150 Holocaust Scholars Protest Palestinian Threat Against Yad Vashem

January 21, 2020

One hundred and fifty Holocaust scholars from around the world have signed a statement protesting the Palestinian Authority’s publication of a threat to murder participants in a ceremony next week at Yad Vashem.

“For the PA to publish this horrific threat in its official newspaper is nothing less than incitement to murder,” said Dr. Rafael Medoff, director of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, which organized the protest.

The threat was contained in a January 19 article in the PA’s newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadidah, by Yahya Rabah, one of its regular columnists. Rabah urged readers to “resist” next week’s Yad Vashem ceremony commemorating the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, and advised: “One shot will disrupt the ceremony and one dead body will cancel the ceremony.”

The protest statement called on the PA leadership to publicly disavow the threat and fire Rabbah.

The 150 scholars hail from the United States, Israel, England, Canada, Germany, Poland, France, Australia, and India.

The full text of the statement:



As scholars who have written or taught about the Holocaust or other genocides, we are horrified and outraged by the threat made against Yad Vashem, which was published in the official Palestinian Authority daily newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, on January 18, 2020.

The author of the article is one of the newspaper’s regular columnists, Yahya Rabah. He wrote:

“Israel…is now energetically planning to hold a ceremony for the Holocaust [at Yad Vashem] in occupied Jerusalem, and it is accustomed to the world participating with it in this ceremony, as the Jews’ Holocaust is terrible, but the Palestinian holocaust by Israel that still continues is insignificant, beautiful, spectacular, and good. Of course, the Palestinians will never accept this equation, and it can be assumed that they will resist the ceremony being held in Jerusalem itself, as Jerusalem is theirs, despite Trump who gave it to Israel as part of the filthy deal of the century. One shot will disrupt the ceremony and one dead body will cancel the ceremony. And despite the misery of the Arabs and their dissatisfaction with what is happening, they are capable, if even for just a moment, of not following in the steps of Israel and America who are determining for them who their enemies are and who their friends are.” (Translation courtesy of Palestinian Media Watch.)

This is a blatant attempt to encourage the murder of participants in the Yad Vashem ceremony.

We call on the leadership of the Palestinian Authority to publicly disavow Rabah’s threat against Yad Vashem and to fire Rabah from Al-Hayat Al-Jadida.


Dr. Navras J. Aafreedi

Presidency University, Kolkata, India


Prof. Irving Abella

York University, Toronto


Dr. Mehnaz M. Afridi

Director of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Interfaith Education Center

Manhattan College


Prof. Edward Alexander (emer.)

University of Washington


Dr. Kenneth Altman

Columbia University


Dr. Brian Amkraut

Case Western Reserve University


Prof. Alan J. Avery-Peck

College of the Holy Cross


Rabbi Shaina Bacharach

Green Bay, WI


Prof. Monique Rodrigues Balbuena 

University of Oregon 


Prof. Katherine Barbieri

University of South Carolina

Prof. Wendy Barker

University of Texas at San Antonio

Prof. Paul R. Bartrop

Florida Gulf Coast University


Prof. Fred Baumann

Kenyon College


Prof. Michael Berenbaum

Director, Sigi Ziering Institute

American Jewish University


Prof. Betty Berenson (ret.)

Iona College


Prof. Alan Berger

Florida Atlantic University


Prof. Jay Bergman

Central Connecticut State University


Prof. Daniel Bitran

College of the Holy Cross


Rabbi Andrew Bloom

Fort Worth, TX


Prof. László Borhi

Indiana University


Prof. Gabriel Noah Brahm

Northern Michigan University


Prof. George W. Breslauer

University of California, Berkeley


Prof. Jean Axelrad Cahan

Director, Norman and Bernice Harris Center for Judaic Studies

University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Prof. Ellen Cannon

Northeastern Illinois University


Dr. Paula J. Caplan

Associate, Harvard University


Prof. Phyllis Chesler (emer.)

City University of New York


Prof. David Chinitz

Hebrew University


Prof. Daniel Dayan



Prof. Mark Diamond

Loyola Marymount University


Prof. Donna Robinson Divine (emer.)

Smith College 


Prof. Stanley Dubinsky

University of South Carolina


Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins



Prof. R. Amy Elman

Kalamazoo College


Prof. Miriam F. Elman

Syracuse University

Executive Director, Academic Engagement Network


Dr. Eugene J. Fisher

Saint Leo University


Dr. Luis Fleischman

Palm Beach State College


Rev. Mark R. Francis, C.S.V

President, Catholic Theological Union


Prof. Evyatar Friesel (emer.)

Hebrew University


Prof. Zev Garber (emer.)

Los Angeles Valley College


Dr. Edyta Gawron

Jagiellonian University, Poland


Prof. Stephen G. Gerzof  (ret.)

Tufts Medical School


Prof. George Glauberman  (emer.)

University of Chicago


Prof. Chad Alan Goldberg

University of Wisconsin-Madison


Dr. Myrna Goldenberg  (emer.)

Montgomery College, MD


Prof. David Golinkin

President, The Schechter Institutes, Inc.



Prof. Lenn E. Goodman

Vanderbilt University


Prof. Lynn H. Green

Cheyney University of Pennsylvania


Prof. Gershon Greenberg

American University


Prof. Yudit Kornberg Greenberg

Rollins College


Dr. Elvira Grözinger



Prof. Dr. Karl E. Grözinger (emer.)

Universität Potsdam


Prof. Gary D. Grossman

University of Georgia


Prof. Jeffrey Herf

University of Maryland


Prof. Peter H. Hoffenberg

University of Hawaii at Manoa


Prof. Ron Hollander (emer.)

Montclair State University


Prof. Steven Leonard Jacobs

The University of Alabama


Dr. Judith S. Jacobson

Columbia University


Prof. Gunther Jikeli 

Indiana University


Prof. Ellyn Kaschak (emer.)

San Jose State University


Prof. Samuel Kassow

Trinity College


Prof. Stephen Katz

Indiana University


Prof. Steven T. Katz

Boston University


Prof. Steven G. Kellman

University of Texas at San Antonio


Hon. David Kilgour, J.D.

Ottawa, Canada


Prof. Lesley Klaff

Sheffield Hallam University, England 


Prof. Rebecca A. Kobrin

Columbia University


Prof. Gerd Korman (emer.)

Cornell University


Prof. Marvin Koss

SUNY Upstate Medical University


Prof. Neil J. Kressel

William Paterson University


Prof. dr hab. Ireneusz Krzemiński

Uniwersytet Warszawski, Poland


Rabbi Paul Kurland

Nanuet Hebrew Center


Prof. Paul Kurlansky

Columbia University


Prof. Joseph Kushick (emer.)

Amherst College 


Prof. Thomas M. Landy

College of the Holy Cross


Prof. Ruth Langer

Boston College


Rabbi Dr. Alan Lavin



Prof. Laurel Leff

Northeastern University


Prof. David Leibowitz

Kenyon College


Prof. Lisa Leibowitz

Kenyon College


Prof. Robert J. Lieber

Georgetown University


Rabbi Dennis Linson

University of California, Berkeley / Chapman University


Prof. Deborah E. Lipstadt

Emory University


Prof. Marcia Sachs Littell (emer.)

Stockton University


Prof. Meir Litvak

Tel Aviv University


Prof. Joe Lockard

Arizona State University


Rabbi Haskel Lookstein

New York, NY


Prof. Jeffry V. Mallow

Loyola University Chicago


Dr. Rafael Medoff

The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies 


Prof. Rochelle L. Millen (emer.)

Wittenberg University


Prof. Evan D. Morris

Yale University


Prof. Stan Nadel

University of Portland – Salzburg Austria Center


Prof. Sheldon Nahmod (emer.)

IIT Chicago / Kent College of Law


Rabbi David Nesson 

Morristown, NJ


Prof. Cary Nelson

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Prof. Stephen H. Norwood

University of Oklahoma


Prof. Alexander Orbach (emer.)

University of Pittsburgh


Dr. Françoise S. Ouzan

Tel Aviv University


Dr. Zsuzsanna Ozsvath

Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies

The University of Texas at Dallas


Prof. David Patterson

University of Texas at Dallas


Rev. Dr. John T. Pawlikowski, OSM (emer.)

