memri

September 8, 2004
Clip No.
268

Egyptian Researcher Gamal Abd Al-Gawwad Speaks Out Against Holocaust Denial

The following are excerpts from an interview with Gamal Abd Al-Gawwad, a researcher at the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies:

Gammal Abd Al-Gawwad: With all due respect to my friend, Rif'at Sayyed Ahmad, the reason for his article, which deals with the Holocaust, was to deny the legitimacy of the Zionist claims on Palestine. He claims that the Jews say, "We were tortured, therefore we want a national home," and he says, "You were not tortured, therefore, you have no such right." And what if the Holocaust indeed take place? Does this, according to our perspective, give the Jews a right to a national home in Palestine? This is not our business.

Interviewer: It means the two aren't connected.

Gammal Abd Al-Gawwad: The two issues aren't connected. The issue is part of European history. The Europeans suffered from it, and some of them still suffer from the preoccupation of the Jews and Zionists' with this. It is not our business. If we decide to delve into this issue, we must do so from a scientific perspective, and not the way my dear friend Rif'at Sayyed Ahmad did, by quoting European authors who belong to a certain movement… Not all Europe is humanistic and calls for tolerance. In Europe, even today, there are Nazi, anti-Semite, and radical right movements in France and Germany. Some of those who mentioned in his article are the intellectuals of these movements.

I can understand the Western frenzy over the Holocaust. This crime is described – whether it's true or not – as a real event, in which several millions were killed in the face of complete silence, and that caused pressure on the Western conscience. There is such a thing as the Western conscience. You cannot deny that there's such a thing as a Western conscience; there is a Western conscience and there is an interest in human rights. We must play with this conscience and its contradictions, and not the other way around: We must not tell [the West] it is hypocritical and that the Holocaust never occurred, and that the whole issue of human rights is nothing but words. - This isn't the way to deal with it. - It will lead us nowhere. We must play by the existing rules, which we cannot change right now.