Hamas condemns UN for teaching children that the Holocaust happened

From Reuters

Hamas condemned the United Nations Sunday, saying it planned to teach Palestinian children in the Gaza Strip about the Holocaust — but the U.N. agency which runs schools in the enclave would not confirm any change.

Branding the Nazi genocide of the Jews “a lie invented by the Zionists,” the Islamist movement which runs the Gaza Strip wrote in an open letter to a senior U.N. official that he should withdraw plans for a new history book in U.N. schools.

A spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which educates some 200,000 refugee children in Gaza, said the Holocaust was not on its current curriculum. He would not comment on Hamas’s statement that it was about to change.

Palestinians resent the way world powers reacted to the Holocaust by supporting the establishment of Israel in 1948, a move that left half the Arab population of then British-ruled Palestine as refugees in Gaza, the West Bank and abroad.

Hamas said it believed UNRWA was about to start using a text for 13-year-olds that included a chapter on the Holocaust.

In an open letter to local UNRWA chief John Ging, the movement’s Popular Committees for Refugees said: “We refuse to let our children study a lie invented by the Zionists.”

UNRWA spokesman Adnan Abu Hasna said: “There is no mention of the Holocaust in the current syllabus.” Asked if UNRWA planned to change that, he declined to comment.

In the Israeli-occupied West Bank, run by the Western-backed Palestinian Authority of President Mahmoud Abbas, teachers said there was no official guidance on teaching about the Holocaust.

Israelis are angered by denial of the Holocaust among some in the Middle East, notably lately by leaders in Iran, who provide support for Hamas. Abbas, who has engaged in negotiation with Israel, has had to distance himself from his own 1980s doctoral thesis, which cast doubt on the scale of the Holocaust.

Hamas’s official spokesman in Gaza, Sami Abu Zuhri, said he did not want to discuss the history of the Holocaust but said:

“Regardless of the controversy, we oppose forcing the issue of the so-called Holocaust onto the syllabus, because it aims to reinforce acceptance of the occupation of Palestinian land.”

From Reuters

(Editing by Erika Solomon and Alastair Macdonald)

21 Responses to “Hamas condemns UN for teaching children that the Holocaust happened”

  1. Bill Says:

    It isn’t in the current history UNRWA syllabus? You can bet your bippy they teach about the Nakba. This is a lesson plan I just have gotta see! With that, how am I supposed to take their overall mission seriously? I certainly can’t see them as an honest broker. I’ll be a John Bircher by the my 45th birthday at this rate.

  2. Hamas and Holocaust Denial. « ModernityBlog Says:

    [...] Tags: anti-Jewish racism, Far Right, Gaza, Hamas, Holocaust denial, Racism 0 Engage highlights Hamas’s Holocaust denial: “Hamas said it believed UNRWA was about to start using a text for 13-year-olds that included [...]

  3. Absolute Observer Says:

    “Palestinians resent the way world powers reacted to the Holocaust by supporting the establishment of Israel in 1948, a move that left half the Arab population of then British-ruled Palestine as refugees in Gaza, the West Bank and abroad.”

    Interesting turn of phrase. It would appear that Reuters has bought into the antisemitic myth that those who gained most from the Holocaust was the Jews, through a guilt trip that led to the creation of the State of Israel.

    One wonders how the War of Indepdence against the (guilt-ridden) Brits as well as arms embargoes to the feldgling state by various states (including by the no doubt, equally guilt sodden USA) fits into this narrative along with the restriction of Jewish immigration into Palestine.

    So much for the guilt of the West.

