Why Do We Keep Giving Israel a Pass?
As I was reading through several news items last week on the Internet about the appalling situation in Gaza, I received an e-mail alert from my wife. It had been forwarded to her by a Parisian friend who is an expert in Orientalist art; she had received it from a well-known French television actress.
According to the alert, courses in England about the Shoah had just been withdrawn from British schools because they Ã¢â‚¬Å“shocked the Muslim population which denies the existence of the Holocaust.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The e-mail continued, Ã¢â‚¬Å“This is a frightening portent of the fear that is gripping the world and how easily each country is giving into it.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Now, more than ever, with Iran, among others, claiming the Holocaust to be Ã¢â‚¬Ëœa myth,Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ it is imperative to make sure the world never forgets. This e-mail is intended to reach 40 million people worldwide!
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Join us and be a link in the memorial chain and help us distribute it around the world.Ã¢â‚¬Â
My attention was now torn from the plight of the Palestinians in Gaza and shifted to the charge that British schools had just stopped teaching the Holocaust.
My curiosity piquedÃ¢â‚¬â€I hadnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t heard that news about BritainÃ¢â‚¬â€I went to Snopes.com, a Web site that examines such charges. The story, it turned out, first appeared in April 2007, not last week; according to the site, the report was also wildly inaccurate.
The truth was that Ã¢â‚¬Å“One history department in a northern UK city stopped teaching about the Holocaust because it wished to avoid confronting anti-Semitic sentiment and Holocaust denial among some Muslim pupils.Ã¢â‚¬Â
That fact was originally disseminated in a government-sponsored studyÃ¢â‚¬â€a study which was then grossly misreported by a British newspaper to indicate that, rather than in just one history department in the northern UK, Holocaust studies had been terminated across the country.
That error was further magnified by a British group which launched a worldwide alarm on the Internet with the headline: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Recently, this week, UK removed The Holocaust from its school curriculum. ...Ã¢â‚¬Â