Aus­tralia text­book ‘of­fen­sive’

The Jewish Chronicle - - World News - BY DAN GOLD­BERG SYD­NEY

THE ASIA-PA­CIFIC arm of a ma­jor UK pub­lisher has with­drawn a secondary school text­book from Aus­tralian shelves, af­ter it was ac­cused of con­tain­ing of­fen­sive claims about Jews.

Cam­bridge Uni­ver­sity Press (Aus­tralia & New Zealand) said on Tues­day that it “recog­nised the con­cerns that have been ex­pressed” about the chap­ter on Ju­daism in the Cam­bridge Stud­ies of Re­li­gion, and would “seek the ad­vice of an in­de­pen­dent ex­pert in Ju­daism”.

The New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies was fu­ri­ous when it was alerted last week to the chap­ter on Ju­daism, which claimed that “much mod­ern con­flict in the world is re­lated to the re­ac­tions of other groups to the Jewish peo­ple” and that Passover “in­volves slaugh­ter­ing lambs, [and] smear­ing the lin­tel on the front door with blood”.

The book, by Christo­pher Hart­ney of the Uni­ver­sity of Syd­ney, also claimed that polygamy is “com­monly prac­tised” in Is­rael and that “the ten­dency for Jews to choose so­phis­ti­cated pro­fes­sions such as law, medicine and schol­ar­ship is closely con­nected to Jewish fam­ily to­geth­er­ness”.

The text­book has al­ready been dis­trib­uted to about 5,000 stu­dents in New South Wales.

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