An Israeli-German research project found that German schoolbooks are biased against Israel and give a negative impression of the Jewish State.
German school text books portray Israel as an aggressive, belligerent country, while ignoring the reality that Israel is the only real democracy in the Middle East, a joint Israeli-German study has found.
“Students connect Israel with a warmongering society,” Simone Lässig, director of the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research (GEIITR), told the German Tagesspiegel.
The commission, comprised of German and Israeli academics and pedagogical experts, was sponsored by the GEIITR.
The research constituted an analysis of 1,200 history, geography and social studies textbooks coming from five German regions – Bavaria, Berlin, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia and Saxony.
The study examined 94 textbook articles relating to Israel and 25 chapters from history books addressing the Holocaust over a course of four years. The commission also analyzed 44 Israeli schoolbooks.
Overall, the report found that German school books are biased in favor of the Palestinian voice and neglect the various positive aspects of Israel and Israeli society.
Textbooks should avoid “a clear partisan view for one of the parties in the conflict” and should stress that both the Israelis and Palestinians have claim to the land, the report stated.
For instance, “one can hardly find anything about the socialist kibbutz experiment” in German schoolbooks, noted the authors.
The study noted that “tendentious and one-sided photographic presentations” of IDF soldiers violently assaulting seemingly weak Palestinians led to prejudice against Israel.
The commission presented its recommendations to the Foreign Office in Berlin on Tuesday.
Dutch textbooks came under similar criticism in May when a student found a false depiction of Israeli history in an official school textbook.