In the New York Sun week before last, Meghan Clyne covered the failure of the Holocaust Museum to touch on the issue of Arab/Islamist anti-Semitism: “U.S. Holocaust Museum comes under fire for failing to address Arab anti-Semitism.” The “fire” referred to in the article’s headline comes from Carol Greenwald and her Holocaust Museum Watch. Clyne reports:
Ms. Greenwald, a financial-investment analyst who sits on the boards of several pro-Israel organizations, was… critical of the museum’s contents.
One example of misplaced focus, Ms. Greenwald said, is a video documentary about Christianity’s role in the Holocaust, addressing historic episodes such as anti-Semitic violence after medieval passion plays and the writings of Martin Luther. “Given that they don’t have any hesitation about having a movie like that,” Ms. Greenwald said, “they should have a movie or an exhibit that talks about the role extremist Islam is playing in spreading religious and racial hatred.”
The museum’s unresponsiveness to such criticism, Ms. Greenwald, drove her to establish Holocaust Museum Watch. Her inability to get the museum to include some mention of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin el-Husseini, who conspired with Hitler to liquidate the Jewish population of British Palestine, was particularly irksome, Ms. Greenwald said.
The collaboration of the Grand Mufti with Hitler is a vivid link between the Holocaust and current events, including the rise of Hamas and the rededication of Iran to completing Hitler’s exterminationist project. The museum should play a significant role in drawing the connection between time past and time present.
The museum’s large board of directors includes many prominent private citizens and leaders. Given such broad membership, however, one wonders whether service on the board is honorific rather than engaged. It is hard to believe that appropriate oversight would not lead museum officers to take up the issue of Arab/Islamist anti-Semitism addressed in Clyne’s article.