Hamas rejects Holocaust education in UN-run Gazan schools

18 October 2012

Hamas, the militant  Palestinian movement that controls the Gaza Strip, has reiterated its categorical opposition to teaching about the Holocaust in Gaza Strip schools run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). Teaching the Holocaust was a “crime against the issue of the refugees that is aimed at canceling their right of return,” a Hamas department said in response to unconfirmed reports in Arab media outlets that UNRWA was planning to reintroduce the Holocaust into its school curriculum.

UNRWA teachers in Jordan also announced this week their strong opposition to teaching the Holocaust in their schools.

Hamas called on UNRWA to stop “passing suspicious projects in the context of services it provides to Palestinian refugees.” The children at UNRWA schools don’t need material about the Holocaust, Hamas said. “Rather, they need to be re-taught the history and geography of Palestine as a basic subject. The children are entitled to learn about the massacres perpetrated by the Zionist enemy against the Palestinians since the Nakba [disaster],” the ‘Jerusalem Post’ quoted the statement as saying.

Hamas appealed to all political forces, civil society and UNRWA teachers in the Gaza Strip to “confront these suspicious projects and reject them.”

This isn’t the first time the issue has come up at UN schools. In 2009, Hamas responded to a similar rumor about plans to introduce the subject of the Holocaust at UNRWA schools in Gaza by denouncing the idea, but adding that “the Holocaust is a lie invented by the Zionists.” In both instances, the United Nations denied that a change in the curriculum was coming and explained that it deferred to the host country on these matters.

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