Catholic Theological Union 


Prof. Judea Pearl

University of California-Los Angeles


Prof. Monty Noam Penkower (emer.)

Machon Lander Graduate School of Jewish Studies


Prof. Andrew Pessin

Connecticut College


David Pfenninger, PhD

Carmel, IN 


Dr. Eunice G. Pollack

Coeditor, Encyclopedia of American Jewish History


Prof. Elena G. Procario-Foley

Iona College


Rabbi Dr. Samuel B. Press

Dayton, OH


Lauri B. Regan, J.D.

Scholars for Peace in the Middle East


Prof. Sara Reguer

Brooklyn College

Prof. Walter Reich

George Washington University


Dr. Gil Ribak

University of Arizona


Dr.  Carol Rittner, R.S.M. (emer.)

Stockton University


Dr. Asaf Romirowsky 

Scholars for Peace in the Middle East 


Prof. Judith Mendelsohn Rood (emer.)

Biola University


Paul Nellen

Hamburg, Germany


Sue Polansky

Zionist Affairs Team Leader, Hadassah


Prof. Mark D. Rosen

IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law


Prof. Thane Rosenbaum

Distinguished University Professor, Touro College


Prof. Alvin H. Rosenfeld

Director, Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism

Indiana University


Prof. Tammi Rossman-Benjamin (ret.)

University of California Santa Cruz


Prof. John K. Roth (emer.)

Claremont McKenna College


Dr. Hannah R. Rothstein

Baruch College, City University of New York


Prof. Elisha Russ-Fishbane

New York University


Prof. Suzanne Rutland (emer.)

University of Sydney


Prof. Philip Carl Salzman

McGill University


Dr. Myer Samra

Government of New South Wales, Australia


Prof. Jonathan Sarna

Brandeis University


Prof. David L. Schaefer

College of the Holy Cross


Prof. F. K. Schoeman

University of South Carolina


Prof. Irvin Schonfeld

The City College of the City University of New York


Prof. Daniel B. Schwartz

George Washington University


Prof. Michael Scrivener

Wayne State University


Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller

Director Emeritus,UCLA Hillel


Prof. Doreen Seidler-Feller 

School of Medicine at UCLA


Prof. Robert Moses Shapiro

Brooklyn College of City University of New York


Prof. Theodore J. Sheskin (emer.)

Cleveland State University


Patrick Siegele

Director, Anne Frank Zentrum



Dr. Phillip Silver

University of Maine


Prof. Jonathan Skolnik

University of Massachusetts-Amherst


Prof. Gerald Sorin

Director, Resnick Institute for the Study of Modern Jewish Life

SUNY at New Paltz


Rev. Dr. Kevin P. Spicer, C.S.C.

Stonehill College


Prof. Ernest Sternberg

University at Buffalo


Rabbi Dr. William M. Strongin

SUNY at New Paltz


Prof. Norton S. Taichman (emer.)

University of Pennsylvania


Prof. Jarrod Tanny

University of North Carolina Wilmington 


Dr. Klaus Thörner

Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, Germany


Prof. Ilan Troen

Brandeis University


Prof. Jeremiah Unterman

Herzl Institute


Dr. Lenore Walker

Fort Lauderdale, FL


Prof. Kenneth Waltzer (emer.)

Michigan State University 


Dr. Esther Webman

Tel Aviv University


Prof. Susan Weinger (emer.)

Western Michigan University


Dr. Ann Weiss

Director, Eyes from the Ashes Educational Foundation


Prof. John Hubbel Weiss

Cornell University


Dr. Mark Weitzman

Simon Wiesenthal Center


Prof. Sonja Wentling

Concordia College


Prof. Mina Westman

Tel Aviv University


Rabbi Alan J. Yuter

Springfield, NJ


Prof. Randall C. Zachman (emer.)

University of Notre Dame


John C. Zimmerman

University of Nevada Las Vegas


Prof. Bat-Ami Zucker

Bar-Ilan University


(Institutions listed for identification purposes only.)


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ABOUT THE WYMAN INSTITUTE:  The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, located 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.