A Crack in the Wall of Denial

[Baltimore Sun/Washington Institute for Near East Policy] Robert Satloff - When the UN considered a resolution condemning Holocaust denial last month, one of the first delegates to express support for "keeping memory alive" was the ambassador from Egypt. Just days before the UN vote, I returned from a visit to Cairo where I delivered lectures on my book Among the Righteous: Lost Stories from the Holocaust's Long Reach into Arab Lands, which details the experience of the half-million Jews who lived in Axis-controlled North Africa. I spoke at Cairo University, al-Ahram newspaper, and the Diplomatic Institute of the Egyptian Foreign Ministry. Overall, the view of official Egypt was generally fair and at times deferential. The obvious question is: Why such a positive welcome - in New York and Cairo - to discussion of the Holocaust? The main answer, in my view, is Iran. Today, Sunni Arab animosity to all things Persian and Shiite is deep, Sunni Arab fear of rising Iranian influence in the Middle East is palpable, and Sunni Arab desire not to be tarred with the same brush as the apocalyptic Shiite mystic who serves as Iran's president is real. The writer is executive director of the Washington Institute.

2007-02-21 01:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive