Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Arabs upset at latest alleged UNRWA plan to teach the Holocaust

In 2009, Arab media exploded with the rumor that UNRWA schools planned to teach about the Holocaust to Palestinian Arab kids in Gaza.

The UN had to issue a strenuous denial that they would even consider such a thing. One Arab newspaper even quoted the UNRWA head as saying he was totally against it, a quote that UNRWA later denied.

Soon afterwards, UNRWA announced that it would indeed incorporate the Holocaust into its curriculum on universal human rights, but there is no evidence that it ever did so.

Now, the same rumor is hitting Jordan.

Al-Ghad reports

UNRWA will return to teaching the so-called Holocaust in the context of material enrichment, after freezing it for a while, despite its denials of it.

Informed sources in the UNRWA/Jordan teachers committee said that a decision with the agency to teach enrichment material about the Holocaust, after previously being forced to freeze work on the topic, as a result of the overwhelming uproar against it.

Sources added to al-Ghad that "UNRWA is seeking to exploit the preoccupation with current internal situation, in addition to the uncertain atmosphere in the region, in order to teach suspicious topics that harm the Palestinian cause."

Introduced in this framework would be materials that discuss resolving conflicts and crises, and resolving conflict peacefully, and to cite the so-called plight of Jews and victims of Nazism and their right to live in peace.

A statement issued yesterday by the Executive Committee of Teachers of UNRWA in Jordan expressed "outrage and condemnation of this decision, which conflates the executioner and victim, and urged "the teaching of private Palestinian cause, especially the right of return of refugees to their homes and lands that have been displaced them due to the Zionist aggression in 1948."

For its part, UNRWA's management denied any plans to "to teach about the Holocaust in its enrichment activities, saying its commitment is to the educational curriculum of the host countries, and it has no intention to change it.

Jordanian teachers know that the topic of teaching Arabs something that could make Jews appear as anything less than bloodthirsty monsters is an easy way to create a huge backlash in their "moderate" country. It isn't only that the teachers are anti-semitic, but they know that everyone in Jordan would agree that Holocaust education is a terrible topic to inflict on their children.

If that isn't anti-semitism, I don't know what is.

Meanwhile, UNRWA never answered my questions about their curriculum and school material that teach about jihad and martyrdom, in Gaza. These materials directly contradict UNRWA's official educational vision in that they glorify violence.

Apparently teaching Jihad is OK while teaching that millions of Jews were killed 70 years ago is strictly out of bounds for this progressive, Western-funded UN agency.