Civics textbook full of errors about civics is pulled

Text also shows anti-Russian bias

Alex Miller in January 2012. (photo credit: Kobi Gideon/Flash90)
Alex Miller in January 2012. (photo credit: Kobi Gideon/Flash90)

The Education Ministry will tell high schools around the country to stop using a controversial civics textbook, after the Knesset Education Committee found Tuesday that it contained factual errors and included disparaging comments about immigrants from the former Soviet Union.

The textbook first appeared in classrooms last summer. It was investigated after receiving widespread attention for its alleged political bias and inaccuracies. Hundreds of high school civics teachers signed a petition in favor of abandoning the book.

“Dark views have entered our education program,” said Alex Miller (Yisrael Beiteinu), chairman of the Knesset’s Education, Sports, and Culture Committee. He said the use of the textbook revealed a “complete failure of supervision.”

The text stated that the FSU immigrants are not all really Jewish and that they emigrated due to economic hardship. It also noted they tend to “preserve” their culture of origin while in Israel. On the other hand, the book said that immigrants from Ethiopia tend to have a stronger relationship with Israel and Zionism.

It also contained factual errors about Israel’s Basic Laws, incorrect references to Reform Jews in the United States, and mistakes about Swiss cantons.

The text is called Yotzim Laderech Ezrahit, or On the Road to Citizenship.


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