I stumbled upon this story after watching an hour documentary abour Robert Satloff about his book “Among the Righteous: Lost Stories from the Holocaust’s Long Reach into Arab Lands”.
I was very impressed with the work of Robert Satloff and his work to change Arab and Jewish relations. His documentary looks at the issue of Arabs that may have possibly helped Jewish people evade Nazi Germany’s brutal regime. His goal was to get these people that helped mentioned at Yad Vashem (a place honoring many of the righteous gentiles that helped Jewish people escape Nazi persecution and death squads). Satloff noticed there were no Arabs mentioned; thus the journey to find some that actually did help. Here is a small story in the US News about the book and documentary.
He did end up finding a handful of people that did help Jewish people during the war to hide from the Nazi and French occupiers that sought to enforce these Jewish cleansing laws. In the documentary I think he mentions some 5-7 people. By the end he did end up getting a small plaque erected at a synagogue in New York to memorialize at least one individual.
I liked his purpose in the whole thing – to bridge Arab and Jewish discussions. He knew there was wide-spread denial of the Holocaust in the Middle East but also a huge group that were simply just existing and did not discuss this issue. He felt if he could get this discussed then it could help breach Arab and Jewish discourse and possibly lead to understanding; peace via discussion.
And I am a fan of this type of thinking because I think it does work. My hats off to Robert Satloff! May we all aspire to such peace!