Monday, 30 May 2016

A Tale of Two Museums



Once upon a time, there was an evil man, a very evil man. He had a dream. He wanted to erect a museum to commemorate “the extinct race.”

That man was Hitler. His dream was to annihilate European Jewry and turn the Jewish Museum in the city of Prague into a museum that will hold Jewish artifacts aimed at reminding the world of a race that once was.

The Jewish Museum of Prague was founded in 1906. Initially, it was intended for the purpose of preserving artifacts from neighboring synagogues which were liquidated as part of the reconstruction of the Jewish quarter. When the Nazis took over they closed it down and hired Dr. Karel Stein, a historian and one of the founders of the Museum, to catalogue the many various Jewish artifacts that were gathered by the Germans.

As we all know, Hitler’s plans did not exactly go as he intended them to. The “extinct race” simply refused to disappear, refused to vanish. The Museum, invariably, remained “The Jewish Museum” holding the largest and most comprehensive collection of Judaica items. Nowadays, it contains about 40,000 artistic objects. It also holds about 100,000 pieces of written materials. All are a testimony to a thousand-year-old community from a city that the New York Times refers to as “the Paris of the East, the Jerusalem of the West,” a testimony to the cultural wealth of a People that left a big mark in the annals of the history of mankind.

Fast forward several decades, and let me take you to a different region of the world where another museum was recently erected. Unlike the Jewish Museum of Prague that has been a beacon of a civilization that enriched the history of humanity with its gifts and contributions, we are left here with a blank expression as we watch a multi-million dollars’ ghost and ask, what does it commemorate? Shall I venture to call it the “Museum to the race that has not yet been born?” It is a “museum” that holds nothing but a dream of destruction, empty pages waiting to be filled with imaginative narratives, steeped in the fairytales of “A Thousand Nights and One Night,” aimed at rewriting history. Its empty halls will hold an imaginative history that lives and thrives only in the minds of those who have not been born yet, those that toil so hard to ignore facts and create new ones merely to fool a gullible world.

Yes, you guessed right. I am talking about the new “Palestinian Museum,” the one that exhibits bare walls, empty shelves and lonely display cabinets. But fear not, soon, the emperor’s new clothes will be hanging there and its many visitors will marvel at them, write about them and push a blind humanity deeper and deeper into the dark abyss from which only a miracle can save it


  1. If I am not mistaken, the entire history of the Palestinians is housed in their museum. It stands as a symbol of their culture.

    1. Their "culture," is yet to be born....