NABA Press Release: Racism Manifested at Holocaust Day

27 January 2004 

The British Arab community joins with other Britons in commemorating Holocaust Day, when we remember those murdered because of their race and religion..

It is unfortunate that racial exclusion denies Arab suffering and is demonstrated by the marginalisation, indeed dismissal of Arab victims of genocide. The National Association of British Arabs rejected participation because of the arbitrary and biased refusal of Holocaust Day organisers to commemorate the suffering of those massacred, raped and ethnically cleansed. 

Nearly one million Palestinians were forced out of their homes in 1948, with many others raped and massacred, as at Lydda, Ramley and Deir Yassin but it appears that Holocaust Day organisers regard those lives as inferior. Further, other massacres of Arabs occurred in the 20th century such as the Italian Fascist genocide of Libyans which saw much of the population sent to concentration camps, with tens of thousands massacred, and the French colonial genocide of Algerians from 1954-62 of over a million Arabs. Moreover, Palestinians continue to be massacred and it is they who have had their ‘right to exist’ violated both physically and in being denied the right to return to their homes. This is in addition to the almost 2 million Iraqi civilians killed as a result of the last two Gulf Wars and intervening sanctions. We urge the Holocaust Day organisers to redress this situation for next year’s commemoration. 

Ismail Jalili
The National Association of British Arabs
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