News and Document archive source
copyrighted material disclaimer at bottom of page

NewsMinewar-on-terrorisraelhostilitiessuicide-bombers — Viewing Item

Israeli war museum aims to shock { June 15 2004 }

Original Source Link: (May no longer be active)§ion=news§ion=news

Israeli war museum aims to shock
Tue 15 June, 2004 07:44

By Matthew Tostevin

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Taking a peep under the flimsy blouse, Reuven Erlich, director of Israel's new "museum of terrorism" grinned. "Here is a nice lady with a suicide belt," he said. "The switch is in her hand."

Strapped to the belly of a mannequin was a mock-up bomb, packed with metal shrapnel, like those worn by Palestinian suicide bombers who have killed hundreds of Israelis during more than three and a half years of conflict.

Born from the violence, the collection at the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center does not set out to give a full picture of the conflict or of Palestinian society.

Neither do the exhibits show much sign of a willingness for peacemaking between foes steeped in mistrust and hatred on both sides.

"This is not a comprehensive display about Palestinian society or politics. Because we're dealing with terrorism it has a certain angle," said Erlich. "It's not complete, but I think it's a very good demonstration."

Many of the documents were confiscated during operations in the West Bank. A haul of captured weapons came from a ship seized in 2002 on which Israel says the Palestinian Authority was bringing arms from Iran.


Not everything looks as menacing as the missiles and bombs but even a pretty map embroidered in a traditional Palestinian style can send a signal.

"It's nicely done, but the point is the message. You see Jaffa is marked but not Tel Aviv. There are Arab cities but no Israeli cities. This is the message of delegitimising Israel," Erlich said.

Children's scrapbooks taken from raids into the West Bank are pasted carefully with clippings of Palestinian "martyrs" who blew themselves up in suicide bombings or were killed in gunfights with the Israelis.

"Their basic claim is that it's all about the occupation. Our claim is the opposite," said Erlich.

Palestinians argue that the violence and anger are a consequence of years of repression and humiliation by Israelis in territories they want for a state.

To explain bloody attacks on civilians, Palestinian militants say they have adopted such tactics because they do not have weapons to take on the might of the Israeli army.

The uprising began in 2000 when peace talks foundered on setting up a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war.

Erlich says he does not worry that his own display could help to fuel fear or hatred of Palestinians among Israelis.

But some Palestinians are wary of the idea.


"This is stereotyping and if this prevails the cycle of violence will continue," said Palestinian commentator Ali Jarbawi, who does not deny that there is propagation of hatred in the West Bank and Gaza.

A short drive off the highway north of Tel Aviv, the only signs that the museum is near the heart of Israel's intelligence community are the barbed wire and antennae on non-descript buildings and the young soldiers hitching lifts.

Visitors need to book in advance for the centre, which is happy to welcome school groups and researchers as well as the curious.

Erlich hopes that one day the fighting will end. He says that the museum might then be able to put on a different sort of display.

The plan for now is to make it even more shocking with the addition of a bus ripped apart in a 2002 suicide bombing.

"When you come here, you will enter through an exploded bus so you will be more frightened," said Erlich. "Terrorism is not nice."

Bombers nurtured despair { March 23 2002 }
Eu cash suicide bombers { May 6 2002 }
Eu suicide bombers { May 6 2002 }
Fbi sent money to hamas { October 7 2003 }
Foreigners suicide bombers { May 13 2002 }
Hamas origins
Hamas tied to israel { June 24 2002 }
Invoke suicide bombers { January 24 2003 }
Israeli war museum aims to shock { June 15 2004 }
Offered sex
Palestinian collaboration
Suicide bomber collaborates

Files Listed: 12


CIA FOIA Archive

National Security
Support one-state solution for Israel and Palestine Tea Party bumper stickers JFK for Dummies, The Assassination made simple