Analysis by Hans Knudsen
Published by Med Israel for fred Danmark
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Selected statements from the summary
“Israel-Palestine – History, society, religion” from Systime is distorted in its presentation to such an extent that the book must be regarded as decidedly politicizing and indoctrinating, unsuitable for educational use.
The book is clear
characterized by a one-sided bias in favor of the Palestinian side in it
Israeli-Palestinian conflict both in terms of choice and opt-out of what
described and also in the form of discourse, language tone and views when concrete
conditions are assessed. For example, there is a clear difference in the interpretation of motifs,
when different events are assessed. Israeli actions are generally assessed
from a negative intention , while
Palestinian actions to the contrary are considered either positive or apologetic for Palestinian motives.
“Israel-Palestine – History, Society, Religion” also has factual errors or misleading and distorted representations that should not appear in a textbook.
By: Hans Knudsen
Title: ” Israel-Palestine
– History, society, religion ”
Authors: Hans Henrik Fafner, Brian Linke, Henrik
Published 2014-2017, 2nd edition, 1st edition.
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of this book is in his personal views pro-Israel. When reviewing this
book on Israel and on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict the reviewer has sought
to provide an objective description of the matters submitted by the notifier
especially noticed in the book.
The book deals with the Israel-Palestine conflict and
is, according to the book’s preface, written for use in all high school educations.
The book’s own stated goal is partly “to balance and present the different
attitudes and views objectively and equally ”, and partly that it should be
usable for many years, which is why “emphasis has been placed on solid background knowledge”.
However, when reading the book with solid background knowledge of the conflict and with knowledge of Israeli perspectives on the conflict, it is clear
that the book is very strongly influenced by the authors’ personal perceptions and
pre-understandings about the conflict. It is in fact skewed in its manufacture in
so much so that the book must be considered decidedly politicizing and
The book is written with a strong positive angle
on the Palestinian side of the conflict and can therefore not be considered a neutral and
objective book. Thus, when a reader with an Israeli point of view can not find
basic and elementary Israeli attitudes and points of view reproduced just
fairly accurate in the book – regardless of whether one otherwise thinks they are right
or not – then the book simply does not live up to its own stated goal of “that
balance and present the different attitudes and views objectively and
The book is therefore considered to be clear below
agent; especially because it is a book for teaching and study use,
where the requirements for objectivity and neutrality must be very high. This reviewer will therefore consider the book as decided
unsuitable for educational use.
It’s a tough assessment. So to substantiate
the specific conditions that have led to the following pages are listed
this assessment. It is divided into three parts as follows:
- A wide range of the concrete
examples of significant choices and opt-outs of information in relation to those in the book
addressed issues as well as one-sided, misleading and skewed choice of language use, which
together result in a misleading overall impression, as well as on the very few
- This is followed by a summary
of significant issues related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which either at all
not touched in the book, or at most touched peripherally, and as one – from
Israeli side – on the contrary will place great emphasis on in a description of
conflict. When those conditions are not clearly included in the book, it is real
primarily a Palestinian point of view that is reflected in the book.
- Finally, a number of
points which do not have significant significance in relation to the understanding of the Israeli
Palestinian conflict, but where there are either factual errors or
misleading and distorted representations that should not appear in a textbook.
The specific historical information is included
a few minor exceptions – factually correct. Unfortunately, this is not someone
of course in connection with. the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, so this raises after all
the book above floor level.
The book is divided into topics, not chronologically
their descriptions. This means that it jumps in time at each subject change.
This makes it very difficult for a reader who does not have a great deal of prior knowledge about
the conflict – from the book alone – to form a historical overview. This
presents a significant risk to the authors – whether intentionally or not
unconscious – can give a one-sided and strongly distorted image by presenting
factually correct single information, which is selected with a one-sided bias
in favor of one side of the conflict, while at the same time readers who are not on
advance have a large factual knowledge of the overall context, will have difficulty
to see through this. And since the book is for educational use, readers must like
starting point precisely is not expected to have a large factual
prior knowledge. Therefore, the book can easily be really manipulative, even if it is
has not been the intention. It therefore places very high demands on the authors
about being very conscious of their own discourse and their on-and-off choices of
even small single information if it is to be avoided.
The book is thus clearly marked by a one-sided
bias in favor of the Palestinian side of the Israeli-Palestinian side
conflict both in the form of choice and opt-out of what is described and also in the form of
discourse, language tone and views when assessing specific conditions. For example,
there is a clear difference in the motive interpretation when different events
assessed. Israeli actions are generally assessed on the basis of a negative intention , while Palestinian actions are assessed on the contrary.
either positive or apologetic for
The publisher does not share specific sales figures, but has
stated that many youth educations subscribe to all their 500 iBooks, and that
they can see that the iBogs ’edition of the book is frequently used by the subscribers. Moreover,
the printed book published in 2 editions, indicating some interest. Alt i
everything must therefore be assumed that the book is used to a considerable extent.
Summary: All the points below are a review of
a large part of the individual points that together make the book – at least for
a reader with historical knowledge and with an understanding of the Israeli perspectives
– can only be perceived as politicizing and indoctrinating.
In addition, the missing chronology and the frequent
jump between sub-topics in connection with the skewed angle together that
it is practically impossible for a reader to form a true overall picture
of the Israeli-Palestinian (and the closely related Israeli-Arab)
conflict, unless you already have significant prior knowledge – and if
you have it, so you do not have to read a textbook about the conflict. The structure of the book
is therefore in itself a significant obstacle for the reader to relate
critical of the material in the book.
Therefore, in the opinion of this reviewer, the book is
definitely not suitable as a textbook for young people who need
neutral and impartial information about the protracted and complicated conflict in
Concrete examples of one-sided and misleading
choice of information and on skewed language use
- Page 7: Already on the first egl. page in the book – ie. before the reader has received any background information – a picture is presented with a yellow sign prohibiting Israelis from handing over or handing over vehicles for repair in the Palestinian Authority, and where the caption otherwise says that the Israelis hold the Palestinian Authority “in much short leash”.
The word choice is in itself strongly value-laden, and the choice of the image – even without further explanation – is also an expression of a bias. One could just as rightly have chosen a picture of this alternative red road sign, pointing out that it is forbidden for Israeli citizens to move into the areas under the control of the Palestinian Authority – referring to the fact that it is because it is simply life-threatening to the Israeli citizens. It would give a completely different first-hand impression.
By the way, I have frequently seen the red sign on the West Bank, while I have not come across the yellow sign. So the red sign is possibly significantly more representative of the signage in the area than the yellow sign.
- Page 10: It is explained in the text,
that Jerusalem is sacred to Muslims because Muhammad should have made one
nocturnal ascension from there, and the text box elaborates on the legend. Being the religious
claims on Jerusalem take up as much space as they do in the conflict, they should be factual
conditions surrounding the affiliation of both religions to Jerusalem are also considered
as highly relevant background information. It should therefore e.g. also mentioned
along with the legend that Jerusalem in the life of Muhammad  was not under Muslim control at all and that the city of Jerusalem is not even
mentioned by name in the Qur’an, as well as that it first became a holy city for Muslims
long after the death of Muhammad .
- Page 14: An “ancient Palestine” is mentioned, without specifying what and when it was. (The probable reason why it is not stated appears from the next point with a general commentary on pp. 14-16. After all, it is difficult to state “what” and “when” for something that did not exist as a well-defined state or region in ancient times.)
It is also stated that Palestine “has not in recent times (has) existed as an independent state”. The wording “ not in recent times ” is in itself manipulative, as it automatically creates the impression in the reader that Palestine is thus previously has existed as an independent state – which it does not  have. The latter is thus decidedly misleading. A correct and accurate text would be that Palestine did not exist as an independent state.
