Robert Satloff, the executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and an expert on Arab and Islamic politics, sets out to examine how Jews in Arab countries fared during the Holocaust and to find out if there were any Arabs who at their own risk had helped Jews to survive or on the other hand had actively participated in persecuting Jews. The book focuses mainly on the Maghreb as well as on Libya. It is based on documentary evidence, interviews, and personal travels and inspections in North Africa. The writing is quite accessible, and Satloff provides much information on the suffering of Jews in labor and concentration camps. The actual number of cases of Arabs initiating persecution, protection, or rescue of Jews is slim. The book might be more appropriate for readers who know very little on the topic, though experts can also find interesting parts, thanks to Satloff’s travels in the region and meeting with survivors. Notes, bibliography.
Rachel Simon, a librarian at Princeton University, does research on Jews in the modern Middle East and North Africa, with special reference to Libya, Ottoman Empire, women, and education.