Tuesday, January 30, 2007  

The Righteous are

those who know in their hearts that crimes against humanity are wrong, no matter the color of one's skin, the religion one professes, or one's origin.
JERUSALEM - At the height of World War II, Khaled Abdelwahhab hid a group of Jews on his farm in a small Tunisian town, saving them from the Nazi troops occupying the North African nation.

Now, Abdelwahhab has become the first Arab nominated for recognition as "Righteous Among the Nations," an honor bestowed on non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews from Nazi persecution.

The nomination of Abdelwahhab, who died in 1997, has reopened a little-known chapter of the Holocaust in the Arab countries of North Africa.

Contrary to what many people think, the Jewish populations of many Arab nations lived in relative harmony with their fellow Arabs until the end of WWII with the establishment of Israel and the seizure of Palestinian lands.

IN North Africa, the Jewish population came from many sources. Some were indigenous Berber tribes, others were the descendents of Andalusian Jews who were expelled from Spain, still others had immigrated at one time or another.

When the Vichy France asked for Morocco's Jews, the Sultan Mohammed V is reported to have said,"there are onl Jews here, only Moroccans, and if you take anyone, you will have to start with me." a courageous position for someone whose country was in pretectorate status.

To read more about Abdelwahhab and others like him, go

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