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According to the alert, courses in England about the Shoah had just been withdrawn from British schools because they “shocked the Muslim population which denies the existence of the Holocaust.”

The e-mail continued, “This is a frightening portent of the fear that is gripping the world and how easily each country is giving into it.

“Now, more than ever, with Iran, among others, claiming the Holocaust to be ‘a myth,’ it is imperative to make sure the world never forgets. This e-mail is intended to reach 40 million people worldwide!

“Join us and be a link in the memorial chain and help us distribute it around the world.”

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 piqued—I hadn’t heard that news about Britain—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 “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.”

That fact was originally disseminated in a government-sponsored study—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: “Recently, this week, UK removed The Holocaust from its school curriculum. ...”

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