This Holocaust education project was characterized in a Master's thesis for the University of Toronto's Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) by Jenny Peto with the bizarre allegation that "They are taught on the MOL that their whiteness can only be maintained through racism, both in supporting Israel and also perpetuating or, at minimum, benefiting from racism and imperialism in their home countries." (pg. 98)
According to a report in the Canadian Jewish News:
The March of the Living (MOL) Long-Term Study 2000-2008 also found that program alumni were most deeply affected by their visits to Nazi concentration camps, their interaction with Holocaust survivors and their visits to historical sites in Israel.The findings of the survey would appear to flatly contradict the assertions in Peto's OISE thesis, which has been described by a prominent academic as "devoid of scholarship."
Released last week, the report, by InfoFeedback, indicated the Montreal firm had contacted more than 1,700 MOL participants. Replies in the online survey came from 231, most of them from the 2004 to 2008 trips.
The report came out shortly after the University of Toronto came under fire for approving a thesis, The Victimhood of the Powerful: White Jews, Zionism and the Racism of Hegemonic Holocaust Education, that criticized the March of the Living and the March of Remembrance and Hope, a related program that brings older students to Europe. The thesis author, Jenny Peto, claimed the programs were used “in ways that obscure Jewish privilege, deny Jewish racism and promote the interests of the Israeli nation-state.”
The survey questioned program alumni on a wide range of attitudes and found that “the experience had a significant positive impact on MOL goals.”
Ninety-one per cent “agreed that confronting antisemitism became even more important after the trip,” while “in the area of commitment to human rights (fighting genocide and combating general racism), a very high average increase of 89 per cent was recorded since their participation in the March.”
In addition, “87 per cent felt an increase in their feelings of tolerance for other groups after their experience of the MOL,” the study reported.
But it's not as if Ms Peto's thesis doesn't have supporters. Anti-Semitic website Judeofacism.com has leaped to its defense with a post titled, "Zionists predictably slam theory that organized Jewry is racist and greedy, seeks to exploit Holocaust for profit, political and social advantage."
Although they did take issue with Peto's contention that Jews are white.
There's just no pleasing some people.