“She thereby conflates the narrative of French victims of the Nazis , who then themselves became colonial oppressors with that of the Jewish survivors of Nazism morphed into 'an overwhelming colonial power, forcing the Palestinians to invest their bodies and that which is dearest to them: their loyalty to their own people and, ultimately, their own lives'.” (Quotes from the wall panel at the entrance to the display).
“The ‘Trackers’ section features Israeli Arab volunteers to the Israel Defence Forces as, apparently, confused or mentally coerced victims serving Zionism who are, by implication, collaborators against the Palestinian cause.
Ironically, these Israeli Beduin and, by association, Druze, proudly identify as Israeli citizens, whether in the army or civil service,” stressed Samuels, adding that “this exhibition now puts these volunteers at risk by categorizing them as traitors’”.
- More importantly, the introduction to the official museum catalog notes that Palestinian security prisoners convicted in Israel are considered “failed suicide martyrs”—who have yet to fulfill their unfinished mission. They are designated by the infrequently used Arabic
term in the reflexive — rather than “shaheedi” (martyrs), they are “istishhadi” (suicides).
“This exposes the formal commitment signed by all released or exchanged Palestinian security prisoners, to desist from further acts of terrorism as nothing but a sham - a signature with one hand, the other - fingers crossed behind the back - evokes a hypocritical subterfuge that invalidates such supposedly good faith renunciations of violence,” argued Samuels.
“The Jeu de Paume’s ode in praise of suicide terrorism serves a campaign to provoke future violence,” protested the Centre.
Due to stringent security and a ban on photos in the exhibition halls, Samuels’s one-man protest came to a swift end.
The Simon Wiesenthal Centre is an international Jewish human rights organization with a worldwide membership of 440,000. Established in 1977, with headquarters in Los Angeles, it draws the lessons of the Holocaust to the analysis of contemporary issues of prejudice and discrimination. The Centre is an NGO in consultative status to the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the Organization of American States and the Council of Europe.
For further information, please contact Dr Shimon Samuels at +33.609.7701.58