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UAE begins teaching Holocaust in schools after reconciliation with Israel



The United Arab Emirates will begin teaching the Holocaust in schools as a gesture to Israel after the two countries normalize diplomatic relations.

United Arab Emirates (UAE) It is included holocaust In school education programs, Israel a country widely condemned in the Arab world for the Palestinian conflict.

The change in the wealthy Gulf Emirates comes years after Egypt and Jordan established ties, along with Bahrain and Morocco, after normalizing ties with Israel under the US-facilitated 2020 Abraham Accords. happen.

At the Dubai Holocaust Gallery, the only exhibition in the Arab land on the German genocide against European Jews, visitor Andreas Dunn praised the initiative, the first in the Middle East outside of Israel.

“It’s good to see the United Arab Emirates taking the lead in the Arab world in this very important piece of history that everyone should know about,” said the 38-year-old Dubai-based Briton. said. “It shows that things are changing.”

Dunn visited the exhibit after the United Arab Emirates became the first Arab country to incorporate the Holocaust (the systematic killing of millions of Jews by the Nazis) into its national curriculum.

Since the murder of Jews by Nazi Germany in 1948 contributed to the founding of Israel, Arab countries have generally been reluctant to address the issue.

The founding of Israel as a safe haven for Jews led to the mass expulsion of Palestinians and the occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem in the Six Day War of 1967. East Jerusalem was later annexed.

Solidarity with the Palestinian cause has made the Holocaust a taboo subject for many Arab countries, with school textbooks and maps often ignoring the existence of Israel, sometimes described as a “Zionist entity”.


As a result, the UAE’s landmark decision has not been widely celebrated in the Arab world, and some experts believe it will take time to see a fundamental shift in public perception. I’m here.

“The Holocaust is a historical fact, but I think Israel politicizes it and sometimes uses it for political purposes.” He criticized UAE political science professor Abdulkarek Abdullah.

The UAE embassy in Washington tweeted earlier this month that the Holocaust will be included in primary and secondary education curricula in the future, without elaborating.

Ahmed Obeid Al-Mansouri, founder of the Museum of the Crossroads of Civilizations, which houses the Holocaust Gallery, believes it is important to include education about the Holocaust in the region, given the level of denial so high. I was.

“If we want people to sympathize with us, we have to have others sympathize with us,” he told Agence France-Presse, whose permanent exhibition includes weapons, photographs of the dead and religious documents. rice field.

Cause of Palestine

Some private schools in the oil belt, where 90% of the population is foreign, already teach about the Holocaust, and since the United States normalized relations with Israel, it has hosted presentations by Jewish Holocaust survivors. rice field.

In creating the new program, the Ministry of Education consulted with the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se) and the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and Education Center in Israel.

“The Holocaust component is a small part of the overall program, but we are working towards a solution,” said Markus Sheff, president of IMPACT-se, a British-Israeli research and policy agency.

Jewish leader Alex Peterfreund, who has lived in the UAE since 2014, said he was “proud” of the changes to the school curriculum.

“By teaching what the Holocaust is, the UAE wants to show what can happen when people of different religions and different cultures cannot live together,” said a paternal said a 56-year-old Belgian who lost his grandparents.

But Hind Al-Ansari of the Wilson Center in Washington said the change in perception will be slow.

Holocaust teachings “may not be Israeli tolerance in the near future,” he declared, noting that “the Palestinian cause is sacred in the Arab world, including the majority of the United Arab Emirates.” rice field.

Source: Biobiochile

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