Op-Ed: I Understand Why France Glorifies Arab Terrorists
Giulio MeottiThe writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author of the book "A New Shoah", that researched the personal stories of Israel's terror victims, published by Encounter. His writing has appeared in publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Frontpage and Commentary. He has just prblished a book about the Vatican and Israel titled "J'Accuse: the Vatican Against Israel" published by Mantua Books.
The Jeu de Paume museum in Paris served as the “Einsatzstab’s”, the storage facility for 22,000 works of art confiscated by the Nazis from 200 Jewish collections in France.
For four years, from 1940 to 1944, the Jeu de Paume became a notorious “concentration camp” for confiscated works of art. The Museum was frequently visited by high ranking Nazi officials, including the Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring.
Now, in the same state-funded museum, there is an exhibition calling the Palestinian Arab suicide bombers “martyrs”.
The exhibit “Death”, by photographer Ahlam Shibli, features dozens of portraits of Palestinian suicide bombers with captions that glorify their deaths. Most are from the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, Hamas’ Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
One photograph features a Palestinian mother brandishing a photo of her son, a suicide bomber who killed 19 people in an attack on a bus in Jerusalem in 2002.
Another caption says that these terrorists “died as a result of the Israeli occupation”.
One of the photos is of Osama Buchkar, who killed three Jews in a terrorist attack at an open market in Netanya on May 19, 2002. The caption says he “committed a martyr mission in Netanya”.
France’s Culture ministry defended the event.
This “artistic” exhibition is a kind of prisma of France’s malady: the museum which hosted the Nazis’ art thefts now glorifies the Palestinian human bombs. But the Jeu de Paume’s decision is nothing new.
Dubbed “Snow White and the Madness of Truth”, in 2004, a similar exhibit in Stockholm showed a sailboat floating on a pool of red water. Attached to the boat was a smiling photo of Hanadi Jaradat, who blew herself up at Maxim’s restaurant in Haifa, killing 21 people including four children and five Israeli Arabs.
I understand why Europe’s anti-Semites glorify the Arabs assassins throught these immoral exhibitions.
What I don’t understand is why Europe’s philo-Semites, the very few who are still out there, have never set up any exhibition on the real effects of Arab terrorism on Jewish lives.
When a Palestinian Arab suicide bomber struck, the Jewish victims were arranged by emergency rescue crews near the carcass of the bus. They were placed in heavy black bags, to which are attached a Polaroid photo, a preliminary report, and a card with a number.
The remains of the Israeli blown-up buses then ended up in a kind of cemetery in Kiryat Ata. Next to the buses were the objects never claimed by the victims’ relatives: school notebooks, military berets, books, tennis shoes, videocassettes, kippot of every color, T-shirts, officers’ insignia.
Looking at these paltry remains brings to mind the ones preserved at the extermination camps: worn-out shoes, bottles with labels from Warsaw and Krakow, baby bottles, dentures, prayer books, documents, family photos, eyeglasses, dolls without arms or heads.
Why did Europe’s public never see these fragments of Jewish deaths?
During the Holocaust, the Jews were taken to anonymous, desolate places, where all of their luggage, letters, and photographs of loved ones were taken away. Then they were separated from their mothers, sisters, children, wives. They were stripped naked, and their documents, their names, were thrown into the fire. Finally, they were pushed into a hallway with a low, heavy ceiling. And they were gassed like insects.
The nowhere land of the Holocaust was the engine of extermination for six million European Jews.
Islamic terrorism and denial of the Holocaust, which spread through the world like wildfire after September 11, 2001, feed on this annihilation of the Jewish victim.
This process of collective removal is taking place again with the evaporization of Israel’s name and its real story from the Western world’s eyes and ears. We are losing this strategic war for the truth not because the Palestinians and their Western friends are stronger, but because we are cowards.
When I finished my book “A New Shoah” on Israel’s victims of terrorism, I sent a copy to President Shimon Peres. His staff replied to me in very cold terms. Only then Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman sent me letters of gratitude. Israel itself bears responsibility for this kind of aberration, since its authorities have always been ashamed and almost annoyed when reminded of the dead of Oslo.
We can’t complain that Europe’s most famous museums are occupied by cannibals if we are pusillanimous.