- Page 14-16: In the 3 sections on these pages, which relate to antiquity up to the beginning of Roman rule over the area, the area is consistently referred to as “Palestine”. The first sentence in ofthe section “The Diaspora” on p. 16 even reads “ Palestine was under Roman rule for almost 700 years in the period 63 BC-638 AD. ”.
The term“ Palestine ”did not exist, however, as a well-defined or concretely named area until the beginning of Roman supremacy, and in the first approx. 200 years – ie in the period 63 BC-135 AD. – the Romans thus did not rule over “Palestine”, but over “Judea” and other named areas. The name “Palestine” was first introduced by the Romans (instead of “Judea”, but covering a considerably larger area) under Emperor Hadrian in 135 after the Bar Kokhba uprising. It is therefore historically incorrect and tangential to historical distortion if one uses the term Palestine for the area and does not at the same time clearly point out that the term “Palestine” first appeared in the year 135 , even as an artificial reborn  name introduced by the Romans, and that the area until then had been called Judea.
- Page 17: It is mentioned in the chapter
about the diaspora that Jews were scattered over large parts of especially Europe and experienced
discrimination and pogroms. It is striking that nothing is mentioned about Jews in
Muslim countries, despite the fact that they were also present in large numbers there (even completely
until after the creation of Israel) – and incidentally also experienced discrimination
and persecution there.
- Page 17: It is mentioned here that
Muhammad died in 632 and that Jerusalem was conquered by Muslims in 637. It would
be relevant to cite this as background information along with the legend of Muhammad’s ascension from Jerusalem (see p.
19), which is the background for Muslims’ demands for Jerusalem as a holy city for them.
When it says separated as now, then
the reader does not naturally connect the two pieces of information.
- Page 20 – Factual error: It showed
maps show the delimitation of the mandate areas in the Middle East, and
the signature explanation indicates that it is the mandate areas per. 1920. The year is
however, incorrect. The delimitations shown only correspond to how
the mandate areas looked from 1922 onwards. In 1920, the two made up the map
separate areas Transjordan and Palestine one single area with
the term mandate area Palestine. (That is not to say that Transjordan
originally also supposed to have been part of the Jewish homeland, though
interpreted that way in some pro-Israel circles.) Britain divorced first
Transjordan from the original, large mandate area Palestine in 1922 – and
at the same time it became Jewish migration to the area east of the Jordan River in addition
- Page 20-22: The British Balfour Declaration of 1917 is explained in detail on page 20, and the Mandate Regulation and the Palestine Mandate are explained on pages 20-22. The San Remo Treaty of 1920, on the other hand, is not mentioned at all in the text, although – in international law – it must be regarded as absolutely decisive and in fact much more central than the Balfour Declaration. It was through this treaty that the Balfour Declaration was elevated from merely a political declaration of intent by a warring northwestern European country during World War I to in 1920 being part of an internationally binding international agreement – an agreement that lasted 2 years. was later incorporated into the mandates of the League of Nations.
It is also not mentioned in the book that the San Remo Treaty and the Palestine Mandate explicitly oblige the Mandate Governor (ie Great Britain) to support Jewish immigration to Palestine and that both state land (“ state land ”- ie land that is not privately owned) and poor lands (“ waste land ”- ie swamps and desert areas) should be made available for this.
That is, this – whether one finds it reasonable or not with today’s glasses – was an overarching, stated purpose and part of the international agreement on the Middle East after World War I. NB: Without the concrete background knowledge, Jewish immigration to Palestine after World War I appears to be an unreasonable immigration without legal basis in international agreements. (For the sake of context: In the first half of the 20th century, there were several treaties of general land and population exchanges to end wars and strife, in which civilians were moved around like chess pieces and had to live with the consequences of the decisions of their regimes and governments. .)
It should also beIt is added that the United Nations, in its post-World War II creation, took over in its charter all the agreements and commitments of the League of Nations that collapsed before World War II.
This is essential, the mandate was thus – and in fact still is – a binding international agreement under international law, which applies to the entire land area – ie. incl. West Bank / Judea and Samaria – until otherwise agreed. And that – with the exception of the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in Areas A and B in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip – has not yet happened.
All this is very important background information, and without it the reader will not have an earthly chance to understand the background of the conflict and the Israeli position. Many Danes ‘and Europeans’ notion that Israel was given to the Jews as an indulgence for the Holocaust is precisely due to a lack of knowledge of all this. This is the reason both for the Israeli side not considering the West Bank as territory occupied by another state, but rather as an occupied disputed territory to which Israel has a legitimate and significant claim, and also for Israeli settlements in the West Bank therefore as basically are not illegal. It is very important for understanding the conflict to know about this, as the Israeli starting point for peace negotiations is thus that Israel makes a very significant concession if they give up significant parts of the West Bank. If this is not also described in the book, only the Palestinian side of the issue will be communicated.
- Page 23: It is stated that
The Balfour Declaration of 1917 was deliberately vaguely worded and that was the reason
to the fact that Britain could not maintain a balance between the opposing
interests. I do not know what is being said about the Balfour Declaration
should be “vaguely worded”, but regardless, the authors again show a lack
knowledge of the San Remo Treaty and the Palestinian Mandate, which – to be precise
formulations – instructed the mandate to support Jewish immigration and that
make state land and poor land available for it (see above)
- Page 23: It is mentioned – in general
phrases – “episodes of violence and clashes between Jews and Palestinians” in the period leading up to World War II (ie.
in the 1920s and 1930s), and it is mentioned quite briefly “that Jews and Jews
settlements were fx attacked
of Palestinian terrorist groups ”. With these formulations, it appears as if
from both sides there was talk of terrorist groups attacking from one side
civilians on the other hand, even though there were actually Arab attacks on
civilian Jews and Jewish settlements and Jewish defense against this. (I’m in
at least not familiar with concrete examples of the opposite in the 1920s and
1930s.) In this context, it would be relevant to have mentioned the larger ones as well
Arab riots in Palestine such as the Nebi Musa riots in 1920 or the riots in
1929, which i.a. led to outright massacres of Jews in Safed and in Hebron; and
where the entire ancient Jewish population of Hebron was expelled. The information
is not mentioned anywhere in the book, but it will e.g. be relevant
background knowledge for the reader when it is mentioned on page 65 that a group of Jews –
after the Six-Day War in 1967, when Hebron came under Israeli control – in 1968
traveled to Hebron and stayed there. The war in 1967 was, after all, only 38 years old
after the displacement of the Jewish population in Hebron.
- Page 21-24: These pages deal with the British term of office. Here, the Arab population in the mandate area Palestine is consistently described as “Palestinians” and not as “Arabs” or possibly. as “Palestinian Arabs”. This is a definite distortion of history. In fact, the term “Palestinians” at the time was used to refer to Jews, and at least it was not used at all to Arabs in Palestine. It is a linguistic discourse that first emerged around and after the creation of the PLO in 1964 and the Six-Day War in 1967.
When that term is used in a historical context where the term was not yet in use, it creates in the reader an impression that – among Arabs in the Palestinian Territories – there were already at that timea Palestinian national feeling where there really was no egl either. national feeling or at most a common Arab sense of unity.
By using the term “Palestinians” for this period, the author thus implicitly acknowledges a Palestinian narrative about an already existing Palestinian national identity. This is especially evident if you look at texts and word choices from the contemporary world, where “Arabs” and not “Palestinians” are consistently mentioned. On page 23, e.g. “The Arab High Committee” – which is not called “The Palestinian High Committee”.
- The term “resident Palestinians” is also used several times. The use of the word “resident” also creates in the reader the impression that the vast majority of the Arab inhabitants of Palestine were a native population who had lived there for many generations. At the same time, nothing is mentioned that there are good reasons to assume that – in parallel with the explicitly permitted Jewishness of the San Remo Treaty and of the League of Nations mandate immigration to Palestine – at least to some extent has also taken place a significant – illegal and unregistered – immigration from the surrounding Arab countries.
