Daily Israel Report

Over 100 Holocaust Scholars Urge Obama: Cancel Sudan Invite

Obama urged to cancel Sudanese leaders' visit to US.
By Arutz Sheva Staff
First Publish: 5/8/2013, 2:12 AM

One hundred and seven leading Holocaust and genocide scholars from around the world have sent a letter of protest to President Obama, urging him to cancel a planned visit to the United States by Sudanese leaders involved in the Darfur genocide.

The delegation will represent Sudanese president Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who has been indicted by the International Criminal Court for his role in the Darfur genocide. Heading the delegation will be Bashir adviser Nafie Ali Nafie, a prominent participant in the mass killings.

The letter of protest was organized by The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, based in Washington, D.C. It is the latest in a series of Wyman Institute initiatives seeking U.S. action to stop the Darfur atrocities and bring Bashir to justice.

"We must make it clear to the perpetrators of genocide that the United States will treat them as outlaws and bring them to justice, not treat them as respected statesmen and bring them here for friendly visits," the letter of protest argues.

The letter continues: "[W]e have just marked the 70th anniversary of the tragic Bermuda conference of 1943, at which the United States and England pretended to take an interest in the victims of Nazi genocide, but then did nothing to intervene. Let us not repeat that tragic mistake. The victims of Darfur must not be abandoned as were the Jews of Europe."

The 107 signatories on the letter, who come from the United States, Germany, Canada, Israel, England, South Africa, and Sweden, include the most distinguished figures in the field of Holocaust and genocide studies. The signatories include:

* Prof. David S. Wyman, author of The Abandonment of the Jews: America and the Holocaust 1941-1945.

* Prof. Ben Kiernan, director of the Genocide Studies Program at Yale University.

* Prof. Yehuda Bauer, former director of Yad Vashem’s International Center for Holocaust Studies.

* Prof. Deborah Lipstadt of Emory University, author of History on Trial.

* Prof. Walter Reich, former director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

The complete text of the petition follows below.

President Barack Obama

The White House

Dear Mr. President,

As scholars who have written or taught about the Holocaust or other genocides, we are deeply troubled by the news that your administration intends to host a visit by a delegation representing Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who has been indicted by the International Criminal Court for his role in the Darfur genocide.

As recently as March 28, 2013, Amnesty International reported that Sudanese "government forces" are still "carrying out multiple large-scale attacks against civilians in North Darfur…Border Guards, who are under the authority of the Sudanese Military Intelligence, have been involved in attacks that have reportedly killed more than 500 people so far this year."

We must make it clear to the perpetrators of genocide that the United States will treat them as outlaws and bring them to justice, not treat them as respected statesmen and bring them here for friendly visits.

Mr. President, we have just marked the 70th anniversary of the tragic Bermuda conference of 1943, at which the United States and England pretended to take an interest in the victims of Nazi genocide, but then did nothing to intervene. Let us not repeat that tragic mistake. The victims of Darfur must not be abandoned as were the Jews of Europe.

Respectfully yours,

etc.etc.

Note: The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, based in Washington, D.C. is a research and education institute focusing on America’s response to the Holocaust. It is named in honor of the eminent historian and author of the 1984 best-seller The Abandonment of the Jews, the most important and influential book concerning the U.S. response to the Nazi genocide.www.WymanInstitute.org