Israeli anger at Frank exhibit
Chris McGreal in Jerusalem
Saturday January 31, 2004
The museum has defended the exhibit, saying it is intended to explore the limits of free speech and includes criticism of the caricatures, which appear in video footage of a demonstration against Israel.
"It is a horrifying exhibition," said Israel's president, Moshe Katzav. "The attempt to attribute to Israel's leaders acts which contravene humanitarian values is a distortion and is offensive."
Natan Sharansky, a minister in Mr Sharon's cabinet, said it was further evidence of anti-semitism in Europe. "When at the home of Anne Frank, one of the archetypal symbols of the tragedy of the Jewish people, Hitler, is compared to prime minister Ariel Sharon, it is not a debate on freedom of expression. It is showing contempt for the memory of the 6 million who were murdered in the Holocaust," he said.
A museum spokeswoman said: "The exhibit the Israelis object to is about the present-day manifestation of anti-semitism.
"It includes video footage of a demonstration against Israel in Amsterdam in April 2002 at which some people carried banners that had pictures of Hitler and Sharon and asked the question, 'Do you see a difference, because we don't?'"
The video is shown on a split screen. On the other side is criticism of the banners and other aspects of the demonstration from, among others, Amsterdam's mayor.
"We have used the video to highlight present-day anti-semitism and to ask the question: is this too much freedom of speech?" the spokeswoman said. "It is for the visitor to decide the answer but we categorically reject any comparison between Sharon and Hitler."
Told of this explanation yesterday, an aide to Mr Sharansky said Anne Frank's house was the wrong place to show such pictures, whatever the intent.
Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2004
Comment from Dire Wolf: Notice every time Israel is picked on for being the Asshole government that they are, then that make's you an anti-semitist or a on the other side, every time the U.S. government is picked on that makes you a terrorist. When will the people of both these countries wake the fuck up? maybe the U.S. will, but oh wait I forgot I must watch football, drink beer, eat pizza, and be stupid on Sunday. Back to sleep America.