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Dutch schoolbook calls Menachem Begin ‘a terrorist’

A Dutch schoolbook teaches schoolchildren that former Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin was a “terrorist” and that he led “extremist Zionists” in the days of the establishment of the state, Ynet reports.

According to the report, a Dutch-Israeli youth, Barak Gorani, was upset by the book so much he gave his photocopies of specific pages to his father, an Israeli businessman. The dad transferred these pages to the Israeli Embassy in Holland. Officials at the embassy say they will ask Dutch authorities for clarifications.

Under the picture of Begin, he is described thus: “Menachem Begin entered history as a peacemaker, which was surprising since he was known as a radical terrorist for a large part of his life […]. In Palestine he became a leader of extremist Zionists. They wanted to conquer the biblical land of Israel which is much bigger than the Zionist state announced by Ben Gurion. Begin was radical also in his ways. His militias murdered Palestinian civilians and carried out terror attacks. In one of them, at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, 91 people were killed.”

Menachem Begin at home (photo credit: GPO)
Menachem Begin at home (GPO)

The book continues with highly biased descriptions of the Six Day War, the Yom Kippur War and other parts of Israeli history. When the youth told his teacher of his reservations, she said the book was indeed full of historical misrepresentations but she had to teach from it according to the Dutch education ministry.

The youth’s father, Dror Gorani, tells Ynet: “My son is an Israeli patriot. He was born in Holland but grew up for some time in Israel and it’s very hard for him to study from this book. What is obvious is that the book was written by someone who hates Israel and sadly there are many like those here. It’s amazing that it had to wait until my son reads it for someone to complain. Dutch people and even Dutch Jews have not said a word.”

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