WASHINGTON (JTA) — UNWRA will teach about the Holocaust to students in Gaza secondary schools.
John Ging, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency’s director of operations in Gaza, told the British newspaper The Independent that he was "confident and determined" that the Holocaust would be taught in curriculum being developed by the organization that administers relief to Palestinian refugees.
"No human rights curriculum is complete without the inclusion of the facts of the Holocaust and its lessons," Ging told the paper.
The statement comes after officials of Hamas, which controls Gaza, condemned the inclusion of the Holocaust in the curriculum. The Muslim fundamentalist group denies that the Holocaust occurred and has called Holocaust education part of a "Zionist plot." Ging said the Hamas government in Gaza did not try to interfere with UNRWA.
An initial draft of the curriculum is slated to be published in the next few weeks and then presented to parents and the public for consultation. It will "inculcate the values" of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that "everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person," said Ging.
He said the curriculum is necessary to counter the effects of the Israeli "siege" and the other "illegalities that are the daily life of Palestinians here in Gaza."
It "is a seemingly endless list of travesty and injustice, but we can’t wait for those to be righted before we also do more to counter the effect of all that," Ging told The Independent.
He said the current human rights curriculum was not adequate to address issues such as the illegality of firing rockets and the effect of propaganda, and "anti-Semitic rhetoric," according to the paper.