Tunisians protested at the opening of a Holocaust exhibition at the National Library in Tunis, tearing down posters and chanting slogans such as "Free Palestine, out with the Zionists." Tunisian University Professor Habib Kazdaghli, the exhibition's organizer, said that the purpose of the exhibition was to "make our children love history" and that it had been organized months before U.S. President Trump's Jerusalem declaration. Hamida Bessaad, a National Library researcher, said with indignation that the organizer "wants our little children to get to know the history of the Jews and learn about their Holocaust," but that "the children of Palestine have been going through a Holocaust since 1948." Civil society activist Kawthar Chebbi called the Holocaust a "decades-old myth" and a lie, and political activist Omar Al-Majri said that the Holocaust had been "perpetrated by the Zionist movement in collaboration with the Nazis." This report appeared on Meem Magazine Online, an Arab Women's Magazine, on December 15.
Protesters: "Free, free Palestine. Out with the Zionists.
"Free, free Palestine. Out with the Zionists.
"Free, free Palestine. Out with the Zionists."
On screen: "Tunisian protesters prevent an exhibition at the National Library. The exhibition is supported by the Holocaust Museum in Washington, UNESCO, the U.N., and the German Rosa Luxemburg Foundation."
Habib Kazdaghli: "This is a historical documentary exhibition, which exposes and denounces Nazi propaganda. I saw very large exhibits at the UNESCO headquarters in 2016. I contacted the curator and said that if they could make smaller pictures, we would be able to show them to our youth. The negotiations about this exhibition were held months ago. By mere coincidence, the statement by Trump [about Jerusalem] was made now, but this does not change anything. What Trump said is nothing new. [They passed a law about it] in 1995. The purpose of this exhibition is to make our children love... I'm an historian, but my children don't like history."
Hamida Bessaad: "We have come here, as employees of the National Library, union members, researchers, and readers, in order to oppose this exhibition, especially since I have learned from the [organizer's] statement that he was planning to incorporate this in the curricula. He wants our little children to get to know the history of the Jews, and learn about their Holocaust. He is upset that Tunisian children don't know about the Holocaust of the Jews, but he is not upset that the children of Palestine have been going through a Holocaust since 1948 and to this day. The employees, intellectuals, readers, and researchers of the National Library are all opposed to normalization [of relations with Israel], and to propaganda for the Jews."
Kawthar Chebbi: "Our youth are being brainwashed with empty lies and myths. This decades-old myth about a genocide of the Jewish people by the Nazi regime... This is a lie to promote the Zionist entity and the 'Israeli state.'"
Protesters take down banners with information about the exhibit.
Omar Al-Majri: "The Holocaust was perpetrated by the Zionist movement in collaboration with the Nazis, in order to transfer the Jews to Palestine. This is an historical truth that Habib Kazdaghli likes to ignore."