The Jewish Secular Community Centre (CCLJ) citizen education program “Say no to hate!” finished on Monday morning. It was taking place in the CCLJ buildings in rue Hôtel des Monnaies in Saint-Gilles. It was supported by Wallonia-Brussels Federation. Around 120 children from Tivoli school in Laeken and Adolphe Max school in Brussels took part in this matinée. The pupils wrote out ideas on how they could teach respect in society. Balloons carrying their messages were released at the end of the matinée. A closing ceremony will be held at the Saint-Vincent Institute in Anderlecht, the third primary school which took part in the education program during the 2014-2015 academic year. There was 2 hours of lessons on how to live together, and to teach people about other cultures.
At the same time, the CCLJ talked about the three major genocides in the 20th century during their 12th education program for secondary school age children. These are the genocides against the Armenians, the Tutsis in Rwanda and the Shoah. “For secondary school age children, we try to understand the mechanism of hate, through the history of the biggest genocides of the 20th century”, explains Veronique Ruff. She is education councilor for the CCLJ. “The Israeli-Palestine conflict came up in the debates, and this distracts the students. They mix Judaism with Israeli policies, colonisation, Shoah etc”.
The crystallisation around the situation in Palestine makes people forget about other current conflicts, like Syria. The Armenian genocide meant we were confronted with cultural denial, as young Turks grow up with the idea that using the word “genocide” is betrayal”. The CCLJ is also preparing an exhibition on the Roma genocide during the Second World War.
Andy Sanchez (Source: Belga)