Over 100 Holocaust scholars urge Obama: Cancel invite to Sudan delegation

tags: Holocaust, Barack Obama, Sudan, genocide, David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies



Washington, D.C. - 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, with all the signatories, follows below.

* * *

The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies

May 6, 2013

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20500

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,

Prof. David S. Wyman
University of Massachusetts-Amherst (emer.)

Prof. Yehuda Bauer
Yad Vashem and Hebrew University (emer.)

Prof. Mehnaz M. Afridi
Director, Holocaust, Genocide, and Interfaith Education Center
Manhattan College

Prof. Edward Alexander
University of Washington (emer.)

Dr. Marie Baird
Duquesne University

Prof. Omer Bartov
Brown University

Prof. Paul R. Bartrop
Director, Center for Judaic, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies
Florida Gulf Coast University

Prof. William M. Batkay
Montclair State University

Prof. Alan L. Berger
Florida Atlantic University

Prof. Paul Bookbinder
University of Massachusetts-Boston

Dr. Harold Brackman
Simon Wiesenthal Center

Prof. James P. Buchanan
Director, The Edward B. Brueggeman Center for Dialogue
Xavier University

Prof. Daniel Burston
Duquesne University

Prof. Israel Charny
Executive Director, Institute on the Holocaust & Genocide, Jerusalem

Prof. Isaac Cohen
Northwestern University

Prof. Deborah Dwork
Clark University

Dr. Helen Fein
Institute for the Study of Genocide/BCSIA
Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Prof. Henry Feingold
Graduate Center of CUNY (emer.)

Rev. Lawrence Frizzell
Institute of Judaeo-Christian Studies
Seton Hall University

Prof. Allon Gal
Ben-Gurion University (emer.)

Snunit Gal
M. Ed., Early Childhood Education, Israel

Prof. Zev Garber
Los Angeles Valley College (emer.); Editor, Shofar

Prof. Jay Geller
Vanderbilt Divinity School

Prof. Haim Genizi
Bar Ilan University (emer.)

Prof. Sharon Gillerman
University of Southern California
Director, Edgar F. Magnin School of Graduate Studies, Hebrew Union College

Prof. Myrna Goldenberg
Montgomery College (emer.)

Prof. David Golinkin
Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies

Prof. Gershon Greenberg
American University

Dr. Alex Grobman
America-Israel Friendship League

Dr. Elvira Groezinger
Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, Berlin

Prof. Elisha Gurfein
Montclair State University

Prof. Bernard Harrison
University of Utah (emer.)
University of Sussex (UK) (emer.)

Prof. Dagmar Herzog
Graduate Center, City University of New York

Prof. Susannah Heschel
Dartmouth College

Prof. Herb Hirsch
Co-Editor, Genocide Studies International
Virginia Commonwealth University

Prof. Robert K. Hitchcock
Michigan State University

Prof. Maureen S. Hiebert
University of Calgary, Canada

Prof. Ron Hollander
Montclair State University

Prof. Sara R. Horowitz
Director, Israel and Golda Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Studies
York University, Canada

Dr. Steven Leonard Jacobs
The University of Alabama

Prof. Stephen M. Johnson
Montclair State University

Prof. Aristotle Kallis
Lancaster University (UK)

Prof. Ben Kiernan
Director, Genocide Studies Program, Yale University
Author of Blood and Soil: A World History of Genocide and
Extermination from Sparta to Darfur

Dr. Rebecca Kook
Ben-Gurion University

Prof. Neil J. Kressel
Director, Honors Program in the Social Sciences
William Paterson University

Rev. Vincent A. Lapomarda, S. J., Ph. D.
Coordinator of the Hiatt Holocaust Collection
The College of the Holy Cross

Prof. Fred A. Lazin
Ben-Gurion University (emer.)

