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Palestinian Holocaust Museum offends Israelis

According tro a report published in the Los Angeles Times, March 16, 2001, "Snapshots, slingshots and other mementos at a West Bank exhibit tell the stories of 100 people killed in the territories by Israelis."

With hundreds of "Holocaust" museum exhibits concerning Jewish suffering from more than a half century ago open world-wide, the planet's only exhibit dedicated to the victims of the Israelis is facing harsh criticism. The LA Times reports that "Israeli critics say the (Palestinian) exhibit is part of an effort to manipulate the memory of the dead and portray Israelis as child-killers."

The exhibit displays the tan hiking boots once worn by Mohammed Durra, a murdered 12-year-old. There is also the "roughly carved slingshot" of a Palestinian boy, Fares Odeh, who used it to fling stones at Israeli tanks, until he was shot in the neck. There is also unfinished embroidery that Rahma Hindi, 54, was working on before she was killed by an Israeli missile.

The tiny museum is funded by the Ford Foundation, and is intended to help visitors remember the victims of Israeli power. "Why should they remain anonymous?" asked Adila Laidi, director of the temporary exhibit.

The Times reports that, "The exhibit, which opened in Ramallah in mid-February and was expected to run for only two weeks, is now in its fourth week thanks to hundreds of visitors. Organizers plan to take their show to six cities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, then on to Jordan, Egypt and Europe.

"Laidi defended the show, saying: 'When many of these people died, their mothers, friends and relatives did not have a chance to grieve. This gives them an opportunity for closure."

The victims are catalogued in a 208-page dossier that the staff of the nonprofit organization compiled. The report reflects the conditions for Palestinians--many of the deceased lived in cramped and shoddy refugee camps. Some of the victims were indigent.

Some of the people were killed by Israeli troops. But Harald Fischer, a German, perished when an Israeli rocket detonated on him as he tried to help his Palestinian neighbors. Then there is Bassam Bilbeissi, an ambulance driver who was killed when he he tried to rescue 12 year old Durra. His paramedic's uniform is part of the display. He leaves behind 12 children.

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