web analytics
September 15, 2014 / 20 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



Holocaust Studies Take Root among Israel’s Arabs

Can Shoah studies actually help neutralize Arab hatred for Israelis?
Palestinian visitors at Yad Vashem.

Photo Credit: Dara Frank

If the Holocaust was greatly facilitated by world apathy, an opposite trend is now in progress, with Holocaust study programs flourishing in many countries.

Even Arab teachers and students in Israel are currently studying the Shoah and its causes.

It’s been three years now since Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies began offering a seminar for Arab teachers in Arab towns. And participating educators are saying positive things.

“A year ago I visited Yad Vashem for the first time,” history teacher Hanan Mahmid of Umm el-Fahm (Israel’s third largest Arab city, between Afula and Hadera) told Ynet, “and I was in shock…. I think Arab students should visit Yad Vashem once a year.” What made her take part in the seminar?

“I think the younger generation needs to know and learn what happened there. The Jewish people have also been through much pain and suffering. As a teacher, I feel a responsibility to teach them about this subject.”

The three-month seminar for Arab teachers is conducted in their hometowns for ten monthly hours. Another Yad Vashem program for Arab teachers was held last year at Yad Vashem itself and brought together one hundred forty teachers from around the country. The first-person testimonies the teachers hear from survivors apparently make the greatest impression.

“I had never been exposed to testimonies and the experiences of real people who where there,” said Mahmid. “All these are proof that the Shoah took place and that there is no room to deny it.”

To understand the sea change in thinking suggested by the interest in such programs, consider that in 1982 Mahmoud Abbas, now the president of the Palestinian Authority, wrote a doctoral thesis in which he raised doubts about the existence of Nazi gas chambers and suggested that the number of Jews actually killed was about one million; the common figure of six times that amount, he maintained, was disseminated by the Zionist leadership in order to “attain larger gains” after the war and to “divide the booty.”

Can Shoah studies actually help neutralize Arab hatred for Israelis? Some of the Arab teachers reported that their students frequently “compared the Shoah to the Israeli-Arab conflict” – an indication that it is hard for them to sympathize with Jewish suffering under current circumstances. One teacher said she tries to explain that the Holocaust was “a tragedy that must not be repeated, not a regular war,” and that the students “understand.”

Many of the Arab teachers request additional Holocaust learning materials and teaching aids.

“The topic of the Holocaust in the Arab sector is complicated,” said Dorit Novak, who heads the International School for Holocaust Studies, “and sometimes may give rise to mixed emotions – but a direct encounter and exploration of the content such as this opens the door to a dialogue that reaches beyond Holocaust education.”

Yusuf Hasan, a teacher from Kfar Mashhad in northern Israel, said that “It is not easy explaining to Arab kids the Jewish Holocaust.” He agreed, though, that personal testimonies are very powerful: “When you hear it from someone who was there at the time, it is as if you are experiencing it with them.”

The worldwide scope of Holocaust study programs run by Yad Vashem is impressive. Over the past several months seminars have been held for citizens of China, Taiwan, Germany, Hungary, Finland, Poland, Ukraine, England, Slovakia, Holland, Australia, New Zealand and Latvia, among other places.

More than three thousand educators from around the world participated last year in Yad Vashem conferences and seminars, learning how to teach students about the Holocaust. Holocaust education in China is particularly fascinating. Until the 1980s China basically followed the Soviet approach, lumping the genocide against Jews together with other war crimes of fascism and capitalism.

But when China began opening its doors to the outside world, the Chinese were thirsty to learn – and Jewish studies started to flourish.

Gideon Bachar, head of the Foreign Ministry’s Department for Combating Anti-Semitism, said that organized Holocaust studies will be extended this year to countries that have never had them before, such as South Korea and Cyprus. A group of twenty educators from India, Australia and Singapore are currently studying at Yad Vashem, and similar contingents from New Zealand and Korea are on deck.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

3 Responses to “Holocaust Studies Take Root among Israel’s Arabs”

  1. Rabbi Rosenberg and his 'interfaith' efforts for peace — Winds…

    sheikyermami.com/2013/02/10/rabbi-rosenberg-and-his-interfaith-efforts-for-…

    4 days ago… Organizers to vote on restoring 'Hatikva' to interfaith program… be omitted during the area's interfaith Holocaust commemoration, because,… of his position, Rosenberg is now calling for a boycott of the event he helped found,…

  2. Tim Upham says:

    Shoah studies do not neutralize hatred towards Israelis, it teaches you to learn about humanity. Shoah studies made me learn about the Armenian Genocide, the Rwandan Genocide, the Cambodian Genocide, and other people who also viewed as racial enemies of the Third Reich, and targeted for extermination. Read Elie Wiesel's "Night," and in it he tells about Roma (Gypsies) in Auschwitz who were buried alive for not doing the forced labor.

