Sunday, August 30, 2009

Gaza groups against UNRWA Holocaust education (UPDATED)

From Ma'an:
A group of refugee camp committees in the Gaza Strip wants the United Nations to remove history of the Jewish Holocaust from its classroom curriculum.

In a letter to director John Ging, the committees urged the refugee agency to scrap its program because mention of the genocide "confirms the Holocaust and raises sympathy for Jews."

Holocaust denial is not uncommon in Gaza's refugee camps, where many feel marking legitimate Jewish suffering discounts the injustices done to Palestinians displaced from their homes in 1948.

Nevertheless, UNRWA's eight grade curriculum includes an overview, as part of its course on human rights, of the estimated six million Jews killed in European concentration camps. It was thought that by explaining the plight of Jews in Europe before they arrived, Palestinians would gain sympathy for their suffering, as well.

"The refugee camps committees categorically refuse to let our children be taught this lie created by the Jews and intensified by their media," the committees' letter said. "First of all, [the Holocaust] is not a fact, and secondly, those who added it to the curriculum intended to mess with our children's emotions."
Unlike, say, videos of children going to an amusement-park paradise after becoming "martyrs."

It will be interesting to see how UNRWA reacts. My guess is that this "overview" takes up a minuscule amount of the eighth grade human-rights curriculum.

UPDATE: The UNRWA denies teaching anything about the Holocaust to begin with. Presumably it will now be cowed into ensuring that such a topic is never introduced into the minds of helpless Palestinian Arab children who are taught that they are the only victims in history.