Prof. Paul A. Levine
Uppsala University, Sweden

Prof. Jason K. Levy
Virginia Commonwealth University

Prof. Deborah Lipstadt
Emory University

Prof. Marcia Sachs Littell
Richard Stockton College of New Jersey

Rabbi Dr. Haskel Lookstein
Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, NYC

Dr. Rafael Medoff
The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies

Prof. Robert Melson
Purdue University (emer.)

Prof. Rochelle L. Millen
Wittenberg University

Prof. Paul Miller
McDaniel College

Prof. James F. Moore
Valparaiso University

Tali Nates
Director, Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre

Prof. Stephen H. Norwood
University of Oklahoma

Prof. Michael Novak
Ave Maria University

Prof. Paul Oppenheimer,
The City College and Graduate Center, The City University of New York

Prof. Zsuzsanna Ozsvath
Director, Holocaust Studies Program
University of Texas at Dallas

Prof. David Patterson
Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies
University of Texas at Dallas

Natalie Pavlik
Director, Nunca Olvidar Foundation

Rev. John T. Pawlikowski, OSM, Ph.D
Catholic Theological Union

Prof. Monty Noam Penkower
Machon Lander Graduate School of Jewish Studies (emer.)

Prof. Susan Pentlin
University of Central Missouri (emer.)

The Rev. Peter A. Pettit, Ph.D.
Director, Institute for Jewish-Christian Understanding
Muhlenberg College

Prof. Michael Phayer
Marquette University

Prof. Eunice G. Pollack
University of North Texas

Prof. Elena G. Procario-Foley
Chair, Religious Studies Department
Iona College

Prof. Ronald Radosh
Adjunct Fellow, The Hudson Institute
City University of New York (emer.)

Prof. Walter Reich
George Washington University
Former Director, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Prof. Carol Rittner
The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey

Prof. Paul Lawrence Rose
The Pennsylvania State University

Prof. Peter Rose
Smith College (emer.)

Prof. Thane Rosenbaum
Director, Forum on Law, Culture, and Society
Fordham University School of Law

Prof. Alvin H. Rosenfeld
Director, Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism
Indiana University

Prof. John K. Roth
Claremont McKenna College (emer.)

Prof. Richard L. Rubenstein
Florida State University
President Emeritus, University of Bridgeport

Prof. Gabriel Rubin
Montclair State University

Dr. Greg Sarkissian
President, International Institute for Human Rights & Genocide Studies

Prof. Robert Moses Shapiro
Brooklyn College of the City University of New York
Susan Heilbrunn Shapiro
University of Chicago

Prof. Baila R. Shargel
Manhattanville College

Prof. Karen Shawn
Yeshiva University

Prof. Melvin Small
Wayne State University

Prof. Philip Spencer
Kingston University, Great Britain
Author of Genocide Since 1945

Dr. Gregory Stanton
President, Genocide Watch

Prof. Leon Stein
Roosevelt University (emer.)

Prof. Oren Stier
Florida International University

Prof. Peter Tarjan
University of Miami

Prof. Henry C. Theriault
Worcester State University

Dr. Samuel Totten
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville (emer.)
Author of Genocide by Attrition: Nuba Mountains, Sudan

Prof. Gil Troy
McGill University, Canada

Prof. Katharina Von Kellenbach
St. Mary’s College of Maryland

Prof. Carole Gottlieb Vopat
University of Wisconsin

Prof. Kenneth Waltzer
Director, Jewish Studies
Michigan State University

Prof. Seth Ward
University of Wyoming

Dr. Racelle Weiman
Temple University

Prof. Eric D. Weitz
Dean of Humanities and Arts
City College, City University of New York

Prof. Sonja Wentling
Concordia College

Prof. Chaim I. Waxman
Rutgers University (emer.)

Prof. Victoria Saker Woeste
American Bar Foundation

Prof. John C. Zimmerman
University of Nevada Las Vegas

Dr. Bat-Ami Zucker
Bar Ilan University

Dr. Efraim Zuroff
Simon Wiesenthal Center, Jerusalem



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