The Wiener Holocaust Library’s Director, Dr Toby Simpson, said:
“The Wiener Holocaust Library is the world’s oldest and Britain’s largest Library of record on the Holocaust and other genocides. Informed by our history and values, we will always seek to connect people with reliable information and to create a space for dialogue, however difficult the circumstances.
We agree with Solutions Not Sides that ‘talking about what’s happening in Israel-Palestine is vital, now and always. But we have to do it while rejecting antisemitic and Islamophobic tropes and speech.’ Solutions Not Sides is a UK-based organisation that works with Israeli and Palestinian speakers and educators. They have also worked with partner organisations (with who we also work) including the Pears Foundation, TellMAMA, The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, and the Community Security Trust.
Along with others, the Library urges everyone to think before they post on social media, to seek out reliable information, and to start dialogues with people with a range of views and experiences. We recommend engaging with organisations that have gained experience working directly with people affected by the conflict, and those who have thought carefully about the issues at hand. You may want to read the Solutions not Sides blog, for example, which offers advice on how best to avoid antisemitic and Islamophobic tropes when discussing Israel-Palestine. The resources on their website include a useful teachers’ guide that explains issues to consider when facilitating conversations in educational settings.
We look forward to welcoming people from all backgrounds to the Library to learn from our collections, and to engaging in constructive dialogues about the past, the present, and the future.”