web analytics
October 2, 2014 / 8 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



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
Car Smashed in A-Tur 2
4 Women Survive Near Lynch on Mount of Olives
Latest News Stories
State Dept. Spokesperson Jen Psaki at Daily Briefing on June 2, 2014.

The OU criticized White House and State Dept. Spokespeople for suggesting Jews buying houses in Jerusalem is ‘provocative.’

Car Smashed in A-Tur 2

A woman and three girls miraculously escaped an Arab lynch mob on Thursday afternoon while driving through the Jerusalem A-Tur neighborhood on the Mount of Olives.

Israeli PM Netanyahu and US Pres. Obama met in the Oval Office on Oct. 1, 2014.

The subtext in an Obama and Netanyahu press conference continues to be a disagreement over the role of Iran.

Jan Morgan, owner of the Gun Cave Indoor Shooting Range.

“How then, can anyone say that, the practice of Islam is protected by the U.S. Constitution?”

Why doesn’t Obama also label Jerusalem Arabs as “illegitimate settlers?”

Israel’s President Ruby Rivlin recites Slichot, the prayers for forgiveness that are said leading up to Yom Kippur. This slichot prayer session was held at the President’s official residence. Speaking of presidential pardons, it would be good if this were the year that Jonathan Pollard was let free.

American university campuses have become fertile ground for seeds of evil.

Letter of protest charges SJP with “harassing and intimidating Jewish students.”

Biden’s new national security adviser dissed Israel in the Democratic party platform and mocks Iran’s danger.

PA leader Abbas demands UN force Israel back to 1949 Armistice Line by Nov. 2016.

Car fires are car fires,” said the Atlantic City fire chief. But the car was parked!

US admits its ‘no-strike if any civilians might be hit’ policy does not apply to its airstrikes against ISIS.

Israeli police revealed on September 30 that they are now investigating the possibility that a fellow Arab worker may have cut the cable that held Arami as he was doing exterior work on a building.

A 14-year-old Dutch Muslim high school student is suspended after posting a video saying he is “from ISIS” and wants to “behead Jews.”

PM Netanyahu and US Pres. Obama met Wednesday evening for 75 minutes at the White House in Washington DC.

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: