- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 20, 2013

The family of an Arab doctor who was honored posthumously by Israel’s Holocaust memorial last month has rejected the country’s prestigious award because of their political beliefs.

Dr. Mohamed Helmy was cited for hiding Jews in Berlin during the Nazis’ genocide, but a family member tracked down by The Associated Press this week in Cairo said her relatives weren’t interested.

“If any other country offered to honor Helmy, we would have been happy with it,” Mervat Hassan, the wife of Helmy’s great-nephew, told the AP.

Hemly was recognized by Israel’s Yad Vashem History Museum as “Righteous Among the Nations” — the highest honor given to non-Jews for risking their live to rescue Jews from extermination.

Mrs. Hassan said the family rejected Israel’s award because the country’s relations with Egypt remain hostile, but she said she respects “Judaism as a religion.”

“Islam recognizes Judaism as a heavenly religion,” she told the AP this week in Cairo. “Helmy was not picking a certain nationality, race or religion to help. He treated patients regardless of who they were.”

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