  4. Belle Millo Says:

    I made mention of the infamous letter and the quote “We refuse to let our children study a lie invented by the Zionists.” when I addressed 1500 high school students and their teachers this past May at our annual Holocaust Symposium, just before we introduced our keynote speaker, a survivor of Auschwitz. I wanted to drive home the point that Holocaust denial and Antisemitism are still very much alive. This type of thing never makes it to the media in Canada – of course. I hope they were listening…

  5. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    According to the Hamas fable: „world powers reacted to the Holocaust by supporting the establishment of Israel in 1948“

    The CIA Report on „Possible Developments in Palestine“ of February 28, 1948 is not an evidence for above claim. It starts with a summary: „It is apparent that the partition of Palestine into separate Arab and Jewish states (and an international zone) with economic union between the two states, as recommended by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on 29 November 1947, can not be implemented. The Arab reaction to the recommendation has been violent, and the Arab refusal to cooperate in any way with the five-nation United Nations Commission will prevent the formation of an Arab state and the organization of economic union.
    The Arabs will use force to oppose the establishment of a Jewish state and to this end are training troops in Palestine and other Arab states.
    Moreover the United Kingdom has stated repeatedly that it will take no part in implementing a UN decision not acceptable both Jews and Arabs. The British have also declared that when the mandate terminates on 15 May, they will not transfer authority to the UN Commission but will merely relinquish that authority, which would then be assumed by the UN. Thus without Arab and British cooperation, the Commission will be unable to carry out the task assigned to it.“

  6. Bialik Says:

    I wonder how UK politicians calling for talks with Hamas will yesbutter this particular ugly piece of antisemitism.

    • Bill Says:

      I s’spect from government, it’ll be something like, “They are the only ones at the table for the other side with street cred.” Or, “they are democratically elected.” Or, “we must be attuned to their sensitivities.” Not as bad as the “yes, but’s” David pointed to on Mod’s blog but still demoralizing all the same.

  7. Lynne T Says:

    It would be nice to think that if the truth about the Holocaust gets taught to Palestinian children, that they would also be taught about the Mufti of Jerusalem’s role in the Holocaust and, as well, of the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Jews from other middle eastern countries.

  8. Conchovor Says:

    The reason Hamas denies the Holocaust is

    a) because of a general Arab and Muslim sympathy for Nazi policies towards the Jews, whatever Gilbert Ashcar says, which was founded on a common assumption that

    b) the Jews were an ethno-national group, dispossessed of the land of Israel, and every where else, as a consequence of their sins or evil natures.

    These assumptions and sympathies were so widespread, only western intellectuals, or intellectuals facing west, can deny them to have been so, on behalf of Palestinian, Arab and other Muslims with a straight face.

    Western anti-Zionists make a point that the Holocaust does or cannot justify allowing a Jewish state in Palestine, because the Jews have or had no such right, based on prior possession and involuntary dispossession.

    But prior Jewish possession and involuntary dispossession is precisely what Hamas’s Palestinian nationalist predecessors did assume, which is why they felt compelled to join or sympathize with the Nazis in their desire to wipe out the Jews for their evil Jewish essence, for which Allah had exiled them from the land in the first place.

    It is easier for Hamas to deny the Holocaust happened, than to admit to deep and long standing Palestinian sympathy for its perpetrators.

  9. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    @Conchovor@ Read: “From Empathy to Denial / Arab Responses to the Holocaust” Meir Litvak and Esther Webman
    Hurst & Company, London, 2009

  10. Yoni Says:

    There is another, much more deeply rational approach to history, which is to understand it in depth, encounter it, learn its lesson, actively transform it, and, by so doing, let it go. For Israel—and Jews everywhere, and indeed, everyone affected by the conquest of Palestine—the lesson is not really that complicated. It is to face the truth that the Zionist epoch has been a dreadful mistake, for the Jews as well as Zionism’s victims, and that they will have to do what grown-up people do who realize they have been wrong, if they want to have a decent life and rejoin the human race.
    Namely, undergo a change of mind and heart. Is that too much to ask?

    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/08/zionisms-dreary-burden-on-jewish-identity-kovel.html

    • Jonathan Romer Says:

      Why don’t we wait a century or two? Your descendants — physical and intellectual — if any remain, will be in a much better position to make a “deeply rational” approach to the history of Israel.

      You’re deep in something, but it’s not rationality.

    • Conchovor Says:

      ‘It is to face the truth that the Zionist epoch has been a dreadful mistake, for the Jews as well as Zionism’s victims, and that they will have to do what grown-up people do who realize they have been wrong, if they want to have a decent life and rejoin the human race.’

      Which is exactly what culturally Jewish, Christian or Muslim anti-Judaists or anti-Semites said about Jewishness and Judaism, before any state of Israel existed; which is why a state of Israel necessarily came into existence.

      Now their successors, i.e. you, Yoni, want the descendants of a good part of their Jewish victims, want them to dissolve their current state of being, again. To confess and renounce the original sin of their current state, again.

      It’s you who need to learn some history, Yoni.

  11. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    @Yoni@ according to you it would have been better if we who lived 1947/48 in Palestine, would have declared, we do not want to be objects of history, we’ll wait to be butchered by our neighbours, who promised in 1948 to kill us. And in the best case those who remain alive will be dhimmis?

    The experience of Arab pogroms against Jews in Palestine, 1920, 1921 and 1929 is forgotten by you and your ilk.

    Anyway a Jewish state exists, it has its own language, its own culture and is defending itself. And it is not likely, that you can convince Israeli Jews, that it would be better to be despised dhimmi in an Arab ruled state.

    So you and your ilk are justifying the antisemitism and Holocaust denial by Hamas. I would not touch you with a barge pole.

  12. Conchovor Says:

    ‘There is another, much more deeply rational approach to history, which is to understand it in depth, encounter it, learn its lesson, actively transform it, and, by so doing, let it go.’

    That kind of argument is a lot like traditional Christian arguments about Judaism: in order to truly understand the law, and to truly practise it, they had to stop understanding and practising it, literally.

  13. Ariel Says:

    I was unaware that Israelis and Zionists represented a new species of human, Yoni. My biology is a bit rusty but could you explain how the Homo Judais will rejoin the Homo Sapiens now that we have diverged?

    • Conchovor Says:

      That is an ancient Christian argument, that the Jews are contrary to their fellow human beings:

      Paul, 1 Thessalonians 2, 15:

      (the Jews) Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men (omnibus hominibus adversantur).

      echoing Tacitus, Histories 5, 4:

      Moyses, wishing to secure for the future his authority over the nation, gave them a novel form of worship, opposed to all that is practised by other men (novos ritus contrariosque ceteris mortalibus). Things sacred with us, with them have no sanctity, while they allow what with us is forbidden.

      • Conchovor Says:

        ‘echoing Tacitus, Histories 5, 4:’

        OK, the other way round, since Tacitus is post-Paul. But they resonate with similar attitudes.

        • James Says:

          Conochovor,
          The first word in that passage from 1 Thessalonians would be better translated “Judeans” (from the Greek ioudaion), i.e. referring to the religious establishment in Jerusalem, not to all Jews everywhere at all times (or even at the time). Elsewhere, Paul wrote some wonderfully philo-semitic texts.

  14. Absolute Observer Says:

    “There is another, much more deeply rational approach to history, which is to understand it in depth, encounter it, learn its lesson, actively transform it, and, by so doing, let it go. For Israel—and Jews everywhere, and indeed, everyone affected by the conquest of Palestine—the lesson is not really that complicated. It is to face the truth that the Zionist epoch has been a dreadful mistake, for the Jews as well as Zionism’s victims, and that they will have to do what grown-up people do who realize they have been wrong, if they want to have a decent life and rejoin the human race.
    Namely, undergo a change of mind and heart. Is that too much to ask? ”

    Now, where have I heard that before, oh yes,

    “It is to face the truth that the diaspora epoch has been a dreadful mistake, for the Jews as well as the Jews’ victims, and that they will have to do what grown-up people do who realize they have been wrong, accept Jesus, if they want to have a decent life and rejoin the human race.
    Namely, undergo a change of mind and heart. Is that too much to ask.”


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