Nazareth Holocaust Museum FounderIn Nazareth?
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.

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ck

Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.

29 Comments

  • Mazel Tov!

    Our friends, my brothers, Arabia is awakening!

    Let us all show Muhameed our support.

    Tov m’od, ach sh’li

  • CK, so your comment about being able to see the ADL’s point was sarcastic, no?

    I don’t speak Arabic, so I don’t know what else is said on their site, but seems like a positive step to me. (Another positive step would be hiring an English-speaking copyeditor.)

    Still, despite the fact that a museum like this might become an important step toward Arab-Jewish understanding, I’m still harboring a healthy cynicism about “Arabia awakening…” After all, I doubt the museum’s founder heard a voice telling him that if he built it, people would come. A museum’s great and can be educational, but only if people go.

  • I have a weakness for all initiatives coming from Nazareth. It was always my dream to open a cheese company specifically in Nazareth.

    I would call the company “Cheeses of Nazareth.”

    It would SO rock. And no. I’m not kidding.

  • I do believe my dad’s been making that joke for years…

    But glad you told us–now we know that your interest in moving to the Holy Land is not solely Zionistic, but also entrepreneurial and milchig.

  • I’m speechless,
    but what about being ok to be an Arab gay in Israel, we could pull in a lot of tourism from many Arabs/muslims who traditionally would not see Israel as their ideal destination.

  • it’s really deep though… a museum of holocaust who’s message isn’t “this is why we have to be so strong” but instead, “this is why these guys are so fucked up! have some sensitivity, for allah’s sake!”

    “since when does having your family murdered ever make you a better person?”
    R Micha Odenheimer

  • thank you for publishung about us.

    no one can stop us from bringing peace to Jews and Arabs.
    We have the key to solve the Israely-Palestenien conflict.
    60 years no one could figure it. we managed to do it.
    the Jews have to begin to tell Arabs about the Holocaust.
    No one did it before. why?
    only understandig the universal means of the Holocaust by the Palesteniens can bring peace to Palesteniens first and Israelies at the second hand.
    By the interactive relation between the mutual understanding of the universal means of he Holocaust interpretated through the eys of the one who contiues to suffer nowadays – the palesteniens – conflict can be solved.
    its only the Holocaust which has the power to bring peace to Palesteniens.
    The pain of the survivers of the Holocaust, the love was taken from the victims and the survivors of the holocaust by the nazis must be transformed to power bringing love and peace to both people. only by that can we defeat the caursed Hitlers theory of Nazim and discrimination.
    if the Israely-Palestenien conflict is not solved its to balme ourselves that hitler is Not defeated yet by persecuting nowadays the Jews and Palesteineins.
    only the Palesteniens has the power to fight and kik the anti-simiets and it is thier duty to do that.
    Me as a Muslim must understand that fighting the anti-simitism is my national and religieus interest.
    I am not afraid and will continue with my project.
    thanks for your comments

  • Khaled: You are certainly earnest – I like the way you think out of the envelope and I appreciate how you are committed to your vision. Ins’allah we will see the fruit of your efforts quickly! Good luck!

  • To echo everyone else who is praying for peace, understanding is good, and I applaud your efforts and hope they will be well-received.

  • I think that the museum is a brilliant idea. We need to understand the horrors if we are ever to get along. Someday we will have a museums of holocausts or genocides (plural) to chronicle all human follies and cruelties.

    yoseph, your remark cracks me up.

    I am just ducked my head in here looking for Jewish reactions to this story. I am the founder of MuslimWakeup.com. I write a column called “Hug a Jew” where I … er.. hug jews and talk about it. Hugs are not as profound as museums, but they are a lot cheaper.

    so..*hugs* (khalid’s website seems down)

    Jawad

  • errr…hug a jew? Can Muffti write a column called ‘make out with a muslim’ and talk about it afterwards?

  • I don’t know…I read through Hug a Jew…it seems like the Jews getting hugged (Finkelstein, Chomsky, etc.) are Jews who are in a big hurry to delegitimize the right of Jews to have a state in the land the Jewish people were born. I’m all for Muslim/Jewish dialogue, but if only flamingly anti-Zionist Jews gets the hugs, then the majority of the Jewish people and the Israeli people aren’t being engaged.

  • Michael, its hard to be fully inclusive and correct with something as silly as hug-a-jew. We started with the idea of introducing our Muslim readers to Jewish people working for peace and justice etc.

    Next some Jewish woman came up with a baby picnic idea. Some of those jewish babies were definitely anti-zionist. I could tell from the way they drooled. Others seemed quite apolitical. Everyone got hugs.

    Since then we have been reaching out to mainstream Jewish/Israeli/zionist organizations. We have not done the hug-a-jew column in ages. It was a cute/silly/loving idea at its time. I dont want to become a global jew-hugging franchise. I have a magazine to run. If I hear about another muslim-jewish sex party, I’ll send mufti a note.

  • Drooling anti-Zionist babies are in the Naturei Karta corner on your right. You can hug them if they’re boys, but stay away from the drooling girl babies because they’re shomrei negiyah.

  • Jawad: If I hear about another muslim-jewish sex party, I’ll send mufti a note.

    Uh yeah. Just keep muffti far far away from the hot tubs. Far, far away.

  • pray for this man- the world needs people of courage to speak out against the insanity going on!

  • Are these pictures in the museum?The Grand Mufti meets with Hitler.”
    The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem (and de facto leader of the ‘Palestinian’ was Hitler’s guest in the war. he actively lobbied against any Jewish emigration to Palestine, even (or especially children) and recruited Balkan Muslims for SS units. He was condemned to death for war crimes in absentia but eluded justice because Lebanon would not extradite him.”

  • It is a great thing that Khaled is doing with his museum and I recommend that everyone support him. I hope also that his work does lead to love and respect between both our peoples (who are related) and that the Arabs do get a homeland one day, and that both peoples live in peace and admiration.

    Lisa Cherniak, Founder, ArtistsAgainstRacism.com

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