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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Hamas demands UNRWA schools not teach about Holocaust

Last week, Jordanian newspaper Al Ghad published an interview with UNRWA spokesman Sami Mshasha saying that UNRWA intends to teach Palestinian Arabs about the Holocaust as part of its curriculum on human rights.

He said, "This curriculum is aimed as a whole to enhance the understanding of students of Palestinian human rights, civil and political rights, as living under Israeli occupation....We are talking about rights, whether Palestinian or an Arab or a Jew...What happened in World War II, the killing and oppression of the Jews and others, is a stain on the forehead of humanity"

The article goes on to disparage the "so-called Holocaust" and quotes anti-semite Israel Shahak as saying that the Zionists collaborated with the Nazis. It also bizarrely complains that the UN has a day dedicated as Holocaust Remembrance Day but does not have a day for the Palestinian "holocaust". (Of course, the UN commemorates "Nakba Day" every year on Israel's Independence Day and it also commemorates the anniversary of the partition resolution as a Palestinian Arab day of tragedy as well.)

Hamas is livid at this interview.

Firas Press reports that Hamas is demanding that UNRWA not teach anything about the Holocaust.
The [Hamas] movement asked UNRWA to stop teaching the course immediately, having already been rejected by our people with marches and sit-ins condemning [such curricula], and demand that UNRWA abides by the demands and directions of the Palestinian people, and not force us to take draconian steps that will not please Washington.

The group said, "...teaching materials contrary to the understanding and culture of the Palestinian people brings up several questions about the role played by the Agency in the Palestinian territories."

And Hamas called on the Palestinian people to be alert to this conspiracy and should show high readiness of escalating steps to take against the agency if they do not respond to our demands.

A similar controversy broke out in August, 2009. At the time UNRWA denied any current plans to teach anything about the Holocaust.

(h/t Folderol)