The UAE announced this Sunday that it is about to teach Holocaust and include Holocaust studies in the country’s curriculum for primary and secondary schools.
In line with the Abraham Accords and in yet another move to legitimize and recognize Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will soon include Holocaust studies in school curriculum for primary and secondary schools. The news was first announced UAE Embassy in the US in a tweet on Sunday evening has, which also quoted Dr. Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi, Head of the Federal National Council (FNC) Delegation, as saying.
In the tweet the Embassy said: “In the wake of the historic #AbrahamAccords, the UAE will now include the Holocaust in the curriculum for primary and secondary schools”, adding also that “memorializing the victims of the Holocaust is crucial.”
In an official statement that was later issued by the embassy, the content of the Holocaust studies will be developed in collaboration with “Israel’s official Holocaust Memorial Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.”
This, however, is not the UAE’s first pro-Israeli move in regard to the idea of Holocaust as back in May 2021, the Persian Gulf country also set up the region’s first Holocaust memorial exhibition opened in Dubai. This happened just months after the US-brokered Abraham Accords ended a more than 70-year impasse between Israel and the UAE.
What is Holocaust?
Holocaust is one of the most controversial issues regarding the Jewish people and what they went through during the Second World War, with many experts approving it and many others denying it completely.
Linguistically speaking, ‘holocaust’ is originally an ancient Greek word which means ‘burnt offering’. Even before the Second World War, the word was sometimes used to describe the death of a large group of people, but since 1945, it has become almost synonymous with the systematic murder of Europe’s Jews by the Nazis under the rule of Adolf Hitler during the Second World War.
Unlike Holocaust believers, those who deny Holocaust say that Nazi authorities did not use extermination camps and gas chambers for the mass murder of Jews, and that Nazi Germany’s “Final Solution” was aimed only at deporting Jews from the territory of the Third Reich and did not include their extermination.
UAE leaders favor normalization, and UAE people just don’t!
But even as the UAE leaders are doing whatever they can to normalize relations with Israel, recent polls clearly show that people in this country are mostly opposed to such normalization efforts.
The results of a newly carried out survey by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (TWI), for example, indicates that more than two thirds of citizens in Bahrain, KSA and the UAE now view the Abraham Accords unfavorably.
“The 2020 poll found 47 per cent of the citizens in the UAE supported normalization, while the new poll found this had fallen to just 20 per cent, while 76 per cent oppose it.” The survey revealed.
US welcomed the controversial move
The UAE’s new move to get even closer to Israel was, as expected, welcomed by the United States as one of the biggest supporters of Israel normalization with Arab countries.
In a statement immediately after the UAE embassy’s tweet, the US Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism (SEAS) Amb. Deborah E. Lipstadt, welcomed the UAE’s decision, saying that he and the Biden administration are “Pleased to see this important step by the United Arab Emirates.”
“Holocaust education is imperative for humanity and too many countries, for too long, continue to downplay the Shoah for political reasons. I commend the UAE for this step and expect others to follow suit soon,” E. Lipstadt also noted.