The authors thus provide the reader with significant background information, as the reader is not made aware that at least part of the Palestinian Arabs in 1948 were migrants or descendants of very recent migrants from the surrounding Arab countries. Arab immigration from Egypt, Syria and Transjordan is not even mentioned, even though UNRWA was considered a Palestinian refugee if in 1948 it had only lived in Palestine since 1946, ie. for only 2 years – a refugee definition which, incidentally, is not used for anywhere other than by UNRWA for the former Palestine mandate. Ie that in reality there was no requirement that one should be from Palestine at all to be considered a Palestinian-Arab refugee. This was probably the case for a not insignificant proportion of the refugees. (As a very concrete single example of this, Naser Khader – who has a Palestinian background on his father’s side – has at one point said that his father’s family first settled in the mandate area of Palestine in the 1940s.)
Also here in its omissions, the authors thus implicitly support the Palestinian narrative that all the Palestinian Arabs were an indigenous people of Palestine. There is, of course, no doubt that a considerable part of the Arab population in the mandate area of Palestine had roots in Palestine many generations back, but there has certainly also been a significant part that did not have it and who had immigrated illegally.
- Page 26: In the caption to the map of the partition of Palestine after the Israeli War of Independence, the ceasefire lines (the green line) are explicitly referred to as “borders”. When one describes them as “borders”, it must be considered an important piece of information that the ceasefire lines of 1949 were just never recognized as borders by the surrounding Arab countries. But that information is completely omitted.
It may seem like just a small nuance, but it is significant in relation to current discussions, where the green line is often just referred to as the “1967 borders” – even if the green line is really the 1949 ceasefire line, which was in fact repealed as a dividing line during the Israeli conquest in 1967. The term “1967- border ” implicitly supports a Palestinian narrative that everything behind the green line (ie the entire West Bank including East Jerusalem) is Palestinian territory where Israel can have no legitimate claim whatsoever. It is therefore misleading to use the term ‘border’ without making it very clear that it was precisely the Arab side that before 1967 never wanted to recognize the Green Line as a border.
- Page 26: The Six-Day War is mentioned very briefly, and it is mentioned that in June 1967 Israel added a humiliating defeat to the Arab states, as well as that Israel conquered large tracts of land. However, nothing is mentioned about the background of warsn, and the section can therefore easily give a reader without prior knowledge the impression that there was a completely unprovoked Israeli aggression on defenseless opponents – which was definitely not the case.
- Page 28: It is mentioned that 11 Israelis were taken hostage by terrorists from the Black September group and that both hostages and terrorists perished during the German authorities’ attempt to free the hostages. It is a very vague description, which gives the impression that all the hostages and all the terrorists were killed by the German authorities. As a reader, you are not made aware that, after all, it was the terrorists who killed all 11 hostages, and that only 5 out of the 8 terrorists were killed.
- Page 29: It is mentioned that the use of the word “Holocaust” as a term should have become widespread as an expression of purges of other ethnic groups, and thus not only the purges and the systematic genocide of Jews during World War II. However, I am not aware that this should be the case, so that information amazes me a lot.
In addition, it seems to me that there is inflation in the use of the term “Holocaust”, if one recognizes the use of the same term for the persecution of other peoples, which – notwithstanding the great seriousness of these persecutions – in comparison, after all, are orders of magnitude less serious than the absolute greatest and most well-organized genocide in world history. It is not outright Holocaust denial, but it is at least Holocaust – devaluation – and it should be a textbook in i.a. history certainly does not contribute to.
- Page 44: It is mentioned that both Jews and Muslims in the ongoing conflict have used various forms of terror as a means to achieve certain goals. This comment already implies a moral equivalence of the two sides, as if both parties are equally good about it. Without a simultaneous description both of the frequency of terrorist acts and of the prevailing attitudes of civil society to terrorism, it is also misleading.
- Page 44-46: More than 1 has been set aside
page for examples of Jewish terror – and more than 1½ page if the picture on
page 46 is included and specific examples are given. For comparison is
devoted slightly less than ½ page to Muslim terror, and without specific examples or images. This is an expression of one
lack of balance between the two sides; especially when the real extent of
Jewish, resp. Muslim / Palestinian terror – where the Muslim / Palestinian
terror, of course, are orders of magnitude larger – taken into account. That with it
marked difference fsva. concrete examples are elaborated under the following points to
pp. 44-45, resp. to p. 46.
- Page 44-45: As far as Jewish
terrorism, specific terrorist acts are mentioned with precise indications of numbers
dead and wounded. The examples include mostly examples from before the creation of Israel,
but also the Hebron mosque massacre in 1994 with the name mention of the terrorist. This
is in stark contrast to what and how little is written about Muslim terror; see
comment on page 46 below.
- Page 45-46: The Israeli security barrier is also described, and it is mentioned that the wall is considered by some as state terrorism. As this is written precisely in the book’s section on Jewish terror, the security barrier is thus presented to readers as an act of terrorism. The security barrier is well enough described as a fence in the body text as long as the Israeli point of view is described. But in the book’s illustration (p. 46) a section with a wall is shown, and the caption also describes that “… the wall winds approx. 800 km through the landscape ”. It is thus described as a “wall” in the caption, although approx. 95% of the barrier consists only of fences. In the caption, this is compared – in this context supposedly approx. 800 km long – “wall” at the same time as the Berlin Wall with all the negative associations that this inevitably creates. For a balanced presentation, the latter should not stand alone by the caption, but instead be placed in the body text at the bottom of p. 45 together with the information that the wall has led to a marked decrease in the number of suicide bombers – or alternatively burde the information about significantly fewer suicide bombers also appear in the caption. After all, it is the images and illustrations that catch the eye the most.
Incidentally, it is thought-provoking that a barrier that was established precisely to protect Israelis against Muslim / Palestinian terrorism is described in a section on Jewish terrorism – solely because it it is mentioned that critics of the security barrier regard it as state terrorism. The security barrier causes – quite openly and without discussion – significant nuisances and negative effects for the Palestinian civilian population in the West Bank, but there are very far from nuisances and negative effects and to “spread fear and insecurity” (cf. that – as it is listed in the book, see p. 39 – is the target of terror in all the common definitions of terror), so it is simply far out in a section on Jewish terror to spend so much space on an anti-terror measure. (If the security barrier were to be mentioned at all in connection with terrorism, I would, on the contrary, mention it in the section on Muslim terrorism, and as an example that the reactions to Muslim terrorism can cause significant inconvenience to the Palestinian civilian population itself.)
The text on the security barrier also describes the “green line” as a “border” (cf. the comments on p. 26 on the same), and the West Bank is described as “Palestinian”, although borders and what ends up being Palestinian must be determined by negotiations . The text in the book thus anticipates the results of peace negotiations.
- Page 46: As far as Muslim terrorism is concerned, a little less than ½ page has been set aside for Muslim terrorism. There is generally correct information that “many civilian Jews” have been killed, but contrary to the description of Jewish terror, there is nothing specific, so it can not be put into perspective in relation to the just mentioned concrete figures for the relatively few examples of Jewish terror. Ie no specific terrorist acts are listed, nor are there any specific figures for the dead and wounded. No perspective! One could, for example. have mentioned the number of terrorist attacks and the number of dead (1,137) and wounded (8,341) Israelis during the second intifada. One could also have mentioned some concrete terrorist acts, such as the Hebron massacre in 1929 (in which 67 Jews were killed and the rest of the city’s Jewish population had to flee) or the Easter massacre in Netanya in 2002, in which 30 were killed and 140 were wounded.
