Thursday, February 22, 2007

Us and them against them

Robert Satloff is the author of a book called Among the Righteous: Lost Stories From the Holocaust's Long Reach Into Arab Lands. He recounts the experiences of many Jews who were saved from Nazi persecution by their Arab neighbours, one of whom Khaled Abdelwahhab, is being considered for the award of Righteous Gentile from the Yad Vashem, the Holocaust remembrance authority. I excerpted from an article about the book here.

Satloff has just been to Cairo to present the book and speak to a lot of very influential Egyptians. He notes a turn in Sunni opinion that we should use to our advantage: they are frightened of the growing reach of Shia Iran. He thinks we must seize this "possibility of building new forms of cooperation across old battle lines". At the cultural level, this includes engaging Sunni Arabs candidly and frankly on once-taboo topics such as Holocaust denial.

At the strategic level, this means challenging Sunni Arab leaders to build on their common interests with Israel and force a practical regional framework to counter Iran.

No comments: