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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Yad Vashem fires guide who compared Holocaust to 'naqba'

Haaretz reports that Yad Vashem - Israel's national Holocaust museum - has fired a docent (volunteer guide) who compared the Holocaust to the 'Palestinian' 'naqba' and refused to stop making the comparison in guiding visitors to the museum.
Itamar Shapira, 29, of Jerusalem, was fired before Passover from his job as a docent at the Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority, after a teacher with a group of yeshiva students from Efrat made a complaint. Shapira had worked at Yad Vashem for three and a half years.

This is the first time that Yad Vashem has fired a guide over political differences, an institution official said Wednesday.

Shapira confirmed, in a telephone conversation with Haaretz, that he had spoken to visitors about the 1948 massacre at Deir Yassin. [I would put the word 'massacre' in scare quotes. There was nothing of the sort. CiJ]

He said he did so because the ruins of the Arab village, today a part of Jerusalem's Givat Shaul neighborhood, can be seen as one leaves Yad Vashem.

"Yad Vashem talks about the Holocaust survivors' arrival in Israel and about creating a refuge here for the world's Jews. I said there were people who lived on this land and mentioned that there are other traumas that provide other nations with motivation," Shapira said.


A Yad Vashem official said the institution objects to any political use of the Holocaust, especially by a docent working for it.

The institution's position is that the Holocaust cannot be compared to any other event and that every visitor can draw his own political conclusions.

Yad Vashem spokeswoman Iris Rosenberg said that after holding a hearing for Shapira, at which he refused to accept his superiors' instructions and change his teaching methods, it was decided to terminate his job as a guide in the institute's school for Holocaust studies.
Yad Vashem did the right thing by firing this guide - the comparison between 6,000,000 murdered Jews and a bunch of nomads who left their homes at the urging of their Arab brethren so that they could drive the Jews into the sea is specious.

I posted this story for two reasons. First, because I suspect we haven't heard the end of it (although since Tzipi Livni is not Prime Minister, there is hope that we have heard the meaningful end of it).

Second, I wonder how it is that this docent worked at Yad Vashem for three and a half years and NO ONE reported this before. Did he just start making this comparison recently? Did everyone else figure there was nothing they could do about it so they had to live with it? Or did they - God forbid - agree with him?


At 7:32 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Far leftist Jewish anti-Semites should NOT be allowed in ANY position at Yad Vashem. That's akin to hiring a Nazi or Islamist to represent the Jewish memory. Yad Vashem needs to tighten its hiring checks to make sure such individuals aren't allowed to subvert the institution's raison'd etre.

At 2:17 AM, Blogger Daniel said...

perhaps now is the time for Yad Vashen to credit the Bergsonites

At 2:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Yad Vashem did the right thing by firing this guide"DAMN STRAIGHT THEY DID!!! But now do we have to worry that the screwball courts will punish them for making the right decision? I hope not.

At 9:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Manhigut Yehudit leader, Moshe Feiglin, published an article in the Hebrew press (Makor Rishon) and elsewhere:

The Lesson of the Holocaust" (Hebrew only).

For english readers, I just wanted to point out that the first paragraph consists of Feiglin asking a female guide at Yad Vashem what the main lesson of the holocaust is and she replied "that inside each one of us there is a hidden Nazi."We people of Israel are a morally confused people. We have totally lost it.

At 10:46 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...

Shy Guy,

I would ask if Moshe reported that guide to Yad Vashem's management, but coming from Moshe, we all know how futile that would be. Perhaps he could get someone else to report the incident?


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