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Thursday, March 10, 2011

PFLP joins Hamas in denouncing Holocaust education

From Palestine News Network:
The leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) joined Islamist party Hamas in condemning a plan to teach the Holocaust in West Bank and Gaza Strip schools run by the UN Refugee and Works Association (UNRWA).

A PFLP statement sent to PNN said that to teach the Holocaust would be a “big mistake” and an “attempt to beautify the ugly face of racism.” He said the “Zionist entity” would use their victimization by the Nazis to justify their crimes against Arabs and Palestinians.

“The Zionist entity extorts the world by exploiting the victims of the Nazis, which has no relation to its odious, racist project,” said the statement. “It is AJDAR by UNRWA to impose the teaching of this continuous MHRQA against our people since the 1948 Nakba and the suffering of Palestinian refugees in the Diaspora.”

The PFLP also stressed the importance of forming a national council of professors, researchers, and specialists to oversee the Palestinian curriculum, focusing especially on national history and geography and human rights, national resistance against the occupation, and the Palestinian national identity, “instead of a culture of normalization, surrender, and distortion of facts.”

Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip, announced on March 1 its intent to defeat the UNRWA proposal with a similar statement, saying the plan was “an attempt to impose on us the culture of normalization with the occupation.”

The statement from the Hamas Ministry of Culture, however, described the Holocaust as “tales and lies.” At least one representative from Fatah has described the Holocaust, in which 6 million Jews died, as “a big lie,” but no official statement from Fatah has come out about the UNRWA plan.
UNRWA ignored my request for a statement, as it appears to have done for Islam Online.

It is entirely possible that UNRWA never planned on a curriculum that included the Holocaust; it floated the idea in 2009 and faced strong opposition then as well.