Thursday, December 5, 2013

Belgium: Flemish Minister-President says Holocaust museum was built as a favor to Israel

The Joods Actueel news site reports that in a speech given by Flemish Minister-President Kris Peeters, he indicated that the Flemish government opened the Kazerne Dossin museum, a Holocaust museum in Mechelen, as a favor for Israel.  

Peeters spoke at an UNRWA conference: "Trauma and Transformation: the Role of UNRWA for Palestine Refugees" last October.

In his speech Peeters said as follows: "Since the Flemish government pays specific attention to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, we decided to support various projects and programs, of both Palestinians and Israelis.  That is why the Flemish government supported the opening of the Kazerne Dossin museum last year, and in the same way we provide 150,000 euros annually for the Palestinians."   [Last month the Flemish government decided to increase funding to the Palestinians to 250,000 euros.]

Members of the Forum of Jewish Organizations who were present during Peeters' speech said they were 'surprised' about the comparison.

Needless to say, the Holocuast museum is not a project Belgium undertook for Israel's benefit.  Belgium is not doing Israel a favor by teaching its own people about the genocide that took place in Belgium against Belgian citizens.  Does Peeters think he's doing Israel a a favor?  Does he think he's doing Belgian Jews a favor?

At the opening ceremony of the museum, Peeters described the museum as follows: "With this museum, memorial and documentation centre, we will contribute not only to the study and reflection on the mechanisms of exclusion, intolerance and racism in society, but to the strengthening of democracy as well."

Was he talking about strengthening democracy in Belgium or in Israel?

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