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Article about Jordanian teachers refusing to teach about the Holocaust cites PMW research about PA hate education

Wolff Bachner  |
UN Teachers Refuse
to Teach about the Holocaust
in Palestinian Schools

by Wolff Bachner

The ugly specter of Holocaust denial has raised its bitter head once again. The Jordanian teachers employed by UNRWA — the United Nations Relief and Works Agency — have refused to teach their Palestinian students the history of the Holocaust that killed six million Jews. The UN teachers are responsible for educating more than 125,000 children at 172 UN schools in 10 Palestinian refugee camps.

The Executive Committee of UNRWA teachers in Jordan issued the following statement after rumors began to circulate this week that the UN would introduce Holocaust Studies into the enrichment curriculum on conflict resolution:

“We condemn this decision, which equates the butcher and the victim. We shall monitor the curriculum being taught under the title ‘concepts of human rights’ [which is] aimed at reducing [Palestinian] students’ awareness of the right of return. Teaching UNRWA students about the so-called ‘Holocaust’ as part of human rights harms the Palestinian cause… and changes the students’ views regarding their main enemy, namely the Israeli occupation.”

While the UN teachers call for the right of return to Israel for over five million refugees, the Jewish nation has made it clear for decades that the issue is a red line that will never be crossed. Israel insists the Palestinian demand for the right of return is a weapon to destroy the Jewish character of Israel by flooding the tiny country with millions of hostile refugees who are opposed to the existence of the Jewish state.

In Gaza, where Hamas runs the schools, there has been an ongoing effort to make sure no mention of the Holocaust or Jewish history will ever appear in Palestinian educational materials. In 2009, Jamila al-Shanti, a Hamas legislative official stated: ”Talk about the holocaust and the execution of the Jews contradicts and is against our culture, our principles, our traditions, values, heritage and religion,”

Israeli authorities contend Palestinian educational material violates the Oslo Accords. When Israel and the Palestinians signed the agreement in 1993, the following paragraph was included in the document:

“Israel and [the Palestinians] will ensure that their respective educational systems contribute to the peace between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples and to peace in the entire region, and will refrain from the introduction of any motifs that could adversely affect the process of reconciliation. -Interim Agreement,Chapter 4, Article XXII, Par. 2″

As far back as 2007, Palestinian Media Watch released a report entitled ”From Nationalist Battle to Religious Conflict: New 12th Grade Palestinian Textbooks Present a World Without Israel.” After reading the report and reviewing the Palestinian textbooks, Senator Hillary Clinton called the school books “child abuse” and the “glorification of death and violence.” The report stated:

“The teachings repeatedly reject Israel’s right to exist, present the conflict as a religious battle for Islam, teach Israel’s founding as imperialism, and actively portray a picture of the Middle East, both verbally and visually, in which Israel does not exist at all. The following description of Israel’s founding represents the dominant dogma about Israel in Palestinian schoolbooks: Defining Israel’s founding as a ‘catastrophe unprecedented in history,’ ‘a theft perpetrated by Zionist gangs,’ together with numerous other hateful descriptions of Israel as ‘colonial imperialist’ and ‘racist’, compounded by the presentation of the conflict as a religious war, leaves no latitude for students to have positive or even neutral attitudes towards Israel. This negative imagery and religious packaging are compounded by hateful presentations of Israeli policy. The young students are imbued with a Palestinian identity as ‘victims’ just by virtue of Israel’s existence. The well-meaning student is left with no logical justification or religious option to accept Israel as a neighbor or to seek coexistence. Given the total rejection of Israel’s right to exist, on nationalistic and religious grounds, Palestinian terror against Israel since Israel’s founding in 1948 is defined as: ‘resistance … acts of most glorious heroism.’ PA educators teach that fighting Israel is not merely a territorial conflict, but also a religious battle for Islam. The schoolbooks define the conflict with Israel as ‘Ribat for Allah – one of the actions related to Jihad for Allah, and it means: Being found in areas where there is a struggle between Muslims and their enemies.’ “

Sadly, the situation is still the same in 2012. Even the statehood proposal handed out by Mahmoud Abbas at the UN earlier this year completely removed Israel from the map of the region. Palestinian textbooks are still using the same hateful rhetoric, referring to Israel as the “Zionist entity.” Palestinian television provides educational programs for children that depict Jews using the Blood of Christians to make matzoh and portray the Protocols Of Zion as authentic historical documents. Other programs routinely display children as young as five, dressed in full suicide bomber attire, shouting loudly they want to kill Jews and die as a martyr for Palestine while their teacher’s cheer them on.

For their part, the United Nations has been steadfast in their claim they are simply respecting the sovereignty of the host nation and allowing the Palestinians to decide on their own curriculum. To ignore Holocaust denial, slander, and outright hatred of the Jewish people is a rather sorry example from the world body founded to guide the planet to peace and universal brotherhood. It is about time the UN speaks out against the relentless campaign of delegitimization the Palestinians are waging against the nation of Israel; much of it paid for by the tax dollars of American citizens.