In the last section (ie the last 6 lines) on the half page of page 46 devoted to Muslim terror, it is mentioned that “The Palestinian government has repeatedly launched intifadas against the Israelis once the negotiations have gone “During an intifada, systematic acts of terrorism are being carried out to bring the Israeli government back to the negotiating table”, and that the acts of terrorism “According to the Palestinians, they (the acts of terrorism – ed.) only affect” legal combatants “, although as rule are also civilian victims of the attacks. ”
On these only 6 lines there is both a probable error and a significant misrepresentation close to each other.
It immediately seems very strange and unbelievable that it Palestinian Authority / Fatah should have started the second intifada with the aim of getting Israel back to the negotiating table, as it was Yassir Arafat who himself left the negotiating table in Camp David -negotiation in the 2000s just before the start of the second intifada. Yassir Arafat could have gone back to the negotiating table at any time. It is therefore logical that the Palestinian motive for starting the second intifada must have been something else.
In addition, the final remark is that during intifadas only “legal combatants” are affected, even though “as rule… also (are) civilian victims of the attacks ”misleading. When it stands as the concluding sentence of the subchapter, it gives the impression that the authors acknowledge the Palestinians’ statements as an indication that they are primarily aiming for some kind of “legal” goal, and that civilian victims are thus only unintentional victims – a form of collateral damage. It is even more misleading to note the contrast to the fact that the previous section states that Palestinian suicide bombers are targeted to detonate their bombs in places where there are many civilians close together and that there are examples of terrorist attacks where children have been killed with intent . Then again, it seems – due to the concluding comments – that the Palestinian terrorist attacks against civilians are being downplayed and even partially justified. The reader’s focus is at least ultimately turned away from the targeted attacks on civilians and towards – allegedly – unintentional civilian casualties.
- S. 47-53: The pages describe the role of religion in the conflict; respectively. Jewish and Muslim. 1 page has been set aside to describe texts in Jewish holy scriptures, where Judaism’s right to the holy land is rooted. A cash old religious text – without further remarks, assessments or perspectives on today’s Judaism.
Opposite this there are 5 pages where various texts are described in Muslim holy scriptures, where some justify violence under certain conditions, but where it is also described that there are other texts and that the Muslim texts can therefore also interpreted more peacefully. The last sections even describe that the terrorist acts of Muslims are in many cases due to “deep frustrations”, where “Islam is used more as a consolation than as an actual motivating factor”. In other words, apologetic and understanding in relation to Palestinian terror, in direct contrast to the lack of perspective of Jewish religious texts.
Finally – and very significantly – there is no mention of general practice in resp. Judaism and Islam in relation to the real use of violence. Ie that in spite of all this text, the real meaning in the real world of the various texts is not made clear. For outsiders in relation to a religion, after all, it is only of academic interest what is written in the sacred writings of the religion; what is absolutely essential for outsiders, on the other hand, is how members of a religious community in practice act in relation to outsiders.
- S. 61: It is stated that secular Jews in the early 20th century began “arriving in Palestine, as the country was then called.” This is again a small implicit distortion of history. The wording “ as the country was called at that time ” again creates the impression that there was historically a country called Palestine, where at that time (in the beginning of the 20th century – ie before the First World War) was in fact just a (primarily European) designation for an undefined southern sub-area of a province in the Ottoman Empire.
- Page 63-64: It is stated that in the early 1950s the Jewish population of Israel almost doubled because a whole new type of immigrants came to Israel in the form of 750,000 Sephardic Jews from North Africa and the Middle East. Seen in isolation, this is factually correct, but with that description it appears as if these Jews completely voluntarily emigrated from their countries of origin to Israel.
In reality, these people were displaced and forced to flee their former homelands – and many had their property confiscated – because after the establishment of the State of Israel, Jews were no longer accepted in the Muslim, Arab countries, even though they had lived there for generations. There was thus a flow of refugees as opposed to the Palestinian Arabs – and even of approx. same order of magnitude. In practice, there was thus largely a population exchange between Israel and the Arab countries – in the same way as it did in several other cases during the 20th century, e.g. at the conclusion of peace both after World War I and after World War II and between India and Pakistan.
This historical fact – and this very large group of Jewish refugees – is usually overlooked when talking today about giving justice to refugees and their descendants of the Middle East conflict.
- Page 65-66: It is described that national religious settlers gained a dominant role after the war in 1967, and that a small group of them in 1968 went to Hebron and established the settlement Kiryat Arba. This is factually correct as far as the settlement in Hebron is concerned, but it does not give a true overall picture, as there is no other,relevant background information.
- There are e.g. no information in the book about the massacre that in 1929 forced the Jewish people of Hebron to flee and leave their properties where they had lived for generations, and that the settlers therefore really only returned to an area from which Jews had been expelled only 39 years earlier.
- There is also no information that Hebron is the second holiest city of Judaism with the Tomb of the Patriarchs. (For comparison, it is clearly mentioned already on page 10 that Jerusalem is the third holiest city in Islam.)
Both must be considered as essential background information, and should therefore be listed in the context to give a true overall picture – but it is not listed anywhere in the book at all!
As for the motives for settlements anywhere other than Hebron, even a quick Google search shows that – for most other settlements except Kiryat Arba at Hebron– were a wide variety of motives, including secular, political and strategic. It is therefore not fair to present it as if the settlements in general were primarily religiously motivated.
- Page 85: It is stated that the slogan
whether “a country without a people to a people without a country” should be a myth. It is
Of course, it is clearly true that what later became the territory of Palestine,
was not completely empty of people either in 1914, (which is the year they stated
population is applicable to and where a large part of the relatively low number
people in the area were even residents of cities,) or in the middle or
the end of the 19th century, when the slogan originated. But it has either
never been the claim that it was a totally uninhabited area; there was only one
finding that the area was a very sparsely populated and neglected area in the latter half of the 19th century,
where there could easily be room for many more if the country
were simply cultivated and growth was created. This can also be seen in
coherence with the provisions of the Palestinian Mandate that “ state land and waste land ” should be made available to the
Jewish immigration (see comments above on pages 20-22 on
The Balfour Declaration, the Treaty of San Remo and the Palestine Mandate).
- Page 85-86: It is stated that there
“In the traditional Palestinian community” began to form a “Palestinian
identity ”among the people who lived in the area, although at the same time it is stated that they
time were citizens of the Ottoman Empire in the area designated as
Sydsyrien. Ie that reference is made to the period early in the 20th century, when the area still
was part of the Ottoman Empire and absolutely before the mandate area of Palestine
was defined in 1922. This is again (as on pages 21-24)
history distortion, as among the general population the highest
was an Arabic identity, however
– at that time – definitely not an independent Palestinian identity. It was only created much later in the race
of the 1960s, when the PLO was formed (see comments on pp. 21-24).
- Page 106: It is mentioned that the Jews
proclaimed the state of Israel as Britain withdrew its last troops in May
1948, and that the subsequent 1948 war (eg. 1948-1949) was never ended
with a peace agreement. This is factually correct, but again the omissions are very much
reportedly; it is not mentioned that it was the surrounding Arab countries that
started the war and even with the stated purpose of annihilating the Jewish state,
nor is it mentioned that no peace was made because the Arabs
countries would not recognize Israel. Both conditions are very essential as
background knowledge and is therefore decidedly misleading when omitted.
