[Marxism] Fired for comparing Holocaust to Nakba
lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Apr 24 11:06:28 MDT 2009
Yad Vashem fires employee who compared Holocaust to Nakba
By Yoav Stern
Yad Vashem has fired an instructor who compared the trauma of Jewish
Holocaust survivors with the trauma experienced by the Palestinian
people in Israel's War of Independence.
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.
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.
"The Holocaust moved us to establish a Jewish state and the Palestinian
nation's trauma is moving it to seek self-determination, identity, land
and dignity, just as Zionism sought these things," he 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
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 would have acted unprofessionally had Itamar Shapira
continued his educational work for the institute," Rosenberg said.
Yad Vashem employs workers and volunteers from the entire political and
social spectrum, who know how to separate their personal position from
their work, she said.
Shapira said Yad Vashem chooses to examine only some of the events that
took place in the War of Indpendence. "It is being hypocritical. I only
tried to expose the visitors to the facts, not to political conclusions.
If Yad Vashem chooses to ignore the facts, for example the massacre at
Dir Yassin, or the Nakba ["The Catastrophe," the Palestinians' term for
what happened to them after 1948], it means that it's afraid of
something and that its historic approach is flawed," Shapira said.
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