November 2, 2006

******U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum acknowledges conspiracy between
the Arab leadership and the Nazis during the Holocaust, including
the `Farhud’, the Holocaust-era Iraqi pogrom.******


(NEW YORK, NY) — After several calls for investigation on why the
U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has failed to recognize the role the
Arab leadership had with the Nazis during WWII, the Museum has made
initial steps to bring the Farhud and the German/Arab conspiracy
into the Museum via its Internet site.

“We salute this preliminary step by the Holocaust Museum, but it is
only a start. We look forward to comprehensive future exhibits that
will focus on the Holocaust and its effects outside of Europe
particularly in the Arab countries,” said Shelomo Alfassa of the
International Sephardic Leadership Council.

The Farhud (Arabic for violent dispossession), took place in 1941
when Arabs attacked Jews in several Iraqi cities, burning, raping,
torturing and murdering members of the Jewish community. This event
was the beginning of the end of 2,600 years of Jewish life in
Iraq. “The Farhud, was a Holocaust-era pogrom that took place
outside of Europe, an event the Museum overlooked for political
reasons,” said Edwin Black, author of IBM and the Holocaust and
Banking on Baghdad.

On January 18, 2006, a press conference was held at the National
Press Club in Washington DC, that night, in front of a standing room
only crowd, a colloquium was held at The National Synagogue, where
several prominent Jewish leaders met to discuss remedies to the
USHMM’s failure to document the role Islamic groups played in the

Sponsored by Holocaust Museum Watch (HMW) and the International
Sephardic Leadership Council (ISLC), the speakers included
Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY); Rabbi Avi Weiss of New York,
president of AMCHA; Carol Greenwald, board member of HMW; Shelomo
Alfassa, executive director of the ISLC; and Edwin Black, the award-
winning New York Times best selling author. Complaints included the
fact that the Museum, a federally funded government institution, had
never presented an exhibit or sponsored an event confronting Arab or
Muslim anti-Semitism or the fate of Jews in Arab countries during
the Holocaust. These countries include Jews from Algeria, Iraq,
Libya, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, as well as others.

A formal complaint and call for investigation was requested by the
International Sephardic Leadership Council after it was discovered
that the chief historian of the USHMM publicly minimized and
obscured, even denied, well-settled historical facts regarding the
extensive relationship between the Holocaust-era Arabs and the Third
Reich. One of the initial statements included the erroneous: “There
was no collaboration between the Arabs and the Nazis.”

On the occasion of Yom Hashoah, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’
Remembrance Day, April 25, 2006, the International Sephardic
Leadership Council once again called on the Museum to explain why
they continued to decline to address the historically documented
collaboration between Arabs and Nazis during the Holocaust.

Now, after months of calls for action, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial
Museum has finally acknowledged the relationship between Hitler and
the Arab leadership, as well as the Farhud, through information
recently posted on the Museum’s Website, authored by Dr. Esther Meir-
Glitzenstein of Ben Gurion University.

“It’s important that the Museum teaches that during the Holocaust,
the Nazis and the Arabs conspired against the Jewish people. The
Mufti’s pro-Hitler propaganda played a key role in shaping opinion
in the Arab world then, as it remains now. The Mufti’s legacy, far
from a one-time phenomenon, remains alive and well throughout the
region even to this day.” said Carol Greenwald of Holocaust Museum

Mr. Alfassa added, “We see this as a success, our goal was to ensure
that history recorded and taught at the Museum be historically
accurate by being fully inclusive, not selective; this is a good
start, and the Museum should be applauded for their step in the
right direction.”


Additional Background Quotes

“The grand mufti of Jerusalem made an alliance with Adolf Hitler
during World War II. Yet, visitors to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial
Museum in Washington, D.C., will learn nothing about it.” –Jewish
Telegraphic Agency (JTA) – January 26, 2006

“The revelations about the Grand Mufti’s role in Hitler’s Final
Solution will chill even the most skeptical critic.” –Rachel
Jagoda, executive director, Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust –
January 23, 2006

“While the museum’s permanent exhibit includes a film linking the
Holocaust to the centuries of Catholic Church anti-Semitism, there
is no mention at all of the role of Islam, specifically the close
alliance between the mufti of Jerusalem and Hitler. Nor is there any
hint whatsoever of the effect of the Holocaust on Jews in Arab
countries, in North Africa and the Middle East, which, while not as
consuming as in Europe, was still considerable and worthy of note.” –
-Rabbi Avi Weiss, Amcha-Coalition of Jewish Concerns – January 23,
2006 – Haaretz, March 10, 2006