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Israel's Holocaust memorial launches website in Arabic

Email|Print| Text size + By Aron Heller
Associated Press / January 25, 2008

JERUSALEM - Israel's Holocaust memorial launched an Arabic version of its website yesterday, including vivid photos of Nazi atrocities and video of survivors' testimony, to combat Holocaust denial in the Arab and Muslim world.

Among those featured on the Yad Vashem site is Dina Beitler, 73, a survivor of the Nazi genocide that killed 6 million Jews in World War II. Beitler, who was shot and left for dead in a pit of bodies in 1941, recalls her story on the site, with Arabic subtitles.

Last year, Yad Vashem presented a similar version of its website in Farsi, aimed at Iran, whose president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has called the Holocaust a "myth" and said Israel should be "wiped off the map." He has also hosted a conference that questioned whether the Holocaust took place.

A range of sentiments toward the Holocaust exists across the Arab world, from simple ignorance about its details to outright denial, to a more complicated belief - often expressed by many Arabs - that the Holocaust did happen but does not justify what is viewed as Israeli persecution of Palestinians.

Nazi literature is accessible in many Arab cities and some of the media engage in anti-Semitic incitement.

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