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Muslim groups in Indonesia are now demanding the closure of the country’s first permanent Holocaust exhibition since it goes against their cause for supporting a Palestinian State. 

Concerned that the museum may hinder the Palestinian cause, as they see it as part of Israel’s attempts to normalize relations with Indonesia and the occupation of Palestinian territories, the groups are demanding for the exhibit to end.

Meanwhile, Yaakov Baruch, Shaar Hashamayim’s rabbi said his motivation to open the exhibition was personal. “When I had this idea to build a Holocaust museum, the reason was to remember my family who died in the Holocaust on my grandmother’s side,” Baruch said. “And I also want to educate Indonesians on the danger of antisemitism, especially the danger of hate crimes.”

Source: Times of Israel ((Yaakov Baruch via JTA))

But despite this humble effort Sudarnoto Abdul Hakim, the head of foreign relations and international cooperation of the country’s Indonesian Ulema Council, a top Islamic clerical body known as MUI said, “We demand any exhibition be stopped and the museum be canceled [and] discontinued. Jewish communities and the descendants of Jewish people everywhere, including in Indonesia and North Sulawesi, should also see fairly clearly the brutal acts that have been perpetrated by Israeli Zionists against the Palestinian people since 1948.”

This being said, several Indonesian groups are in support of the exhibit, including the local government that seems to be warm towards the idea of educating citizens about the severity of the holocaust. 

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Rhea Sovani

Author Rhea Sovani

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