Guardian Teacher Network site promotes distorted history of Israel’s birth

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The Guardian Teacher Network (GTN) is a site dedicated to helping UK teachers find jobs, focus on a career path and “gain resources and ideas” to assist in their professional development. They even have suggested lesson plans, sample tests and other classroom aids to help teaching professionals with day-to-day challenges.

A CiF Watch post (Guardian publishes false information about IDF attack on Ahmed al-Jabari) in November noted that a blog entry at GTN – which provided a summary of the recent Gaza war for educators to use in class – falsely claimed that the Israeli air strike on the Hamas military chief on Nov. 14 also killed a 6 year-old girl and an 11-month old baby.

As we noted, the strike killed only al-Jabari and his bodyguard.

Following our post, the Guardian corrected the mistake.

More recently, upon perusing the page to learn what additional information about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict was available to British educators, I found this history lesson plan for students ages 14-16.

Conflict between Israel and the Arab states, 1949-1979

After doing this lesson, you should understand why Israel was involved in three wars between 1949 and 1979, why Israel was able to win these three wars, why and with what consequences other countries became involved in conflict in the Middle East, why the problems of the Middle East were not solved by 1979, identify the main motives of each of the countries involved in the disputes in the Middle East, explain why countries outside of the Middle East became involved, and discuss what the consequences were for both the Middle East and the world at large of the failure to solve the Arab/Israeli problem.

Here’s the first section, on how Israel was founded.

In order to understand why there were wars between Israel and the Arab states in 1956, 1967 and 1973, you need to fully understand what had been happening in the area between 1945 and 1949.

Column 1 contains the beginning of some sentences and column 2 gives you [the] endings. 

Here is the Guardian graphic – which I edited according to the “correct” answers to the questions they provided – representing the sum total of what their education editors deem necessary for students to know about the events between 1945 and 1949 to help them understand the wars between Israel and the Arabs in ’56, ’67, and ’73.

graphic

The selective history lesson is truly a work of art.

  • Students learn about the White Paper (see #2), but not the Balfour Declaration. (Additionally, there is nothing about the Mandate for Palestine, the the history of Zionism, or 4,000 years of Jewish history in the land).
  • There is an implicit suggestion (see #3) that the justification for Israel’s existence is significantly based on the “terrible treatment of Jews in concentration camps during the Second World War”.
  • Two of the eight questions (see #4 and #5) focus on terrorist acts committed by the Irgun and Stern Gang, yet there is absolutely nothing about Arab pograms, riots, terrorism, and brutality committed against Jews.
  • There is nothing (see #7) indicating which side accepted, and which side rejected, the UN recommended division of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states.

Note also that there is no indication that Arabs refused to recognize Israel even after the war, nor the subsequent Arab terror attacks, the Arab League economic boycott and other forms of belligerence – all of which are vital to understanding the subsequent conflict.

Moreover, note that Arabs are barely even mentioned in the Q&A table.  Arabs – those living in historic Palestine, as well as those in the greater Middle East – are not moral actors in the GTN history of the region between 1945-49.

The Guardian Teacher Network recommended history lesson about the Israeli-Palestinian/Israeli-Arab/Israeli-Islamist Conflict is, however, accurate in one respect. It represents an entirely accurate snapshot of the Guardian’s skewed, myopic, Israeli-obsessed and egregiously distorted reporting on the region. 

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