I am a senior at Georgetown studying Political Economy and Arab Studies, and used al-Kitaab in Georgetown Arabic classes for two years. While Mr. Pollak is presumably both smarter than me (he goes to Harvard Law) and more knowledgeable in this area (an "expert" in Muslim culture), I disagree with his position on the textbook.
First, the maps that Pollak refers to are not maps of the Middle East at large, but rather maps of Arabic-speaking nations. They included, for example, many North African nations, but left out Turkey, which is geographically and politically as "Middle Eastern" as North Africa is. Thus the map was intended to be a map of places an Arabic student might go and converse, rather than an accurate representation of the political situation in the Middle East. This being the case, I think it's fair that they left out Israel, where the main spoken language is Hebrew.
Second, it's flat-out wrong to say that al-Kitaab glorifies Nasser. Certainly, he is discussed, but his personal politics and policies are never brought up. He is mentioned only as the leader of Egypt in the fond childhood memories of one of the characters in the book's story, and his appearance is incidental. It is the childhood and youth of the character that is glorified, not Nasser.
Finally, it's true that one of the characters bemoans the Israeli takeover of Jerusalem, but Israel is never attacked directly — the character simply explains how the rise of Israel affected her life, as it undoubtedly affected the lives of many thousands of real people. There are two sides to the Arab-Israeli conflict, and it's worth hearing from both of them, but this is an Arabic textbook, not a course in the history of the Middle East.
I would expect to hear things from the Arab viewpoint in an Arabic textbook. Is that unreasonable? What would you suggest the editors of al-Kitaab do differently? Pause the course, put all Arabic learning on hold, and have a Hebrew interlude in which we hear the Israeli side of the story?
At the end of the day, everyone is biased. It's well that we are cognizant of that, but when the ardent pursuit of the mythical "unbiased viewpoint" gets in the way of other goals (in this case, that of learning Arabic), it's time to accept what bias is there and move on.