UN Workers: Holocaust Education Would "Confuse" PA Children / Maayana Miskin

May 3 2011
United Nations workers in Palestinian Authority regions have expressed opposition to teaching children about the Holocaust. Earlier, UNRWA officials said they had approved the teaching of Holocaust studies in PA schools, as part of a unit on human rights.

“We emphasize our adamant opposition to confusing the thinking of our students' by means of Holocaust studies in the human rights study curriculum,” the UNRWA Workers' Union said in a statement published by Al-Hayat Al-Jadida and translated by Palestinian Media Watch.

The union suggested teaching students that Israel had massacred Arabs, instead. “Emphasize study of the history of Palestine and the acts of massacre which have been carried out against Palestinians, the most recent of which was the war against Gaza,” the group said.

The statement was issued shortly before Israel's Holocaust Remembrance Day.

At the same time, PA media continues to accuse Israel of atrocities, and even to compare Israel to Nazi Germany. A report in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida on April 17 accused Israel of maintaining a secret “experiments” station in its prisons that it uses to infect PA Arab inmates.

“Since the Israeli jailers attempt to imitate the German Nazis, who were the first to use prisoners as guinea pigs, for testing the weapons and the deadly drugs which they developed. The Nazi German doctor, Josef Mengele, was the most famous among them,” according to the report, which was translated by Palestinian Media Watch.

A similar report in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida two days earlier spoke of prisons “surrounded on all sides by a fence and guards who are armed with weapons from head to toe. They resemble the detention camps during the Nazi period.”

In March, it was reported that Hamas had banned UNRWA lessons on the Holocaust. However, it was later revealed that the entire story had been invented, as UNRWA had never planned to teach PA children about the Holocaust.

Last year, a small group of PA students decided to learn about the Holocaust for themselves. Led by Mujahid Sarsur, who heard of the Holocaust in conversation with an Israeli roommate in university, they toured the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum and heard the story of the Holocaust from an Arabic-speaking guide.

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