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Thursday, January 19, 2006 

US Holocaust Museum criticized for not addressing Islamic anti-Semitism

Amid Iran's current anti-Semitic attacks and incitement, The New York Sun reports on the criticism the US Holocaust Museum has received for not addressing the problem of Arab anti-Semitism and the Arab-Muslim world's involvement in the Holocaust:
WASHINGTON - Amid pledges from Iran to "wipe Israel off the map" and to hold a conference examining whether the Nazi murder of 6 million Jews is a "myth," America's Holocaust Museum is under fire for its silence about Arab assistance to the Nazis during World War II, and about the intensifying hatred of Jews in the Arab Middle East today.

Leading the charge is Holocaust Museum Watch, a national organization formed 18 months ago to spur the museum toward meaningful acknowledgment of Arab anti-Semitism. A forum at the National Synagogue here last night - headlined by Rep. Eliot Engel, a Democrat of New York; the author of "IBM and the Holocaust," Edwin Black; the president of the Amcha Coalition for Jewish Concerns, Rabbi Avi Weiss, and other Jewish leaders - marked Holocaust Museum Watch's inaugural public event.

In particular, Holocaust Museum Watch charges that the federally chartered and federally funded United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is failing to meet the obligations set forth in its government-approved founding documents. The congressional legislation that approved the museum in 1980 was based on a 1979 report issued by the President's Commission on the Holocaust, established by President Carter and chaired by Elie Wiesel. Among other responsibilities, the commission tasked the museum with maintaining a Committee on Conscience, charged with monitoring potential genocidal situations and issuing an "'institutional scream' to alert the conscience of the world and spark public outcry" at the earliest signs of genocidal intent.

But while calls for destroying the Jewish state have been the mainstay of the Arab Middle East for decades, critics say, the Holocaust Museum has not issued any "institutional scream," or even included exhibits or materials about Arab anti-Semitism in the museum's facilities. It has also declined repeated requests to hold conferences or events addressing the issue.

"There is anti-Semitism emanating from parts of the Muslim world, and this is not a problem which should escape the concern of the Holocaust Museum," Mr. Engel said in a statement to The New York Sun. "I think it is time that the museum consider intensifying its focus on this continuing concern."

"It's unbelievable," the rabbi of the National Synagogue, Shmuel Herzfeld, told the Sun yesterday. "They won't talk about Egypt, about Syria, about Saudi Arabia - it's like the big elephant in the room."
In other words, they're not true patriots or genuinely concerned about anti-Semitism. That's why a special outfit's been established in order to inspect the museum for its failure to be genuinely informative and its apparant problem with stonewalling as well.

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