- Page 107: In the mention of the 6-day war, it is only mentioned that Israel conquered large Arab lands, but also here – as on page 26, cf. comment above – nothing is mentioned about the background for the war. This section, too, can therefore easily give a reader the impression that there was unprovoked Israeli aggression on a defenseless opponent, which – as also mentioned above for page 26 – was definitely not the case. When such essential information is directly omitted in teaching material, it is decidedly m
Page 110: It is stated that in 1974 the UN General Assembly recognized the PLO as the formal representative of all Palestinians, and that the UN at the same time recognized the Palestinians’ right to return to those territories. , from which they had fled in the wars of 1948-49 and 1967. Unless otherwise stated, it can – especially by school and high school students – easily be perceived as if the latter is a binding recognition under international law, which Israel would thus be bound by. However, the UN General Assembly cannot adopt resolutions binding under international law – only the UN Security Council can do so – so it should have been made very clear that the UN recognition of the right of return was not binding under international law but only a political statement.
- Page 111: It is stated that due to the Palestinian intifada, Israel was “maturing to make concessions”. With that wording, it appears to the reader as if Israel has not been ready to negotiate peace at all before. This is simply misleading, as Israel has generally sought peace agreements and recognition with its neighbors whenever possible. On page 107 you can e.g. see that Israel i.a. was ready to negotiate peace and secure borders in 1967 and on pages 110-111 one can see that Israel concluded peace with Egypt in 1978-79 with a complete withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula.
- Page 113: Here it is stated that significant steps in the peace process were hindered by the fact that President Bush in 2002 would not put much pressure on Israel. Again, the implicit claim is that Israel is the only obstacle to reaching a final agreement. And again, there is nothing about the role and role of the Palestinians in not being able to reach an agreement – nor is there anything about not putting pressure on them. The presentation is thus unilaterally negative towards Israel.
- Page 123: It is mentioned at the top of the page that “the formally secular Fatah… continues to talk about peace dialogue with the Israelis”. This is formally true in some statements – primarily in English and aimed at Western donor countries – but there is also another reality where statements in Arabic targeting their own population are by no means peaceful. From the Israeli side, many would argue that this is in fact crucial to understanding why there is not yet peace.
- Page 123: It is stated that many (Palestinian voters – red .) “Accused Fatah of being corrupt, claiming that foreign aid funds had ended up in private pockets”. When stated only as a statement, it can easily be perceived as if it is not true, or as if there is at least considerable doubt about it. But it does not take much Google research to find out that it was not just an allegation and that there is very much about that talk. When it is not made clear that the claim was and is well-founded, it portrays the Palestinian Fatah regime as better than it is.
Page 123: It is described that Hamas – after the January 2006 elections – took power in the Gaza Strip and formed government. It is very short, and it sounds peaceful, in fact almost democratic, that the “formed government”. The reality was, among other things, that it was a violent takeover in June 2007 (ie almost 1½ years after the election), where many were killed and where Fatah was expelled from the Gaza Strip. When not made clear, it portrays the Palestinian Hamas regime in Gaza as better than it is.
- Page 123-124: It is described that in 2007 the Israelis launched a blockade of the Gaza Strip and that the motive was to undermine and overthrow the Hamas government. Here – on just 2 lines – it screams to heaven that this is incomplete and one-sided information.
- Re. 1: The Gaza Strip also has a border with Egypt, so Israel cannot unilaterally carry out a blockade; Egypt must also be part of it – and has even blocked its border with Gaza.
- Re. 2: This is not a “blockade” on land on the border with Israel, but only an “embargo” in order to prevent weapons and materials for weapons production from entering the Gaza Strip while inspecting the transport of ordinary goods, but can still cross the border into Israel – and if one first recognizes the significant difference, then the next natural question is what Hamas and others. in the Gaza Strip would use weapons for.
- Re. 3: It is stated as a fact – and completelywithout mentioning other options or Israeli (or Egyptian) interests – a claim that the motive for the embargo should be to overthrow the Hamas regime. It is possible, and even likely, that it was part of the motive for the embargo – and at least Israel would not have objected to it if the Hamas regime had been overthrown. But in a complicated conflict with many parties, there may be many different motives, and Israel may have had several other motives, such as protecting its own civilian population. So here a balanced presentation would, as an absolute minimum, require that another possible and probable motive for protecting its own civilian population close to Gaza from terrorist attacks, including rocket attacks, also be mentioned as an alternative option. Ie here the interpretation of motives is again a one-sided and towards Israel suspicious and negatively alleged intention.
- Page 124: Immediately afterwards, rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip are mentioned well enough, but in an apologetic way, and as if they should be almost irrelevant. For example. it is first stated as a “reaction” to the embargo. But if the rocket attacks, which started as early as 2005, when Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip (and in fact even earlier, with rocket attacks starting all the way back in 2001), were really to be a response to the embargo, then Hamas must be really good at predict the future when the rocket attacks (ie the re action) came before the embargo, which started in 2007 (and which according to the claim was the triggering action .) It should be obvious to everyone that the rocket attacks cannot be a reaction to something that was only introduced long after the rocket attacks started.
It is also stated that the Qassam rockets are homemade, which creates a impression of something that may not be so dangerous. But even though it is a simple rocket made of tubular steel and filled with explosives, and although their precision (thankfully) is very low, they are nonetheless dangerous, and they are thus still a means of creating fear and terror in it. area where they can strike down. And finally, Hamas is almost portrayed as a peaceful and moderate negotiating partner, because in the end – when they came under too much military pressure from Israel – they tried to stop the rocket attacks, but that other Palestinian groups would not listen to them. li>
- Pages 125-127: It is striking that Jewish minority radicalism in this book occupies more (3 pages) than Palestinian radicalism (page 124, ie 1 page), and this despite the fact that the Palestinian radicalism is both much more prevalent and much more violent. Again a one-sided and negative focus on Israel in the same way as it is also commented on. pages 44-46.
- Page 126: In this chapter on radicalism, a very large focus is placed and very concretely on everything that Israeli Jews can be criticized for, without a corresponding focus on Palestinian responsibility. It is seen e.g. of the Hebron mosque massacre in 1994 and the Rabin assassination in 1995 (and yes, they were both committed by extremist Jews, which no one denies) are described in great detail. On the other hand, no specific Palestinian massacres and terrorist attacks against Israelis are mentioned; and in fact there is almost no general mention of it here either. If there should have been balance in the book in this chapter, e.g. The pass-over massacre in Netanya (2002, with 30 killed and 140 wounded) and / or the number of Israeli bomb victims (a total of about 1,137 killed and 8,341 wounded) at the second intifada should be mentioned. Again, there is the same one-sided presentation – which was also commented on pages 44-46.
In connection with radicalism, it is also important to assess how resp. Israeli and Palestinian civil society and governments / regimes deal with terrorist acts, but are not even affected. Here it is e.g. important to know that virtually all of Israeli civil society as well as the Israeli authorities clearly and unequivocally distanced themselves from the Hebron mosque massacre (and, of course, the Rabin assassination). On the other hand, a somewhat different picture emerges if one looks at how both large sections of Palestinian civil society as well as the Palestinian regimes relate to Palestinian terrorist attacks.
- 129-132 A text passage from the radical rabbi has been reproducedMeir Kahane, and a speech by Hamas leader Khaled Meshal is reproduced. So far it is a balanced production. But beyond that, the differences are marked.
Completely justified – critical student questions have been asked about Meir Kahane’s text and about him as a person. But facing it is that there is no similar question about Khaled Meshal. The book’s exaggerated focus on Meir Kahane in relation to Khaled Meshal becomes even clearer when one sees that Meir Kahane is described in more detail on p. 126, while there is no corresponding focus on Khaled Meshal; he is only described a passer-by on less than one line in the text just above his speech. This skewed focus is all the more remarkable since Meir Kahane is a deceased former leader of a marginalized Jewish organization, while Khaled Meshal is the leader of Hamas and thus a living person with power and influence.
Even if all this were balanced with a description of Khaled Meshal and similarly critical student questions about his speech and about him as a person, there would still be an unjust moral equivalence between it Israeli and the Palestinian side, as long as the two people are simply facing each other without further ado. It would, for example. be in place with one last student question regarding. both Meir Kahane and Khaled Meshal, such as “What does it say about the Israeli, resp. Palestinian society that Meir Kahane’s organization is so marginalized that it has been banned in Israel (see p. 126), while Khaled Meshal’s organization Hamas is in power in the Gaza Strip? ”
- Page 142: It is mentioned that it is a problem that no one from outside puts pressure on Israel. People in Israel will probably not agree with this, as they are experiencing constant pressure and constant criticism from the outside world. But more thought-provoking is the fact that there is not even any mention of not actually putting pressure on the Palestinian side. It takes two sides to make peace, and some would argue that the Palestinian side’s aversion to Israel is the real obstacle – or at least one significant obstacle – to a peaceful solution. But this opposite view – that the Palestinians’ lack of willingness to negotiate could be the cause (or at least one of the reasons) for the continuing conflict – is not really presented in the book.
So when only a lack of pressure on Israel is pointed out as the only reason for not finding a peaceful solution, the book contains an implicit assumption that Israel is the real and most important obstacle to find a solution.
Therefore, in this context, it is also very relevant to know that in 2000 the Palestinians refused to negotiate a concrete and generous offer from Ehud Barak, and also that the Palestinians in 2008 rejected another and even more generous offer from Ehud Olmert. In either case, they (with land swaps for large settlements) would have met virtually all of their alleged territorial requirements. It is also relevant to know that the Palestinians have often set preconditions for significant concessions and / or guarantees for a particular outcome of negotiations in order to show up at all and begin negotiations.
With that perspective, on the contrary, it could be argued that the reason for the lack of peace process is that no pressure has been put on the Palestinians. But these two very concrete offers are not even mentioned in the book – and even in a book, which according to. its own preface has as its stated goal “to balance and present the different attitudes and views objectively and equally” and to place “emphasis on solid background knowledge”.
Essential but in the book omitted topics for
understanding of the conflict:
The above is a point-by-point review
of the conditions that the authors
have chosen to bring in the book, and where in this critique I have focused on one-sidedness
discourse and on the omissions that are relevant to the individual points and which
all in all, results in a misleading overall picture.
In addition, there are of course other factors,
which Israelis would emphasize
considerable emphasis on, and which should therefore also be addressed in a book which will provide
and balaunched portrayal of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but as
not even touched on in the book. These points are briefly mentioned below.
- The general position in
civil society and in the government / regimes in resp. Israel and the Palestinians
autonomous territories (West Bank and Gaza) for the use of terrorism and for terrorists
from “one’s own camp”.
- When there are examples of
Israeli / Jewish terror, there is a clear and unequivocal condemnation of and
distancing oneself from the act of terrorism and the terrorist. At the Hebron Mosque Massacre in
1994 took virtually all of Israeli civil society as well as the Israeli ones
authorities clearly and unequivocally distance themselves from it.
- Opposite this are the attitudes in
partly the Palestinian Authority and partly by Hamas as well as in large parts of it
Palestinian civil society, in which Palestinian / Muslim terrorists are idolized
as heroes or as martyrs both of Fatah and of Hamas.
- When there are examples of
This is expressed in many ways:
– such as the Palestinian Authority paying out
pensions for “military martyrs”, ie. those who are convicted
acts of terrorism against Israelis, and to the survivors of terrorists, if
the terrorists perish in connection with. with their acts of terror. Ie that it
Palestinian Authority provides a direct economic incentive to commit
acts of terrorism. This is, among other things, the background for the United States (with “the Taylor Force
Act ”) and most recently also the Netherlands and Belgium will no longer provide financial support
to the Palestinian Authority, as long as they reward terrorists.)
– Or by streets, squares, schools and summer camps
named after well-known terrorists (such as Dalal Mughrabi, who was behind Coastal
Road massacre in 1978, in which 38 Israelis were killed, including 13 children)
– Or by local Palestinian NGOs also glorifying terrorists and portraying them as role models (or role models); see e.g. this link: http://www.um.dk/da/nyheder-fra-udenrigsministeriet/NewsDisplayPage/?newsID=4581CF05-DD68-45BB-8FB0-B28AA0A4F1D0
– Or know that there are often public and widespread
celebrations of joy in Palestinian circles when there is news of successful
terrorist acts against Israelis.
- The significant difference in practice
fsva. use of terrorism. The attitudinal differences described above
is also reflected in the fact that Jewish terror is, after all, a relative
rare phenomenon that has been predominantly fought by Israel since 1948
to today, while Palestinian / Arab terror is a much more systematic one
activity and conscious strategy of all Palestinian-Arab leaders from
The Nebi Musa riots in April 1920 and up to the self-praise and
financing terrorist attacks against Jews today.
- On the Palestinian side is kept
the conflict and hatred of Israel persists through the education system and through
impact on children and young people. For example. in the school system (as, incidentally, in great style
funded by Western donor countries through UNRWA), where the Palestinian demands
throughout the mandate area of Palestine is maintained (see description just below),
through kindergartens and summer camps for children as well as through children’s broadcasts, where
struggle and terror against Israelis are glorified in many different ways. It is
probably especially pronounced in Gaza, where Hamas has power but finds me
also known place on a larger scale in the West Bank, where Fatah has the power.
- From the Palestinian side maintains
one in various ways Palestinian demands on the entire mandate area Palestine
as Palestinian; i.e. not only the West Bank but also Israel itself.
- This comes i.a. to express by
to Israeli cities such as Beer Sheva, Tel Aviv, Tiberias and Haifa from
Palestinian side in many contexts is referred to as Palestinian cities,
- By slogans such as “Between the River
(ie the Jordan River) and the Sea (ie the Mediterranean), Palestine shall be free ”, ie.
An area that includes Israel itself
- By map material in school books,
showing the entire original mandate area of Palestine as Palestine; i.e. quite
- Or by logos and symbols
designed as a fairly short map of the Palestinian Territories with a Palestinian flag
drawn across the entire area.
- This comes i.a. to express by
- In relation to the key discussions
on the right to Jerusalem and on the right to territories in the West Bank for settlement
will one – from the Israeli side – argue that
- that Jerusalem and the West Bank were one
part of the mandate area Palestine, where the Jewish homeland should be,
- that all Jews in the West Bank
and in East Jerusalem were driven out and had to flee from the West Bank and from
East Jerusalem during the war in 1948-49,
- and that one therefore not per.
can automatically consider East Jerusalem and the entire West Bank as Palestinian,
simply because there were no Jews there in the period 1949-1967.
- The Israeli side wants that too
argue that the whole of Jerusalem until 1948 had a Jewish majority,
- and that some of the great
settlements that are today termed illegal were legally established on legal
purchased land long before 1948. Eg. Gush Etzion.
- that Jerusalem and the West Bank were one
This involves –
from an Israeli point of view – also that when reaching from the international
side of society designates the West Bank and East Jerusalem as Palestinian territory because
it in the period 1949-1967 under Arab (Jordanian) occupation was completely without one
Jewish population, then one accepts the results of an ethnic
cleansing. This is in contrast to Israel, where a large number of Arabs remained
and was allowed to stay in the area that was created after the war in 1948-49
- The last – and probably the most important
Of the unaffected points: The Israeli-Arab conflict is also affected in
the book in several different places, but the very large link between the Israeli- Palestinian conflict on the one hand and the overall
Israeli- Arab conflict on it
on the other hand, it does not appear in the book. It’s only hinted at a little bit in
the chapter “New Chaos in the Middle East” (pp. 133-142) on the Arab Spring, where
with a single sentence on p. 140 it is mentioned that “Israel has since its creation
i1948 been surrounded by countries that had it as their stated goal to wipe out
This despite the fact that it must be considered absolutely central
for the understanding of the Israeli- Palestinian
conflict that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has become – and will continue to be
Kept alive and nurtured by many Arab countries that use the Palestinians as
a remedy against Israel in the Israeli Arab
conflict. (Or egl the Israeli- Muslim
conflict, for the non-Arab Shia-Muslim Iran also plays a major role
here.) Thus, almost nothing is described in the book on the support of Arab countries
to various Palestinian terrorist organizations to keep the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict by equal.
