Anne Frank Trust invited speaker who said Israel commits Holocaust against Palestinians

"What's sad is that the Jewish population faced genocide themselves in Hitler's Germany but they've implemented the same on Palestine," Nasima Begum said in 2011 and was invited recently to speak.

Anne Frank at her writing table in 1940; how many Anne Franks were lost in the Holocaust? (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Anne Frank at her writing table in 1940; how many Anne Franks were lost in the Holocaust?
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

The Anne Frank Trust opened an internal investigation after a guest speaker that had in the past asserted that Jewish Israelis were committing a Holocaust against the Palestinians was invited by the charity to lead a workshop for children, the United Kingdom-based Trust announced late Saturday night.

"It has been brought to our attention that a freelance arts practitioner we employed in one of our educational workshops last week may have views that are not consistent with our values."

Anne Frank Trust

Nasima Begum claimed Israel committed Holocaust 

According to social media screenshots curated by antisemitism and Holocaust denial watchdog GnasherJew, Poet Nasima Begum made comments in 2011 and 2012 comparing Israel to Nazi Germany.

"What's sad is that the Jewish population faced genocide themselves in Hitler's Germany but they've implemented the same on Palestine for years," Begum said on Twitter in 2011.

Just after 2012's Pillar of Fire (amud anan) military conflict with Gaza, Begum told a pro-Israel Twitter account that Hamas rocket fire into Israel was legitimate, as "exiling a people from their own land justifies anything. It's the Holocaust all over again except this time it's innocent Palestinians and ironically the perpetrators are you Zionist scum."

 Tweets by Nasima Begum claiming Israel was conducting a Holocaust against the Palestinians. (credit: Screenshot/GnasherJew) Tweets by Nasima Begum claiming Israel was conducting a Holocaust against the Palestinians. (credit: Screenshot/GnasherJew)

In another tweet, Begum told the same Twitter user, "you will always remain an illegal state. Death to you Zionist scum."

Anne Frank Trust retracts workshop

The Anne Frank Trust announced on Saturday that it invited Begum to run a creative storytelling workshop for the Anne Frank-inspired charity, which educates children to challenge prejudice, according to the organization. 

"We are excited to welcome performance poet, producer and creative practitioner, Nasima Begum, to our special workshop this evening," the Trust said in a tweet. 

It has since been deleted.

"It has been brought to our attention that a freelance arts practitioner we employed in one of our educational workshops last week may have views that are not consistent with our values," the Trust tweeted in response to the controversy.

"We are launching an investigation into these concerns. We will publish a summary of the findings and any resulting action on our website as soon as possible. In the meantime, we are removing all promotion of the workshop from our social media."

Begum and the Trust did not immediately respond to inquiries by The Jerusalem Post.

"Death to you Zionist scum."

Nasima Begum

Anne Frank and controversy

Anne Frank was a Dutch Jewish girl who was murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust. She was survived by her diary, which was published after the war, giving insight into her life in hiding from the Nazi Gestapo. 

The controversy over inviting Begum was the second time in a week that an uproar has arisen in relation to Anne Frank. Early last week, many were outraged over ongoing debates on Twitter over whether the Holocaust victim was a beneficiary of "white privilege," advantages that society supposedly bestows on those who are racially white.

According to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism that has been adopted by the UK, "drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis" is an example of contemporary antisemitism.