FAO Quotables

"But being right, even morally right, isn't everything. It is also important to be competent, to be consistent, and to be knowledgeable. It's important for your soldiers and diplomats to speak the language of the people you want to influence. It's important to understand the ethnic and tribal divisions of the place you hope to assist."
-Anne Applebaum

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

“[By recognizing these Arab “Schindlers’, perhaps we can being to bridge the gap in the Israel-Palestine conflict.]”

“[By recognizing these Arab “Schindlers’, perhaps we can being to bridge the gap in the Israel-Palestine conflict.]”
-Dr. Rob Satloff

          On June 2nd I had the opportunity to attend a screening of “Among the Righteous” held at the State Department. This is a documentary made by Dr. Rob Satloff who originally went into his project with the idea to try to find one Arab who helped one Jew during WWII.
          I met my dad there beforehand and they had some pretty good refreshments and had the pleasure of meeting the political officers from the Tunisian, Moroccan and Saudi Arabian embassies.
          The Under Secretary for Political Affairs, William J. Burns (3rd ranking official in the state department, and its senior career diplomat opened the screening with some brief remarks and a panel of guests (including the Assistant Secretary of State for Near-Asian Affairs Jerry Feltman) answered questions afterwards.
         This film is a project that turned into a journey that spanned from France to Morocco to Israel as Dr. Satloff conducted extensive research and interviews to uncover a bevy of stories of Arabs aiding Jews during the Holocaust.

           One of the more surprising facts that I learned from the documentary was that there were more than 100 concentration/labor camps in North Africa! I had no clue there were any! And this forgotten fact, these forgotten and buried stories were largely the point of the documentary.

           In discovering the stories of the Arabs who helped the Jews in Nazi/Vichy/Italy controlled North Africa the Satloff hopes to address the removal of the ‘artificial barriers’ of holocaust denial and to inject realism in the realm of discussion.

Here are several links to the documentary and some blogs on the subject:

(the above blog has a particularly good summary of the film)




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