The significance of this, of course, is that it is therefore
almost impossible to create and maintain a credible and stable peace agreement
between Israel and the Palestinians, as long as more of the surrounding
Arab / Muslim countries do not recognize Israel’s right to exist and so
long they continue to “pour gasoline on the fire” by supporting radicals
Palestinian terrorist organizations.
The significance of this link simply can not
underestimated, and it is therefore an absolute “must” to address it in a which
any book on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, if one – like this one
book – aims to make a balanced presentation. See e.g. this link: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/16/opinion/israeli-palestinian-conflict-matti-friedman.html
I do not even have a detailed knowledge of
all the things mentioned in this section, and therefore can not even stand on target for that all
this information is 100% correct. But it is beyond any doubt that
all these views are presented from
Israeli site in connection with. discussions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – and
it even with considerable documentation. So for that reason alone should these
views as a minimum should also be presented in a book that has it as its
own stated goal that“Balance and present the different attitudes and
views objectively and equally ”.
The next link below also gives a good one
and concentrated production of how a Canadian with Arab background from
Lebanon looks at the Israeli-Palestinian and the Israeli-Arab conflict.
Try using it as a litmus test against the book if you want to assess whether it
provides a balanced presentation of the conflict! https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/debunking-25-left-wing-and-arab-myths-from-a-left-wing-arab-perspective/
Other symptomatic points regarding. the book
The ones mentioned below
points are largely irrelevant to the book’s primary subject, but they are
examples of additional factual errors and systematic distortions that are symptomatic
partly for the book’s discourse, partly its lack of accuracy in relation to historical
- Page 10: The Jewish Rebellion in 132-135
(Bar Kokhba Uprising) is referred to as the last, desperate revolt of the Jews against the Romans.
The authors are probably not aware that there were more even later
Jewish revolts, such as the revolt against the Eastern Roman emperor Constantius Gallus in
351-352 and also the uprising as late as in 614, where Jewish rebel armies – in alliance
with the Persian Sassanids – rebelled against the Eastern Roman (or
Byzantine) Empire and even conquered Jerusalem. The latter shows that Jews
in fact, a political and military power factor in the area up to the 7th.
century. It is perhaps rather this last Jewish revolt against it
Byzantine emperor Heraclius, who should be considered the last desperate attempts
on achieving Jewish independence from the Eastern Roman Empire, while Bar
The Kokhba revolt should rather be described as the last great revolt of the Jews against the Romans.
- Page 12: The caption describes
the Roman Catholic Church as large in Palestine. It is not clear what
the authors in this place describe as “Palestine” and what it takes to
describe a church as “big”. But if you do not think of Israel with Palestine,
but on the other hand in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and the Gaza Strip, it appears
on page 94 of the book, that approx. 1% of the population in that area are Christians. It may
one can poorly describe as “big”. Incidentally, it is not clear why it
information should be relevant at all to the subject of the book.
- Page 11+ page 14: It actually is
quite impressive that the authors can describe the background of Judaism completely without
mention Moses or Egypt.
- Page 16-17: It is mentioned in the chapter
about the diaspora, that the Romans in the year 70 fought a Jewish revolt, and that the Jews
were displaced (- and that the majority fled first to North Africa and the rest of
Middle East and then to Europe). It is, of course, true that the Jewish
revolt in 66-73 was crushed with very hard hand by the Romans. But that with that
the Romans then expelled the Jews (meaning virtually all Jews) from all over
the area is obviously wrong; and if, incidentally, it had been right, then would
after all, there were no Jews left to carry out the revolt in the years 132-135
(Bar the Kokhba Uprising), which is even explicitly mentioned on page 10. of the book
however, like to admit that it is a common myth that the Jews became
displaced already after the first Jewish uprising. But if you look closer
information about it, one quickly finds that after the year 70 in reality
probably “only” have been executions, crucifixions and sales to
slavery of a large number of Jewish rebels, and that it was not until the year 135 after
The Kokhba uprising carried that Jews were generally expelled – and then only from Jerusalem
and the Judean area, but not from the other parts of Palestine – like the Romans
renamed the area to on the same occasion, cf. the footnote in my comment to p.
14-16. Thus, there was still a very large Jewish population in e.g. Galilee.)
- Page 17: It is stated that it
the next great empire after the fall of the Roman Empire occurred in the Middle East during
600s. As it is written, it appears as if the Muslim caliphate
arose in a power vacuum after the Roman Empire. This vacuum of power, however, was only in
Western Europe after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, and the fall of the Western Roman Empire
was in practice irrelevant to the formation of the Muslim caliphate. If
the reader indo not know in advance that the Roman Empire was divided in 395, and that it
only it was the Western Roman Empire that fell in 476, so one gets the impression that there
was a huge power vacuum where in the Middle East and Southwest Europe there was still one
“Small detail” left in the form of the Eastern Roman (or Byzantine) Empire – a
kingdom, which actually existed more than 1,000 years after the division of the Roman Empire, entirely
until Byzantium was finally conquered by the Ottomans in 1453.
- Page 19: Mentioned
Western European Jewish emigration to America before World War I. Set in relation to
the book’s topic with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be more
relevant to mention Western European Jewish emigration to what later became
mandate area Palestine, in the latter half of the 19th century and in the beginning of
20th century before World War I, where the area still belonged to the Ottoman Empire
empire, but there is nothing mentioned about it. (On page 18 it is only very brief
mentioned that there was a sharp increase in Jewish immigration from Russia to
Palestine from the early 1880s.)
- Page 31-32: It is mentioned that Den
the first Intifada in 1987 had four significant consequences.
No. 2 of these consequences consisted of three points:
The PLO’s struggle failed, the PLO’s headquarters were in Tunis and that
exiled Palestinians had not managed to obtain concessions.
The three points mentioned for consequence no. 2 are so far
right, but it’s obviously wrong that they were a consequence of the Intifada. Instead, it was just status for the PLO, already before
Intifada. The location of the PLO’s headquarters in Tunis was, moreover, a consequence
of the Lebanon War in 1982, in which the PLO was expelled from Lebanon and instead
established its headquarters in Tunis already 5 years before the Intifada.
- Page 38 + 41-44: The text of these
pages (concerning the 9/11 terrorist attack in the United States, terrorist attacks in Western Europe
and action against it) is in fact irrelevant to the book’s stated subject of it
Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I therefore wonder the purpose of
these pages in relation to the subject of the book.
After reading pages 41-44 for myself, I sit in
incidentally left with an overall impression that the authors specifically on these
pages try to create understanding among the reader that terrorists should rather
considered freedom fighters. It gives me the impression that there can be partial
be an underlying political motive for the purpose of creating sympathy for
people who support terrorist groups / resistance movements in other countries. I sin
current form therefore touches on being a party contribution in a Danish and Western European
domestic policy debate, which should not be in a textbook – and certainly not in one
textbook that has it as its own stated goal to balance and present
attitudes objectively and equally.
- Page 41: It’s like closing
sentence in a chapter stated that a concrete manslaughter of a soldier in civilian by one
terrorist attack in May 2013 in London ”was a reaction to the fact that there are many British
soldiers in Muslim countries ”. It is according to the quotes quite right that
the terrorists justified their attack with it, but when it is concluded so
clearly at the end and not as a quote from the terrorists, then it appears as
an objective truth, and not just as the terrorist justification as it really is
only was. The book’s authors thus make themselves largely microphone holders for
terrorists, and it appears as if it justifies the terrorist attack.
- Page 43: Task question with a
implicit premise justifying support for terrorist organizations. It is asked,
“Whether it is okay that one can be convicted of raising money for peaceful
- Page 43: Task question with a
The question, with its wording, implies an – implicit –
acceptance that in the assessment of whether one should be found guilty of supporting
terrorist organizations, should be emphasized if the collectors simply claim –
and possibly even believe – that the money would only be used for peaceful
A more neutral question would be to formulate
the question of what they were actually convicted of; i.e. whether it is in
order that one may be convicted of at support organizations based on the EU
terrorist list, or whether one should be acquitted of breaking the law simply because one
claims that they only collected in support of non-violent sub-activities
by the terrorist organizations concerned. (In the specific cases, there were
allegedly support for the propaganda activities of terrorist organizations –
a radio station for the Colombian FARC, resp. to a printing house for it
Palestinian Terrorist Organization PFLP.)
When the authors ask the question in this way
starting point in how the convicts themselves justified their actions, then have
the authors also here made themselves microphone holders for the convicts. It appears
as if the authors of the book justify the need to provide financial support for
- Page 55: A small but significant
factual relationship. It is stated that it should be a “historical aspect” for
a Jewish inhabitant that the UN should historically have given the land to
the Jews after World War II. The authors here reproduce a Palestinian
narrative that an Arab country was given to the Jews after World War II, and
thus – again – completely ignoring the San Remo Treaty and the Palestinian Mandate
World War I, where the land was explicitly designated a Jewish homeland
already after World War I. This is probably the historical aspect, which
a Jewish citizen will emphasize the right to land.
- Page 106: Ifm. the description of
The UN Partition Plan and the creation of Israel mention that the UN Partition Plan of 1947
entailed a far greater Jewish share of Palestine than the previous partition plan
from the Peel Commission in 1937. In terms of area, it is correct, but it
significant area difference lay in the fact that the desolate Negev desert in the south now became
suggested Jewish instead of Arabic. Ift. the practical value and
usability of the land areas was thus not the significant difference to
advantage for the Jewish side, as the book’s wording suggests.
- Page 107: It is explained that the UN
Security Council Resolution 242 after the Six-Day War in 1967 ”also mentioned that there
should work for a just solution for the Palestinian refugees ”.
But when you read the text closely, the resolution speaks for itself
in fact, not “Palestinian” refugees specifically – and not at all in it
meaning that the term “Palestinian refugees” has acquired today, where in
today are perceived solely as the Arab refugees and their descendants.
The resolution only reaffirmed the need for a just solution ”
refugee problem ”in general (” 2. Affirms further the necessity… (b) for achieving a just settlement of
the refugee problem; ”);
i.e. not specifically ”for the Palestinians
refugees “. (This is also stated in the Danish
translation of the resolution on pages 114-115.) It is again only a small nuance,
but many small inaccuracies in the same direction sum up and may give rise to
to great misunderstandings. And seen in the light of,
- that it’s not just about
Palestinian (eg. Arab) refugees in the Israeli-Arab conflict,
- that all Jews in
The West Bank and East Jerusalem were also displaced and had to flee the war in
- and that there – cf. the comments to
pp. 63-64 – in addition, 750,000 were Sephardic Jews who fled from Arabs
countries to Israel in the early 1950s,
then it’s kind of
careless handling of quotes decidedly misleading when the end result is that
the resolution text is rewritten so that it – in the book’s version – does not
longer can include the last 2 groups of refugees who also arose in connection with. The creation of Israel. (NB: I do not know if
the last two groups were involved in the design of
The UN resolution, but the wording of the resolution itself is at least open
opposite that they also could be
contained in the “refugee problem”.)
- Page 133-149: The entire chapter “New
chaos in the Middle East ”deals with the so-called“ Arab Spring ”. The Arab Spring
relates primarily to domestic policy issues in the Arab countries of North Africa
as well as in Syria, and it therefore has a derived beinterpretation in relation to the Israeli- Arab conflict – while in practice
has at most had marginal significance in relation to the Israeli- Palestinian conflict, which is the book’s main topic, There is really only
some theoretical considerations and some wishful thinking on pp. 141-142 on what
someone at the time (a little naively, in my eyes) hoped that the Arab Spring might
could lead to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It seems strange,
that so much space has been set aside to describe something that is really pretty much it
without significance in relation to the book’s primary subject.
See also the additional comments above
the meaning of the link
between the general Israeli- Arabic
conflict and the Israeli- Palestinian
conflict above under the description of significant, omitted topics in the book.
- Page 137: It is mentioned that
“Thousands had been killed” in the Syrian civil war. It must be considered one
strong understatement, the estimated death toll at the publication of the book 2.
edition in 2017 was in the order of several hundred thousand. (The number was
probably right at the release of the book’s 1st edition in 2014, so here it is
probably only a missing update.)
- Page 138: Three are mentioned
challenges (lack of civil rights, rising prices and high
youth unemployment) facing the Arab countries. They mentioned
challenges are correct, but when only these three challenges are explicitly mentioned,
it seems as if the authors do not want to see “the elephants in the room” and name two
underlying even greater challenges; namely, religious fanaticism and especially
the very large population growth / population explosion. Both of these points
must objectively be considered as significant and fundamental problems that either
causes or significantly exacerbates the three challenges mentioned.
 Throughout Muhammad’s lifetime, Jerusalem was controlled most of the time
of the Christian Byzantine Empire and – for a short period – of the Persians
Sassanids along with Jewish rebels. Jerusalem first came under Muslim rule
control, since it – approx. 5 years after
Muhammad’s death – was conquered, as it is quite briefly mentioned on the book’s p. 17.
 Incidentally, some contemporary scholars believe that the probable historical explanation for Jerusalem’s status as a holy city for Sunni Muslims is that Caliph al -Malik in Damascus needed a third holy city in Islam, as in the late 600s he had lost control of both Mecca and Medina to the rebel caliph Ibn al-Zubayr. Therefore, he promoted Jerusalem as an alternative holy city to the Muslim pilgrimage (Hajj). In this connection, he built the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount to connect Jerusalem with Muhammad’s nocturnal journey from an original Al-Aqsa Mosque, which was probably just a Muhammad – time mosque in the kingdom of present-day Saudi Arabia, which Muhammad controlled at the time. All in all, this means that Jerusalem was first made a holy city in Islam more than 50 years after Muhammad’s death – and even only for political reasons – which, moreover, explains why Jerusalem is not mentioned by name in the Qur’an once. . (In our day, one would probably describe it as skillfully executed religious-political “spin”.)
 It has been disregarded here that a small part of the area along the coast (approx.
corresponding to the Gaza Strip and slightly to the north) at a much earlier time in
history – 1,150-800 BC – was inhabited by a vanished people
the Philistines, who have given rise to the name Palestine, but who have not
can be said to have no relation to the – much larger – area that the Romans –
much later – named as Palestine and which also has no relation to
the Arabs who nowadays identify themselves as Palestinians. If you
will finally bring such an interpretation into play, should this whole story
told, rather than simply suggesting a previously existing self-employed
 NB: On the same occasion – that is, in the year 135 – the Romans also renamed
Jerusalem to the Aelia Capitolium, Jews were forbidden to enter Jerusalem and exiled
Jews from Judea – but not from the rest
 The name comes from the time when the Philistines disappeared.
small part of the area along the Mediterranean coast. Greek historians subsequently applied
the designation “Palaistin” for an undefined area of the region, and without
that at some point before the year 135 it had constituted an actual province or one
political or administrative entity.