The United Nations plans on having a webinar on October 29, 2020 called “Educating against Racism” as part of its series related to societies dealing with painful histories. The goal is to “develop a deeper understanding of the legacies of these painful histories – and through examining the past, consider how best to build a world that is just, where all can live in dignity and peace.” The Holocaust of Europe’s Jews is set to feature prominently alongside other atrocities.
One hopes that Palestinian Arabs will be directed to the site as their leaders have flatly refused to teach about the Holocaust in any manner.
In August 2009 the United Nations said that its would begin to discuss the Holocaust with the hundreds of thousands of children which it educates via UNRWA. The reaction from Palestinian leadership was fast and furious: absolutely not.
Hamas leaders in Gaza said that the Holocaust was “a lie invented by the Zionists.” The group penned a letter to UNRWA stating that they “refuse to let our children study a lie invented by the Zionists.”
UNRWA back-tracked but tried again to advance a review of the Holocaust in 2011. The reaction was the same.
Hamas Education Minister Mohammed Asqoul said “playing with the education of our children in the Gaza Strip is a red line.” Zakaria al-Agha, a member of the PLO’s executive committee said that “teaching the Holocaust to Palestinian students in U.N. schools is unacceptable.” A school teacher at one of the locations added “the agency [UNRWA] will open the gates of hell with this step.“
Holocaust education for Palestinians was stymied again.
In 2017, UN Watch covered how UNRWA teachers actively DENY THE HOLOCAUST in public and on social media, including Abed Naser Hassen. It is terrifying to consider what these teachers are teaching in private classrooms, as the next generation of Palestinians is taught to trivialize the slaughter of Jews and glorify Arab “martyrs” who kill Jews.
Even after the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain announced a normalization of relations with Israel in September 2020, Qatar continues to teach its students that there were valid reasons for the Nazis to hate Jews and that the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust has been grossly exaggerated. It is no coincidence that Qatar is Hamas’s biggest sponsor.
The October 2020 UN program is the second part in the series, the first one having been aired in July with a five person panel. The moderator was scheduled to be Maher Nasser, who served as Chief of the New York liaison office for UNRWA. It is perhaps no surprise that he failed to ultimately moderate the discussion, as he likely came under intense pressure from fellow Palestinians to not discuss the Holocaust.
That first webinar ran for one and one-half hours discussing how museums and memorials impact memory and their role in forming a just society today. While it touched upon recent decisions to remove statues of slave traders in Britain and the United States, it did not reflect on the dozens of Palestinian memorials to Arabs who slaughtered Jews.
As the UN prepares to educate people about racism this week, it must finally insist that its own schools educate Palestinian children about the Holocaust and the role Arabs played in the 1930’s and 1940’s which enabled the murder of tens of thousands of Jews. With such action, perhaps the next generation of Palestinians will not elect a leader who wrote his doctoral thesis on Holocaust denial (like Mahmoud Abbas) and establish an enduring peace with their Jewish neighbors.
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