holocaust » ADL Blogs
Posts Tagged ‘holocaust’
April 17, 2013 1

Bringing Holocaust Education to Alaska

Echoes and Reflec­tions staff trav­eled to a remote area of Alaska to deliver the program’s first pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment pro­gram in the state. The Echoes and Reflec­tions pro­gram has now offered pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment in 47 US states and Dis­trict of Colum­bia. The pro­gram has pro­vided edu­ca­tional resources on the Holo­caust to over 18,000 edu­ca­tors and com­mu­nity members.

Deb­o­rah Batiste, Project Direc­tor for Echoes and Reflec­tions, trav­eled from her office in Mary­land to Kodiak, Alaska to con­duct an in-person train­ing pro­gram that would be broad­cast by video-conference to other remote loca­tions so that addi­tional edu­ca­tors could take advan­tage of this pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment opportunity.

Nine­teen local edu­ca­tors attended the train­ing pro­gram in per­son and an addi­tional six edu­ca­tors par­tic­i­pated vir­tu­ally from addi­tional loca­tions at vil­lage schools on Kodiak Island.

Dur­ing the April 15th pro­gram, Deb­o­rah Batiste mod­eled active and col­lab­o­ra­tive learn­ing as par­tic­i­pants in Kodiak and those edu­ca­tors in remote loca­tions explored Les­son 4: The Ghet­tos from the Echoes and Reflec­tions Teacher’s Resource Guide and learned how to incor­po­rate visual his­tory tes­ti­mony from Holo­caust sur­vivors, res­cuers, and lib­er­a­tors into their teaching.

LeeAnn Schmelzen­bach, lit­er­a­ture teacher at Kodiak High School reflected on the program.

“I know the cost and dif­fi­culty for train­ers to come to our schools, but I also know the intense ben­e­fits such train­ings pro­vide for our teach­ers and, in turn, our stu­dents. This par­tic­u­lar train­ing was so help­ful. The resources that you were able to place in our hands are going to help me change the way I teach my stu­dents, and it will help me pro­vide more per­spec­tives for my stu­dents to view the Holocaust.”

 

A leader in Holo­caust edu­ca­tion, Echoes and Reflec­tions pro­vides com­pre­hen­sive pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment for mid­dle and high school edu­ca­tors and mul­ti­me­dia resources suit­able for history/social stud­ies, English/language arts, fine arts, social sci­ences, reli­gion, and other con­tent areas. The com­bined resources and exper­tise of three world lead­ers in education―the Anti-Defamation League, USC Shoah Foun­da­tion, and Yad Vashem―have resulted in a robust edu­ca­tional pro­gram to help US sec­ondary edu­ca­tors deliver accu­rate and authen­tic Holo­caust edu­ca­tion to today’s students.

To learn more about Echoes and Reflec­tions and upcom­ing pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties, visit www.echoesandreflections.org

Some pro­grams are avail­able via video-conferencing. To learn more about these pro­grams, con­tact: echoes@adl.org.

Tags: , , , , ,

March 14, 2013 2

Universities In Michigan To Host Sabeel’s Naim Ateek

A week ago, we reported on our blog that uni­ver­sity and aca­d­e­mic depart­ment spon­sor­ship of anti-Israel pro­grams has risen dra­mat­i­cally in the last few years. In fur­ther evi­dence of this trend, two uni­ver­si­ties in Michi­gan plan to host Naim Ateek, the founder and direc­tor of the Sabeel Ecu­meni­cal Lib­er­a­tion The­ol­ogy Cen­ter in Jerusalem, in the next few days.

On Sat­ur­day, March 16, Ateek is sched­uled to speak on the “Require­ments for a Just Peace in Palestine-Israel” at West­ern Michi­gan Uni­ver­sity. Two aca­d­e­mic depart­ments, the Insti­tute of Gov­ern­ment and Pol­i­tics and the Depart­ment of Polit­i­cal Sci­ence are listed as spon­sors. No stu­dent group appears to be involved in bring­ing Ateek to cam­pus. Two days later, Ateek will speak at Grand Val­ley State Uni­ver­sity, a talk spon­sored by the Mid­dle East Stud­ies and Reli­gious Stud­ies Pro­grams of the uni­ver­sity, as well as sev­eral stu­dent groups.

Sabeel, which has sev­eral chap­ters in the U.S., espouses what it calls “Pales­tin­ian lib­er­a­tion the­ol­ogy.” This “the­ol­ogy” rein­ter­prets the Hebrew Bible in an attempt to bol­ster the legit­i­macy of the Pales­tin­ian posi­tion and dis­avow Zion­ism. In his fre­quent speak­ing appear­ances at Sabeel con­fer­ences and other gath­er­ings, Ateek has said that claims that the land of Israel belongs to the Jew­ish peo­ple is “bad the­ol­ogy.” He asserts that the estab­lish­ment of Israel is a “relapse to the most prim­i­tive con­cepts of an exclu­sive, tribal God.” He also has accused Israel and its sup­port­ers of aban­don­ing God, say­ing that Israel “has no fear” of God and that Israel has instead adopted “secu­rity” as a new God.

On sev­eral occa­sions in the past, Ateek has used Chris­t­ian imagery to demo­nize Israel by com­par­ing modern-day Pales­tini­ans to Jesus and their suf­fer­ing to his cru­ci­fix­ion. He has referred to the Israeli occu­pa­tion as the “orig­i­nal sin” that must cease before Pales­tin­ian vio­lence will end. In a 2001 Easter mes­sage, Ateek explic­itly said: “Jesus is on the cross again with thou­sands of cru­ci­fied Pales­tini­ans around him…The Israeli gov­ern­ment cru­ci­fix­ion sys­tem is oper­at­ing daily.”

