Commentary Magazine


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UN Organization Erases Holocaust from Palestinian Textbooks in Jordan

I think I’m reading this right, and that the Orwellian move is formally limited only to Jordan right now. But given how the precedent is framed, it won’t stay that way for long:

The UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East] director of operations in Jordan on Thursday said the agency will commit to teaching the curricula of host countries, shelving plans to include the Holocaust in school textbooks… On Wednesday, UNRWA teachers in the country threatened to escalate measures by staging work stoppages and strikes if the relief agency continues with a plan to include the Holocaust in school textbooks.

The Union of Arab Workers at UNRWA put out a statement saying that the Holocaust shouldn’t be taught in any of UNRWA’s five areas of operation — Jordan, Lebanon, the West Bank, Gaza and Syria — and that instead the space should be used to teach students about the Right of Return. That would ostensibly “enrich” sixth and seventh generation Palestinian children by telling them that some day they’ll be overrunning Israel, and it would make the lessons consistent with the rest of UNRWA’s war curriculum.

UNRWA in Gaza should be following shortly, in line with the Hamas government’s formal policy of denying the Holocaust:

Gaza government officials on Tuesday urged school children to leave classrooms if human rights lessons included information about the Holocaust. The Hamas-led government said it would do everything it could to prevent children being taught about the Holocaust in UNRWA schools in the Gaza Strip… Gaza Education Minister Mahammad Ashquol said his ministry “will never allow teaching Holocaust to Gazan refugee camp children.”

At least this time UNRWA in Gaza will have a coherent precedent — “teaching the curricula of host countries” — when they use textbooks filled with anti-Israel incitement. Last time they had to blame their pro-war content on Israel’s blockade of Gaza, because it was preventing paper from getting into the Strip so how were they supposed to print new non-genocidal textbooks, after all?

This time their execrable pretexts for their execrable behavior won’t sound quite so moronic. Progress!