?【The China Post 逐日精选】:一 | 国际 | 爱国新
2017-04-29 03:42

Israel's de facto embassy in Taiwan is planning to send local educators to the country to learn more history behind the Holocaust after a high school parade by swastika-clad students snowballed into an international incident.


A group of local high school students had been found dressing in Nazi uniforms and brandishing banners decorated with swastikas in a school-sanctioned parade.

Asher Yarden, Israel's top envoy to Taiwan, told local media that his office was working closely with the Ministry of Education on a soon-to-be-launched program to send selected educators to his country to gain a deeper understanding of the Holocaust and Nazi Germany to pass the knowledge on to their students.

He said Taiwan's Holocaust education was apparently lacking, resulting in last December's incident at Kuangfu Senior High School in Hsinchu.

The school-sanctioned parade featured students dressed in Nazi uniforms and was complete with large tanks made of cardboard.

In a strongly worded response, the office condemned the event, saying "it is deplorable and shocking that seven decades only after the world has witnessed the horrors of the Holocaust, a high school in Taiwan is supporting such an outrageous action."

Representatives from the school later visited Israel's representative office in Taipei to apologize. The school principal resigned over the incident.

The school also said it would work with the Israeli office to co-sponsor educational activities. This included the office sending staff to speak to school faculty, providing educational materials and allowing students to take part in commemorative activities.

Commenting on the case, Yarden said the incident was highly troubling and that "we are not happy about it at all."

Both the Education Ministry and Presidential Office had immediately condemned the action, he said.

Lack of Knowledge about Holocaust

However, he said, this is not enough as it was clear to him that the motivation behind the students' move was not anti-Semitism or Neo-Nazism.

"It was ignorance and lack of understanding," he said.

The representative said when people don't understand something, the right thing to do is "to educate them, to make them familiar with the facts and with Israel and to understand the meaning of Nazi symbols."

In this regard, Yarden said, his office — the Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei — was now working very closely with Taiwan's Education Ministry and hopefully there would be a program launched very soon to send Taiwanese teachers to Israel.