A bit of a balagan — which in Hebrew means a situation of confusion, a mess — is what has evolved here:
Just days ago, I cited at length from a piece by Barry Rubin regarding the fact that a study within the British school system revealed that there have been individual teachers and schools that have opted not to do Holocaust teaching because of fear of contradicting what Muslim students have been taught in their mosques [Holocaust denial] and eliciting anti-Semitic comments. I myself checked sources in Britain that reported on this study, and I knew that what Rubin was describing was accurate.
I then subsequently took the time to issue a clarification so that people would understand that this was a matter of decisions being made by individual teachers and schools, not by the system.
And yet…and yet…it’s easy, with the best of intentions, to misinterpret. And so I’ve received communication from some readers indicating that they have contacted British officials in protest because the school system has dropped Holocaust studies. When the officials provide assurances that the system is still including Holocaust studies in the curriculum (which is true), these individuals, in the main, express relief and consider the issue closed.
But that’s not the end of it.
Professor Rubin is eager to make certain that his article — which he stands by as accurate — is not misinterpreted. And I, having raised this issue, am similarly eager. It is important that there be final clarification so that neither of us will be cited as the source of erroneous information.
Beyond this, there is still an issue of great seriousness to be addressed and what has happened is that the focus on what is included in the curriculum has masked this other issue: that excessive political correctness undermines the fabric of liberal Western society. When even a few teachers within a school system opt not to teach facts because they contradict the erroneous information students of a particular ethnic or religious grouping have acquired — when teachers become afraid to cross their Muslim students — there is a very serious problem. This situation, as described, is merely the tip of a very big iceberg.
I will add, by the way, that Rubin has shared with me that persons living in Britain requested that he write about this issue, and that he has received anecdotal material that further confirms the reality of what is addressed in the study.
For myself, I will continue to post on the broad parameters of this issue (no more on the particulars of the British school system and Holocaust education, I hope) because I believe it behooves us all to be alarmed about what is transpiring in the UK and in Europe.
I, of course, remain available to any of you who wish to write to me privately regarding this issue.
Before I move to other subjects, I share this item about a politically-correct/pro-Arab Britain from Little Green Footballs. Never heard of this? An exceptionally informative blog:
An unnamed student at Cambridge University (unnamed to protect him), who published some satire about Islam in his college’s magazine (it’s on the blog and no big deal), was forced by the university to submit a groveling apology to appease angry Muslims on campus. Once again we encounter political correctness, this time by an official institution but, as before, bowing to Muslim sensitivities. The hell with freedom of the press or speech.
Daniel Pipes, head of the Middle East Forum in Philadelphia, writes in the Post today that there are moderate Muslims. Not, he concedes, a movement, but rather "mere wisps in the face of the Islamist onslaught."
Thus, he maintains, institutions, including governments, need to give them every possible support. The RAND Corporation has just published a study, "Building Moderate Muslim Networks," that advances ideas of how to empower the moderates, focusing on other parts of the world such as the Balkans and Southeast Asia, rather than the Middle East.
And why have the radical Islamists gained ascendancy? A primary reason is because for more than thirty years Saudi Arabia has funded " the growth of religious extremism [Wahhabi Islam] throughout the Muslim world."
I would suggest that this is something that needs to be considered carefully because there remains the illusion that the Saudis are moderates. With the spread of their considerable largesse the Saudis have wielded much influence; it is no small matter that they have endowed many a chair in American universities. (I am prepared to take corrections if I am mistaken, but as I remember matters, among politicians it was only Rudolph Giuliani, when mayor of NY, who told the Saudis what they could do with their money.)
Speaking of the Saudis… The Arab League, in a meeting today in Cairo, has selected Egypt and Jordan — the two nations with full diplomatic ties to Israel — to approach Israel and push the Saudi plan. The idea is to get Israel on board with the plan, as is, and to promote direct talks between Israel and the PA. No other Arab states intend to talk with Israel until she ceases all "occupation."
The League also set up "working groups" to "explain the Arab vision" internationally.
Israel will not accept the plan as is; this has been made clear. And the Arab League has made it equally clear that there will be no changes.
US Sec. of Defense Robert Gates is here and has met with his Israeli counterpart, Peretz. At a press conference following the meeting, Gates said that diplomatic measures against Iran are working. I’d like to know precisely how he sees that.
MK Mohammed Barakeh (Hadash) has referred to Israel as a "terrorist state." He made the statement in Tulkarem yesterday at "Prisoners Day," an annual day named by the PA to focus on the need to see all the Palestinian prisoners freed. Said this man who sits in our Knesset, with regard to the terrorists in our prisons: “All they did was fight for their freedom.” Nothing short of incredible.
Palestinians have been throwing stones today — at cars outside of Hebron and outside of Kalkilya.
Thirty-eight terror suspects in Judea and Samaria have been taken into custody by Israel. One of these is Najwa Hashash, 19, of the Balata refugee camp outside of Nablus, on suspicion that she was planning a suicide bombing. The IDF knew of her because rumors had been floating about her involvement; and this, for me, points to the necessity of maintaining a presence in these areas — from afar the job cannot be done. There are various versions of the story — that she was recruited by Al Aksa Brigades and that she wanted to commit suicide because she was newly married to a man who was not healthy. What makes news is the increasing involvement of women in terror.
The back and forth continues between the High Court and the Winograd Committee with regard to the issue of when the individual testimonies will be released. It is not necessary here to recount all of the details, but this remains an issue of some significance because Olmert’s career will be affected by the release of his testimony.
President Katsav has requested of the Knesset House Committee that his suspension be exte
nded indefinitely; reportedly he wishes to continue this way until he is either indicted or the investigation is dropped.
Palestinian Education Minister Nasser Addin Ash-Sha’er was in Washington DC recently and gave an interview to Robert Novak, who quoted him in the Washington Post on Monday as saying that "previous attempts at peace were ruined by suicide bombers. Now, we look forward to a sustained peace."
But now he’s back in PA territory and claiming that he was misinterpreted: "Every people in the world has the right of self defense, and nobody can incriminate his own history or his own right to self defense."
A signal lesson in what Palestinian Arab words are worth.
This posting can be found at: https://www.arlenefromisrael.info/current-postings/2007/4/18/posted-april-18-2007.html