His brother won’t talk to him any more, some suggest he is a traitor, others suggest he’s a few bricks short of a load. None of this has stopped Khaled Kasab Mahameed from opening a museum dedicated to the Holocaust. The museum is located in Nazareth, the displays are in Arabic and yes, Khaled is a Muslim. Khaled explains that:
…masses of Arabs who deny or minimize the Holocaust must understand that “we are not talking about 20,000 Israelis or 30,000 people killed in the conflict here — we are talking about 6 million people killed in cold blood.” He said during an interview in the museum, known officially as the Arab Institute for Holocaust Research and Education: “This is very important. This affects the policies of the Israeli government toward the Palestinians, toward the land, the budget, settlements — everything. “If Arabs really understand this, they should understand that they must act with all their force to protect Israel and defend Jews against Nazis and other killers,” he said. ”And when the Jewish people see that the Arabs understand, they will be able to give the Arabs their rights.”
Laura Kam Issacharoff, codirector of the Israel office of the Anti-Defamation League blasted the new museum for its “anti-Israel theme that undermined the museum’s educational message.” However, she did admit to not having ever visited the museum and her assessment was based on the Museum’s Web site, which is mostly in Arabic.
Khaled, who spent $5,000 and dedicated part of his law office to the museum, claims to be apolitical.
In the museum one day last month, Mufeed Khattib, a businessman, was the sole visitor. He argued with Mahameed that there should be pictures of massacres of Palestinians displayed as well. But he praised Mahameed for opening his eyes to things he had not realized before.
He said he had heard about the horrors but had never seen such pictures, despite the saturation of Israeli media with Holocaust movies and documentaries every year on Yom Hashoah. “Perhaps I didn’t see it well because it was on Israeli TV,” he said. “But this affects me. It is different for me that an Arab man did this.”
I can see why the ADL would object to this. Yes indeed.