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The other side of the story

The education secretary for England's statement to the House of Commons last Monday about the national curriculum included reference to "more coverage of world history", which prompted me to ask him: "On the assumption that the 20th century will include the Holocaust, will he give me an assurance that the life of Palestinians since 1948 will be given equal attention?" His 86-word reply can be summed up in one word: "No". I therefore urge those involved in teaching history to our children to make sure that events since the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, and how this has impacted on Palestinians, will be taught. We cannot pick and choose history - we must not be selective.

To assist those who wish to know more about life for Palestinians over the past 65 years, I draw attention to the excellent book by former Beirut hostage John McCarthy, You Can't Hide the Sun: A journey through Israel and Palestine, which was published last year. This draws on his own experiences of the Middle East. He writes about his travels through Israel and uncovers the hidden story of the Palestinians. It is something that our children need to know about just as much as the Holocaust.

Sir Bob Russell, Liberal Democrat MP for Colchester.

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