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September 14, 2012 Special Dispatch No. 4950

Egyptian-American Author And Middle East Freedom Forum Director Magdi Khalil Writes On Holocaust, Antisemitism In The Middle East

September 14, 2012
Special Dispatch No. 4950

In an article titled "History Comes Alive At The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum," which was published in Arabic on Ahewar.org on September 5, 2012, Magdi Khalil, Egyptian-American intellectual, prominent human rights activist, and executive director of the Middle East Freedom Forum in Cairo and Washington, D.C. writes about his experiences during his recent visit to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

The following is the article, as translated by the author:

"As Hatred Gives Birth To Violence, Violence In Turn Gives Birth To Crime; The More Vicious The Hatred, The More Horrendous The Crime"

"Recently, I paid a visit to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. It was my first visit to the museum, as I usually try to avoid coming face to face with the barbaric acts that humans commit against one another, and would rather just read the historical accounts. However, I was persuaded of the importance of such a visit, since the Copts in Egypt are being subjected to a widespread culture of hatred similar to what the Jewish people experienced in Europe."

"As the docents who accompanied me proceeded to explain about the different sections and paintings at the museum, I let my imagination run free. I delved deeper into the events of the past, letting History itself and the victims speak to me, and through that process I reached a more profound and relevant understanding. I wondered: What could possibly make the Nazis exterminate some six million Jews in the most horrifying genocide in contemporary history? I could hear History answering me back: 'Just one word, my friend: Hatred.'

"The Supreme Court of Canada has recognized this truth, stating, 'The Holocaust did not begin in the gas chambers, but with words.' As hatred gives birth to violence, violence in turn gives birth to crime; the more vicious the hatred, the more horrendous the crime."

I "Listened To The Testimonies of Holocaust Survivors... Each Told Me Of Their Final Hours As They Encountered A Cruel And Dreadful Death"

"As I moved through the museum, I occasionally listened to the testimonies of Holocaust survivors playing on screens on the various levels of the Museum. But History once more spoke, captivating my attention. 'Come,' it insisted, 'listen to the victims speak for themselves; it is they who can tell you about things that no one else witnessed.'

"So I listened to Daniel, David, Jacob, Elijah, Moses, Cohen, Isaiah, Rachel, Deborah, Miriam, Hannah, and Diana. They each told me of their final hours as they encountered a cruel and dreadful death. Some of them met death in labor camps, some in the overcrowded trains transporting them to places of execution, some in concentration camps, others in gas chambers; some were buried alive along with thousands of others in Jewish ghettos, while some were been shot as they stood in line waiting to be killed – painful and horrifying stories that expose an appalling human brutality and ruthlessness. They spoke of the international community that had failed them, offering neither protection nor refuge. They told me of the doors that were shut in their faces, irrevocably sealing their fate. They explained how they became the focus of a wave of hatred that infected Europe, spreading from one place to another like a deadly virus.

"The one thing that gave me a measure of comfort after listening to the victims were Daniel's words: 'Write down what you hear from us, so that humanity may avoid a repeat of that tragedy. We now dwell in a place of comfort and happiness, and the only reason we are telling you our story is to help mankind avoid similar disasters.' After being overwhelmed with grief at the atrocities that were revealed to me, I found true comfort to think that the victims of these atrocities had found happiness in the next life."

"In The Nazi Era, The Hatred Of Jews Was State Policy And General Culture; However, The Hatred They Face In The Middle East [Today] Is Much More Dangerous"

"I came back to my own reality, and my own corner in the world in the Middle East, and I found that hatred of Jews had in fact shifted from Europe to the Middle East. In the Nazi era, the hatred of Jews was state policy and general culture. However, the hatred they face in the Middle East [today] is much more dangerous, as it has morphed into some kind of human instinct and a religious culture. From a very young age, children are fed hatred of Jews with their mother's milk, inheriting it in their genes. The sermons taught in mosques proclaim that the end of the world will not happen unless Muslims kill every single Jew, claiming that even the trees and rocks will call upon Muslims to kill the Jews taking shelter behind them. On International Al-Quds Day, which was celebrated August 17, 2012, Hizbullah[1] leader Hassan Nasrallah brazenly stated, 'Our struggle with the Zionist enemy is a matter of religion and doctrine' – suggesting that Mr. Nasrallah and his Islamist friends see no other solution but the complete eradication of the Jewish people. The Jewish State is surrounded by hatred from all corners, caught between terrorist organizations and states – Hamas, Hizbullah, Iran, Sinai, and, soon, Al-Qaeda in the Golan Heights.

"In my own reality, in the span of six months I watched on Arab television three highly popular 30-episode series. The last of these series, which aired on over 100 Arabic channels during Ramadan, starred the well-known Egyptian actor Adel Imam. The series pictured Jews in a very negative light, and championed the idea that it is permissible, or halal, to rob them – the main character and his gang stole $200 million from an Israeli bank and gave it to Muslims in Somalia… So now it is acceptable to steal from Jews as well as to kill them!

"In my Middle Eastern reality, tens of thousands of mosques demonize and curse Jews on a daily basis. Formal Islamist speech describes Jews as the progeny of monkeys and pigs, and hundreds of articles daily promote hatred of Jews. Our newspapers and books are filled with fairy tales based on the hoax of 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,' claiming that Jews go around slaughtering Muslims and Christians to use their blood in the making of unleavened bread for Passover!!!"

"In Our Region, People Hate One Another, Fight With One Another, And Disagree On Everything – Except On Their Common Hatred Of Jews And Christians"

"In our region, people hate one another, fight with one another, and disagree on everything – except on their common hatred of Jews and Christians. In our region, the hatred of Jews has taken the form of artistic, cultural and political festivals. In our region, they deny that the Holocaust happened even though thousands of eyewitnesses are still alive today – while those who admit that it did happen say that Hitler's only mistake was not ridding the world of every single Jew. In our region, Jews have been spared only because their opponents lack the ability to eradicate them. In brief, our region is infected with a curse of excessive hatred and violence, which are increasing exponentially and are about to be unleashed on the world.

"Despite the Holocaust tragedies, I still see a light at the end of the tunnel. While it is true that Jews have decreased in number as a result of the Holocaust, they have also increased in strength. The progeny of the prophets emerged from the Holocaust to contribute to human rights advocacy, and to promote minority rights and freedoms throughout the world. They shared in efforts that resulted in hundreds of UN international human rights conventions, and contributed to the scientific, cultural and artistic revival of the Western world.

"The Lessons Learned From The Holocaust Should Make Us Revisit Our Reality In Our Corner Of The World"

"But the lessons learned from the Holocaust should make us revisit our reality in our corner of the world. The extremist Islamist movements have begun tightening their control over the Middle East, and a few years from now the Middle East will be an angry Islamist Middle East, hostile to the Jews and Christians who live in it.

"I want to alert the world to the fact that the hatred of Jews and Christians has reached its peak in the Middle East, and that both are facing a common enemy – the growing Islamist extremism. Will the world intervene to protect and save us before we become the victims of a new tragedy? This is the message I would like to convey to the global conscience.


The article on Alhewar.org.

Endnote:

[1] Author's note: Hizbullah, considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. and other Western countries, is generally regarded as a legitimate resistance movement and political party throughout much of the Arab and Muslim world.

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