More recently, Ateek has employed Holocaust-related lan­guage to con­demn Israel, an oft-used rhetor­i­cal device for the anti-Israel move­ment. In a 2009 arti­cle in Cor­ner­stone, Sabeel’s pub­li­ca­tion, Ateek viciously claimed that the mur­der of Jew­ish chil­dren dur­ing the Holo­caust is “com­pa­ra­ble to what the gov­ern­ment of Israel has done to the peo­ple of Gaza today.” Other arti­cles pub­lished in Cor­ner­stone have sim­i­larly tried to exploit the hor­rors of the Holo­caust by analo­giz­ing it to Israeli pol­icy. In last spring’s edi­tion, for exam­ple, there was a poem that included the fol­low­ing lines:  “But what O Israel/Have you become?/The Nazis made me fear­ful to be a Jew/but you [Israel] have made me ashamed…Time to con­front the dark­ness we have become/With the Holo­caust it is Never Forget/but with Deir Yassin it is Never Mind.”

Sabeel’s Amer­i­can coun­ter­part, Friends of Sabeel-North Amer­ica, orga­nizes sev­eral anti-Israel con­fer­ences a year that fea­ture speak­ers who accuse Israel of racism, oppres­sion, and human rights vio­la­tions. Speak­ers often pro­mote Boy­cott, Divest­ment and Sanc­tions efforts as pun­ish­ment for what they see as Israel’s apartheid-like poli­cies. Some speak­ers at Sabeel con­fer­ences have also described the pro-Israel lobby as exces­sively pow­er­ful and argue that Israeli inter­ests con­trol the U.S. government’s for­eign pol­icy. The group has been the dri­ving force behind Chris­t­ian divest­ment ini­tia­tives against Israel since 2004.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

February 27, 2013 1

University Sponsorship Of Anti-Israel Programs On The Rise

Update 3/14/13:  Two more uni­ver­si­ties in Michi­gan plan to host anti-Israel pro­grams in the next few days. Naim Ateek, the founder and direc­tor of the Sabeel Ecu­meni­cal Lib­er­a­tion The­ol­ogy Cen­ter in Jerusalem, is sched­uled to speak at West­ern Michi­gan Uni­ver­sity and Grand Val­ley State Uni­ver­sity.

In recent years, the num­ber of highly politi­cized anti-Israel pro­grams that have been spon­sored by uni­ver­sity depart­ments has increased quite dra­mat­i­cally. To date, 22 anti-Israel events have been spon­sored by uni­ver­si­ties and/or aca­d­e­mic depart­ments across the U.S. dur­ing the cur­rent school year. In the 2011-12 school year, the total was 10; and in the school year before that, it was just five.

The university-sponsored event that has received the most atten­tion was the Boycott Divest­ment and Sanc­tions (BDS) event at Brook­lyn Col­lege three weeks ago. But other events that are almost as con­tro­ver­sial have got­ten much less atten­tion. Miko Peled – an Israeli who advo­cates for BDS cam­paigns against Israel, calls for a one-state solu­tion and holds Israel cul­pa­ble for Pales­tin­ian ter­ror­ism – has been spon­sored by aca­d­e­mic depart­ments at the Uni­ver­sity of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia and Haver­ford Col­lege in Penn­syl­va­nia in recent months. Peled, a draw as an anti-Israel speaker because of his nation­al­ity, has also been invited to speak at Cen­tral Con­necti­cut State Uni­ver­sity in two weeks.  His pre­sen­ta­tion there is being spon­sored by the Inter­na­tional & Area Stud­ies Com­mit­tee and Peace Stud­ies, two inter­dis­ci­pli­nary pro­grams at the university.

In his recently pub­lished book, The General’s Son: Jour­nal of an Israeli in Pales­tine, Peled calls Gaza an “enor­mous con­cen­tra­tion camp,” an inac­cu­rate and offen­sive effort to cheapen the mem­ory of the Holocaust.

While not all anti-Israel speak­ers that have been spon­sored by aca­d­e­mic depart­ments hold views as hos­tile as Peled’s, many use the oppor­tu­nity to call for out-and-out anti-Israel advo­cacy like BDS, which ren­ders the sup­port they receive from aca­d­e­mic depart­ments even more rep­re­hen­si­ble. Some of these events have drawn con­tro­versy in the past, includ­ing the “one-state solu­tion” con­fer­ence at Har­vard Uni­ver­sity last year (which was spon­sored by the Weath­er­head Cen­ter for Inter­na­tional Affairs and the Office of the Provost) and a March 2011 con­fer­ence at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia Hast­ings Col­lege of the Law called “Lit­i­gat­ing Pales­tine: Can Courts Secure Pales­tin­ian Rights.” Although the title of the con­fer­ence sounded benign, the con­fer­ence was actu­ally meant to be a strat­egy ses­sion about ways to bring Israel to the Inter­na­tional Crim­i­nal Court (ICC), issue arrest war­rants for Israeli diplo­mats trav­el­ing abroad, and engage in inter­na­tional BDS campaigns.

The approx­i­mately two dozen university-sponsored anti-Israel events this school year have also included per­for­mances by Remi Kanazi, an anti-Israel poet who is a leader of the BDS move­ment; a panel dis­cus­sion fea­tur­ing only anti-Israel speak­ers talk­ing about how the “Jewish-American rela­tion­ship with Israel” is at a “cross­roads;” and a screen­ing of a new film called “Roadmap to Apartheid,” which analo­gizes Pales­tin­ian refugees to Jews in the War­saw Ghetto and par­tially con­dones ter­ror­ism as a “symp­tom” of the conflict.

Tags: , , , , , ,