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27 November 2021

Shalom Pollack: Update on Meeting at Yad Vashem

 Greetings friends,

Today I met with the chairman of Yad Vashem, Mr. Dani Dayan along with his advisor.

I was accompanied by a friend who I discovered was a member of the board of  deputies of Yad Vashem.

I felt it was advisable not to go alone. They were not expecting his appearance

Dayan gave me a confusing  explanation for agreeing to this meeting today and not in the past. He said that he doesn't capitulate to aggressive and threatening letter campaigns and so he ignored my request. I reminded him that before any letter campaign I  respectfully  requested a meeting, which was denied.

Last week he spoke at a synagogue in Westhampton, NY, a very affluent and influential community.

My brother, a member of the synagogue, approached Dayan and broached my concern. Only then  did  he agree to meet with me. Thus the meeting today.

Mr. Dayan adopted a very aggressive tone from the beginning. He said that no one will preach to him about Zionism. He recalled his rich service record  and reputation.

He said, assuming "there ever was" such a photo, there is no room for it at Yad Vashem.

His reasons :   

1.  This is a Holocaust museum and not a museum about the Israel - Palestine conflict.
                
2.  The role of Husseini in the Holocaust was miniscule compared to others and does not warrant much space at all. (I had to do four searches before I found the tiny photo of Husseini and Himmler in a dark corner).

I asked him why the decision not to include the photo in the new museum as opposed to the old one?

His answer was, I wasn't in charge then. I don't know.

He claimed  that my agenda was about the Israel - Palestine conflict  and not Holocaust  history.

I said it is both.

I reminded him that the roots of the  Israel - Palestine conflict lie in the leadership and ideology of Husseini which he later  employed  as the foremost Arab Nazi to kill Jews in  the Holocaust.  That is a unique historical fact that is worth sharing with visitors.

I reminded him of the specific plans drawn up between Husseini and Himmler  to murder all the Jews of Palestine as soon as Rommel defeated the British in Egypt.

Do the visitors of Yad Vashem not deserve to learn of these facts?

This is not an insignificant historical footnote worthy of ignoring; certainly not for the Jewish people.

Mr. Dayan's advisor claimed that there never was such a photo at all in the old Yad Vashem. She asked me if  I have  photographic proof that it was indeed there?

I reminded her that all visitors were  at that time obligated  to check their cameras before entering the  museum. There were no cell phones then.

I brought with me a pile of affidavits of veteran tour guides who ascertain that they indeed remember the photo. I asked her if she thought  these people were lying? She said  it is possible.

I looked at her incredulously.

I thought it was a shame that she would lie in order to please her boss and secure a position at Yad Vashem.

Mr. Dayan said that he would not change anything as long as he is in charge and began to  aggressively  ask me to leave. I said that I  find that I am a spokesman for growing numbers of people, Jews and non Jews who will  continue to demand that the cover up end.

He accused me of threatening him.

I am weighing my next steps, with God's help in the struggle for truth and honor for the Jewish people.

We deserve better.

Shalom Pollack

"Jews, Israelis and Arabs" is my book that is helpful in understanding just such situations as the current one at Yad Vashem.

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