  3. HATIKVAH WILL BE INCLUDED IN THE PROGRAM.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Ramallah-based Fatah leader and Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman  Mahmoud Abbas still leads the faltering Palestinian Authority "unity government," which includes Gaza's ruling Hamas terrorist organization.
Abbas to Request France Recognize PA State
Latest News Stories

Yaalon revealed that most of the “8200″ signers do not do reserve duty, and the few that do, haven’t done any in years.

Israeli women take cover as a Code Red rocket alert siren activates.  Archive (2013)

Residents of Gaza Belt communities in the south headed for bomb shelters on a false alarm at midday Monday. Northern Israel was hit earlier.

Hamas leader in exile Khaled Meshaal (R) and Hamas prime minister in the Gaza Strip Ismail Haniya (L) gesture to the supporters during a rally to mark the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Islamist movement, in Gaza City on December 8, 2012. to mark the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Islamist movement,  in Gaza City on December 8, 2012.

Qatar reportedly evicts Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshaal, and Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood leadership.

Karnei Shomron Logo

11:41am Talk about really bad timing. Sirens heard in Shomron communities were an (unannounced) siren test in the community of Maaleh Shomron. The siren was heard in Karnei Shomron, Ginot Shomron, Yakir, Nofim and Emmanuel. It was *only* a test. 11:39 am OK. Now this is just strange. Rocket Siren heard in Karnei Shomron (in the Shomron) […]

12:04pm IDF says there was no rocket launch at Israel from Gaza. Gazan sources say a rocket misfired and landed inside Gaza. No explosions or rocket landings were heard inside Israel. Conclusion: It’s more likely that no rocket was launched and it was a false alarm. We will update this article, if we learn something new. […]

PLO chairman Mahmoud Abbas reportedly plans to ask French Pres. Francois Hollande to recognize the Palestinian Authority as a sovereign nation.

For the first time ever, Israel appoints a woman to serve as ambassador to an Arab country. Einat Schlein is posted to Jordan.

Egypt-based Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouk says Gaza landlords are refusing to rent to Hamas terrorists.

Israeli Ambassador Chaim Koren has taken residence in Cairo and presented his credentials to Egyptian Pres. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

Police have arrested 4 Arabs from the Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawia.

Since March, there have been repeated acts of anti-Semitic vandalism against Philly’s Jewish sites and institutions.

Yehuda Poltzak is an artist from the Hareidi town of Beitar. He creates Judaica artifacts that decorate the homes and sukkahs of rabbis and community leaders. His creations require months of work.

The Islamic hate mail we received in response to today’s cartoon had us on the floor laughing our heads off. But that might be a bad choice of words.

Just to make the score even, police also arrested a Jew

Israelis in the Golan Heights are caught between a rock and a hard place.

“I will kill all of you,” said the drunken gunman, annoyed at the nerve of a truck blocking traffic.

More Articles from Hillel Fendel
Rabbi Ephraim Laniado of Sao Paulo in the Jordan Valley

The secular town of Ro’i in the Jordan Valley has chosen a unique way to mark its 37th birthday: by building its first synagogue!

Nadia Matar (l) and Yehudit Katzover

While the UN had designated it for an Arab state, the Arabs did not accept the idea, choosing instead to make war on the newborn state of Israel.

Now that he’s free, it’s time to counteract Ostrovsky’s many inaccuracies and innuendos.

plans for a major coal-energy plant to be built in Ashkelon have basically been shelved.

Can Shoah studies actually help neutralize Arab hatred for Israelis?

Talk of a two-state solution, while widely prevalent, is largely irrelevant.

Hannah and her seven sons; Judith and the Greek commander she beheaded; the outnumbered but fearless Maccabees; the Jews who refused to give in to the decrees of the wicked Antiochus – Chanukah is a time for recounting historic deeds of self-sacrifice in the name of the God of Israel. The most recent one occurred in Israel on Dec. 1, a Shabbat.

How long does it take to write and publish a book? One recently released work took some eighty-four years to see the light of day in Jerusalem. But with its publication the Torah world has been blessed with a new, vowelized edition of the Torah Temimah, complete with the supra-commentary Meshivat Nefesh – a work begun in the 1920s by a prolific rabbi among whose works was a weekly column several decades later in The Jewish Press.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/holocaust-studies-take-root-among-israels-arabs/2013/02/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: