When reading a book that is supposed to be factual and evenhanded on such a complex issue, it is easy to accept what is written without questioning. Additionally, when the authors of the book have prestigious credentials it can be intimidating to criticize its contents. However, accepting this book without exposing its pro-Palestinian bias would be a mistake. Plus, there are numerous errors and omissions, such as mixing up Moses and Mohammed (“Moses is believed to have ascended to heaven” at the Dome of the Rock), inflated statistics about how many were killed at Deir Yassin, or pages about the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem without mentioning his Nazi collaboration. The authors stick to a particularly one-sided script, leaving out suicide bombings and, unbelievably, the entire Yom Kippur War of 1973. Taking a look at the sources used in the bibliography, one gets the idea of where these authors are choosing their facts. Just because something is printed does not mean it is true. Furthermore, very different conclusions are reached when significant information is deliberately excluded. This is a book intended for the high school report writer. One would hope these students will chose other sources that are more accurate and balanced. Not recommended.
Marge Kaplan is a retired English as a Second Language teacher. She is a consultant for the children’s literature group for the Roseville, MN school system and is a storyteller of Jewish tales.