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"One Muslim Voice on the Holocaust, Unheard":

Cathy Young reports.

Ken Arromdee:
It's sad that it's come this far. Praising someone for not denying the Holocaust is like praising you and me for not going out and becoming serial killers. Not denying the Holocaust is such a minimal standard that it says little about those who meet it, even though it says a lot about those who don't. (Which, unfortunately, means it says a lot about a lot of people.)

I also think that Khaled has missed part of the point. The Holocaust didn't come out of nowhere. The Holocaust was the culmination of a series of acts against Jews that started with lesser forms of persecution, some of which went on for hundreds of years. Cathy Young says that he admits that Muslims need to move past Holocaust denial and Jew hatred... but I don't see anything from Khaled about Jew hatred at all. If Muslim countries need to accept the Holocaust, but may still preach that Jews are pigs and dogs who drink non-Jewish blood and plot to take over the world as in the Protocols, it won't help much.
12.15.2006 12:57pm
Colin (mail):
Praising someone for not denying the Holocaust is like praising you and me for not going out and becoming serial killers.

That seems unfair. Isn't she praising him for trying to actively educate people about the Holocaust? Isn't the setting for the vignette she presents his attempt to attend the Tehran conference--the most hostile venue imaginable--to beard the denial movement in its den?

Cathy Young says that he admits that Muslims need to move past Holocaust denial and Jew hatred... but I don't see anything from Khaled about Jew hatred at all.

That's a fair point. I'd only caution that we don't really know much about his views (unless you know more about him than I do). Young's post only addresses a specific position that he takes, and we don't have much from his own mouth at all.
12.15.2006 1:27pm
VFBVFB (mail):
While it is admirable that that he is willing to educate people about the Holocaust who would rather pretend it never happened, I have to disagree with his assertion that the Holocaust explains the Israeli mindset.

Among many Arabs who believe in the Holocaust there is this notion that the Jewish people, having been so traumatized by the horror of the Holocaust, are too traumatized as a people to be able to rationally negotiate with the Palestinians. They believe the Israelis take a hard line towards the Palestinians because of an irrational paranoia. This is wrong. In fact, Sephardic Jews are much more likely to vote for right wing parties than Ashkenazi Jews, even though Sephardic Jews have no family history of the Holocaust, while many Ashkenazi Jews do. Israel's fear of negotiating with the Palestinians is because from the founding of the State, the majority of Arabs refused to accept the existence of Israel, not because of the Holocaust. Focusing on the Holocaust is a way that Arabs refuse to acknowledge their own role in causing the conflict, by rejecting UN Resolution 181, the three nos of the Khartum-Resolution, etc.
12.15.2006 1:56pm
David Chesler (mail) (www):
"Palestinians talk about Israelis killing 1,000 or 2,000 in Sabra and Shatila," he said, referring to a massacre that happened under Israeli watch after the 1982 Lebanon War.

Young alludes to the fact that the killings were not done by Israelis. It's not clear Mahameed himself does not make that distinction as opposed to "Palestinians".
12.15.2006 2:09pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
I wonder how many visitors his museum gets
12.15.2006 3:36pm
Colin (mail):
That's a very good question. Does it have a website? I'll try to remember to search after work.
12.15.2006 5:15pm
Cheburashka (mail):

If Muslim countries need to accept the Holocaust, but may still preach that Jews are pigs and dogs who drink non-Jewish blood and plot to take over the world as in the Protocols, it won't help much.


One step at a time. At least its progress.
12.15.2006 7:51pm
Colin (mail):
The museum is the Arab Institute for Holocaust Research and Education. I think this is the website:

http://www.alkaritha.org/holocaust/modules/news/

I'm not sure, as it seems to be all in Arabic. News articles about the museum say attendance is "sparse," and it seems that both sides dislike the museum.
12.16.2006 3:23am
abb3w:
Colin: Google is your friend; Beta Arabic to English Translation. I get the sense that there the AIHRE may still view the Holocaust as something that happened in Europe.

I do not get the sense from the Google translation that the AIHRE conveys how in the early 20th century almost anywhere in the world (even the US) might have gone down the same road of moral failure. Instead, the focuses seems to be on how the Holocaust (as a one-time event) impacted the Jewish culture. While he may have a point so far as he goes, it's the memory of the failures (of commission and omission) that led to that disaster that are the best hope of preventing anything like it from ever happening again. And understanding that — or, at least, how much the the West believes it — might help some Arabs grasp the tolerance that the US and much of Europe is willing to give to Israels otherwise unthinkable actions.

Of course, I'm judging this on impressions from a Google Beta translation, which is not exactly a solid scholarly foundation. However, it would explain why that Institute is hated by both sides. And the first step to the Arabs getting the same lesson that we hope we've learned is for them to admit that, yes, it really did happen.
12.19.2006 11:25am