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What everyone is missing about the Dani Dayan/Yad Vashem controversy

Why is the U.S. State Department interfering with Yad Vashem? Why are there attempts to have chairman Dani Dayan removed?

Over the weekend, Ellen Germain, the U.S. State Department’s special envoy for Holocaust issues, published a bizarre post on her official Twitter/X account, expressing the U.S. government’s opposition to any talk of ousting Yad Vashem chairman Dani Dayan.

Most Israelis brushed off the intervention as another example of the Biden administration’s unprecedented and hostile interference with Israel’s domestic affairs. That has been felt most forcefully with the administration’s open support for leftist rioters seeking to paralyze the Netanyahu government ever since it was sworn in last December.

Over the past week and a half, a spate of stories has appeared indicating mismanagement of Israel’s Holocaust memorial and museum by Dayan, a political appointee of the last government and a member of Gideon Sa’ar’s New Hope Party. While the allegations being raised against Dayan are significant, in her news analysis this week, Glick discusses a more substantive failing of Yad Vashem under Dayan’s leadership.

Early in his tenure, Dayan announced in an interview with Haaretz that he would not bow to pressure from “the wild assault” of right-wingers to post at Yad Vashem the photograph of the November 1941 meeting between the Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini and Adolf Hitler. Dayan insisted that the mufti—who founded the Palestinian nationalist movement—played a “marginal” role in the Holocaust that merited no mention at Yad Vashem.

His statement was absurd on its face. In her analysis, Glick goes through al-Husseini’s role in the extermination of European Jewry and bringing Nazi antisemitism to the Islamic world. She then develops a theory linking Dayan’s apologetics for the mufti to the strange support he is now receiving from the State Department in an issue that on its face should be of no concern to such a governmental entity.

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