Last April, I covered the shocking story (How is Our Holocaust Different from All Other Holocausts) of the Israeli docent fired by Yad Vashem for telling a group of visiting settler school children that the Nakba is similar to the Holocaust. That didn’t go over well either with the audience or the administrators of the museum, who disingenuously claimed that the Museum does not mix history with politics. The docent was unceremoniously canned.
A few days ago a friend of Itamar Shapira, the fired docent, published a comment here and I suggested that he contact me so I can offer his guiding services to any of my readers who might be on their way to Israel or the Occupied Territories.
Here is what Itamar wrote to me about his approach:
I…heard that you…published my story of being sacked [from] my job as a guide [at the] Yad Vashem museum and appreciate your will to promote these critical thoughts of our way of remembering the Holocaust.
As a guide in Yad VaShem I was of course mostly guiding about the Shoa itself, but I saw it as a must to make my audience think in a critical way about the whole process…; and look for activism [and] thoughts within ourselves concerning the world we live in now-a-days. I believe that the commemoration of the Holocaust should be [expanded] to activism against racism, war, national-self-pity, discrimination and so on. In order to do so, I think we can use the memory of the Holocaust to help us understand the Palestinian trauma, our connection to it as Israelis, and [to] create a way of reconciliation between the peoples.
Today I guide privately in Yad Vahem, and give tours as a tour guide in Israel in general, and in Jerusalem particularly; Jewish settlements, “the separation wall” east-Jerusalem and normal tourism as well.
I recommend Itamar’s services and he can be reached via e mail or phone 054-8087440.