Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Haaretz surveyed some historians to see if any of them agree with Rashida Tlaib's assertion that Palestinians provided Jews with "safe refuge" from the Holocaust.

Not surprisingly, most of them say that the idea has no basis in reality, but the comments from notoriously anti-Israel professor Rashid Khalidi are interesting:

Prof. Rashid Khalidi, the Edward Said professor of modern Arab studies at Columbia University, charged that many of Tlaib’s detractors were also historically off base.

Tlaib, he said, “is facing an ‘idiot wind’ that makes the Arabs into accomplices of the Nazis, when hundreds of thousands of Arab troops fought with the Allies in World War II, while Jews who escaped the Holocaust were sheltered in Egypt, Syria and Lebanon, as well as Palestine."
This is the first I have heard of European Jews being sheltered in Egypt, Syria and Lebanon.

I've been looking for examples of this online and coming up empty. I do have a counter-example I recently discussed of a ship of Jews who attempted suicide after Egypt rejected them, and they were treated in Egyptian hospitals until they were presumably well enough to be sent to their doom.

I cannot even find an anecdote of Jews who somehow managed to sneak into Egypt, Syria or Lebanon, which is not proof it didn't happen...but if it did, it doesn't sound like it was anything close to these Arab countries sheltering European Jews.

I put out this question on Twitter, and Robert Satloff, the world's biggest expert in Muslims saving Jews during the Holocaust, said "To the best of my knowledge, there’s no evidence of 'Syria, Egypt and Lebanon sheltering Jews' during the Holocaust. "

Khalidi is not usually stupid enough to make things up from scratch. Maybe he is referring to an extraordinarily low number of Jews who somehow managed to sneak into those countries due to family connections or luck.

I would love to know what he is talking about. If true, then the world should know about it. If false, then it is more evidence that a Columbia University professor is willing to put his reputation on the line to lie to defend a false narrative.

(h/t David G)

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