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United Arab Emirates says it will teach holocaust in schools

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The United Arab Emirates will begin teaching Holocaust history in primary and secondary schools across the country, the country’s embassy to the US says.

The embassy did not provide details on the curriculum and education authorities in the Emirates, a federation of seven sheikdoms, did not immediately confirm the announcement Monday.

However, the announcement comes after the UAE normalized relations with Israel in 2020 as part of a deal brokered by President Donald Trump’s administration.

“In the wake of the historic (hashtag)AbrahamAccords, (the UAE) will now include the Holocaust in the curriculum for primary and secondary schools,” the embassy said in a tweet, referring to the normalization agreement that would include Bahrain and eventually Morocco as well as Israel. acknowledge.

Ambassador Deborah E. Lipstadt, the US special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism, praised the announcement in her own tweet.

“Holocaust education is a necessity for humanity and too many countries continue to play down the Shoah for too long for political reasons,” Lipstadt wrote, using a Hebrew word for the Holocaust. “I commend the UAE for this step and expect others to follow soon.”

The announcement comes ahead of a scheduled meeting of the Negev Forum Working Groups in Abu Dhabi this week, which arose from normalization. The meeting will be attended by officials from Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Morocco, the UAE and the US. Egypt has diplomatically recognized Israel for decades.

During the Holocaust, Nazi Germany systematically murdered 6 million European Jews during World War II. Founded in 1948 as a refuge for Jews in the aftermath of the Holocaust, Israel grants automatic citizenship to anyone of Jewish descent.

Other Arab countries have refused to recognize Israel diplomatically because of its decades-long occupation of land Palestinians want for a future state.

The announcement by the UAE also comes after it and other Arab countries condemned an ultra-nationalist Israeli cabinet minister for visiting a holy site in Jerusalem for the first time since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new far-right government took office.

The site, known to the Jews as the Temple Mount and to the Muslims as the Noble Shrine, is the holiest site in Judaism, home to the ancient biblical temples. Today it houses the Al Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam. Since Israel captured the site in 1967, Jews have been allowed to visit but not pray.

Follow Jon Gambrell on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jongambrellAP.

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