| Op-Ed by Fred Taub,
President, Boycott Watch
For the past few months emails have been circulating
which claim the United Kingdom has removed the Holocaust from the British
academic curriculum. Although that email was debunked by Karen Pollock, the
Chief Executive of the
Educational Trust, there is some truth to it.
emails are based on an April 2, 2007 report in the online edition of The Times
(London) titled "Schools
drop Holocaust lessons to avoid offence" . The article, in part, states:
"Teachers are dropping controversial subjects such as the Holocaust and the
Crusades from history lessons because they do not want to cause offence to
children from certain races or religions, a report claims."
The report states teachers, not any official
curriculum board nor any schools have removed the curriculum. As such, many
emails on the topic are inaccurate and should therefore not be re-circulated.
It is not the UK itself which has officially removed curriculum as claimed, but
rather individual teachers, an important distinction. The Times report
continues: "A lack of factual knowledge among some teachers, particularly in
primary schools, is also leading to 'shallow' lessons on emotive and difficult
subjects, according to the study by the Historical Association."
By allowing politically correctness to reign
supreme, British grade schools and universities are not delivering a proper
education. Instead, political agendas are allowed to outweigh morality and
values. The British need to understand that hiding evil does not make evil go
away. Instead, it forces evil to fester covertly thus allowing it to grow
unchallenged, which is how Nazism grew.
of The Times report is scary, calling the world's worst evils "controversial
subjects." This not only minimizes the Holocaust, but it encourages Holocaust
deniers such as the UK's own David Irving who sued noted author and historian
Deborah Lipstadt for calling Irving
a Holocaust denier. Lipstadt won the case.
active in the UK is the Holocaust denial by Arabs who are so blinded by their
hate of Jews and Israel that they not only deny the Holocaust, but also fear
that any recognition of the Holocaust will mean de facto recognition that
Judaism is a religion or even that the Jews are a people. This is a political
reality which is not acceptable in the Arab Middle East even without
recognizing Israel as a Jewish state. An additional element of The Times report
pointing to Arab influence on teachers is the removal of the Crusades from the
curriculum, which are historically viewed as a black mark in Arab history since
it resulted in the loss of Islamic lands to non-Muslims, which is considered to
be embarrassing within Islam.
There is one difference
between the topics - While there are no heads of state who want to repeat the
crusades, there are Arab leaders who want to repeat the Holocaust. This leads
me to the conclusion that removing the Crusades from the curriculum is only
meant to soften the removal of the Holocaust curriculum - more political
correctness at work.
In the meantime, the original
UK Holocaust denial email has been re-circulated and renamed as the
Kentucky. One Internet myth expert has claimed that the letters UK have
been miss-transposed, but that is not the case because the two emails are
otherwise identical yet circulated months apart. This was not a matter of
miss-transcription via email. It was a deliberate opportunistic copycat hoax by
simply changing a name.
Denial of Holocaust
education is not simply a matter of British teachers not knowing enough about
the Holocaust to teach it. Although that may be the case for some, that problem
can easily be remedied. The frightening part is that the educational
establishment in the UK is overlooking teachers ignoring the Holocaust, a vital
part of world history which must be taught lest we allow madmen like Iran's
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to repeat it. In fact, living in a world with people like
Ahmadinejad should be reason enough to teach a Holocaust curriculum to every
student at every level every year, and not just in the UK. In fact, teaching
the Holocaust curriculum to Arabs would advance peace by teaching how the
horrific aims of both Hamas and the PA's Fatah policies were implemented in the
The inaction of the British academic
establishment and citizenry is reminiscent of the German populous doing nothing
as Hitler rose to power. People must become knowledgeable about the horrific
tragedy of the Holocaust to take action with these early warning, thus
preventing another Holocaust. The British may not like hearing this message,
yet that is reason we need to say it louder and more often.