The association of UNRWA employees (staff in UN-funded schools for Palestinian “refugees”) in Jordan have voted to ban acknowledging that the Holocaust happened in their school curriculum. Responding to a recent rumor that the subject might get re-introduced to students, the executive committee said this:
“We condemn this decision, which equates the butcher and the victim,” read the teachers’ statement, demanding instead to introduce classes on the Palestinian “right of return” to Israel and the history of the 1948 war with Israel.
This isn’t the domestic education system of a sovereign nation, mind. This is a UN-funded body, paid for by you and me. And as many people here might be aware (but those who rely on the BBC for their news won’t be), this is nothing new.
Last year, the association of UNRWA employees endorsed a decision to ban the introduction of Holocaust studies in UNRWA schools, Jordanian daily Al-Ghad reported Tuesday, a decision the teachers said was still binding.
“We shall monitor the curriculum being taught under the title ‘concepts of human rights’ [which is] aimed at reducing [Palestinian] students’ awareness of the right of return,” read the statement.
The BBC hasn’t touched this topic since 2009. Go ahead, do a search. I’ll wait.
This was during the last time Israel clashed militarily with Hamas in Gaza. At the time, the BBC was discussing – purely impartially, I’m sure – the notion that what the Israelis were doing to Gaza was equivalent to what the Nazis did to the Jews. The math doesn’t add up in my view, but that shouldn’t stop the BBC from considering viewpoints from all sides. On certain issues, anyway. The BBC had no problem discussing Hamas’ desire to ban discussion of the Holocaust at the time, providing a balanced news brief featuring both the fact (at least the BBC seems to be presenting it as such) that 6 million Jews were killed and the opinion that it’s now used as an excuse for Israeli atrocities. Not as an excuse for Israel to exist, but for atrocities committed by Israel.
I guess BBC editors have decided that it is the same, because they’re censoring this news now. The BBC is well aware of this situation. They get the same wire service reports and press releases as everyone else, never mind their close working relationship with the Palestinian media. Please note that I’m not suggesting bias because of that in this case. I’m merely presenting this as evidence that the BBC clearly has good sources of information on these issues, and there’s no way they don’t know about it. They do know, and have decided not to tell you.
Why? This is a UN organization we’re talking about. It’s in all our interests to know what they’re up to. I wonder how many BBC staff agree with the following sentiment:
“Teaching UNRWA students about the so-called ‘Holocaust’ as part of human rights harms the Palestinian cause… and changes the students’ views regarding their main enemy, namely the Israeli occupation.”
As I’m not a professional journalist, it’s possible that I’m simply too ignorant of how it all works to understand why this isn’t being mentioned by the BBC, while they currently have a feature on the Palestinian criminal who was released by Israel in exchange for Gilad Shalit declaring his continued desire to fight Israel, a piece about Israel doing wrong by some Bedouins, and a report on how an Israeli court has “forced” their Government to release a study about how much they deliberately prevent Gaza children from getting the proper nourishment (that’s the impression given by the BBC article).
Perhaps any lurking media professionals can explain it to me. Balance over time? Dog bites man? What?