900 to 2010 fails to mention the Holocaust

Mr Collier concludes that the book is full of distortions.

UKLFI has written to Pearson’s History Subject Advisor to express its concern that the use of this book is liable to result in a lack of balance and the promotion of partisan political views in the teaching of Twentieth and Twenty First Century Middle Eastern History.

UKLFI’s letter points out that as well as being extremely damaging, given the sensitivity of the subject and the risk of encouraging antisemitism, this breaches sections 406 and 407 of the Education Act 1996.

UKLFI has requested that Pearson withdraw this book from sale, and have it reviewed and revised by a historian whose impartiality is widely recognised on all sides. A warning that the book has been withdrawn should also be issued to any schools that have purchased it.

UKLFI’s letter adds that the same author has written another book on the subject: Edexcel GCSE (9-1) History Conflict in the Middle East, c1945-1995 Student Book, which should also be withdrawn and reviewed since it is likely that it contains similar inaccuracies.

The ZF has organised a petition to the Secretary of State for Education here. Please sign.