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PAGE 2A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, SEPTEMBER 26, 2014 At u ta's new human rights museum, sho00 Holocaust get special 00atment? - - -- Flickr Interior and exterior shots of the $351 million Canadian Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg. devoted entirely to the story and lessons of the Shoah. On the same floor, in a smaller, adjacent space, a gallery called "Breaking the Silence" exam- ines a cluster of five geno- cides officially recognized by the Canadian government: By Josh Tapper TORONTO (JTA)--On the fourth floor of the new Ca- nadian Museum for Human Rights, visitors will find a gallery called "Examining the Holocaust," which is the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia; the Armenian and Rwandan genocides; the Ho- lodomor, or the starvation of millions of Ukrainians in the early 1930s; and, once again, the Holocaust. "Examining the Holocaust" is just one of 11 galleries at the $351 million human rights museum that opens in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on Sat- urday. It is also the museum's thorniest. The permanent gallery has long been a source of contro- versy for the institution, which has fought accusations from a handful of Canada's ethnic communities, ranging from Ukrainians to Armenians, that allowing the Holocaust its own space downplays the significance of the other hu- man rights atrocities confined to a single room. In interviews with JTA, museum officials defended their decision by asserting that the Holocaust is in fact exceptional, both as an act of 20th-century genocide and a pedagogic tool. As the trigger for international hu- man rights legislation in the aftermath of World War II, the Holocaust is deserving of its own gallery, the officials said. "It's one of the most stud- ied, most well-documented atrocities," said June Creel- man, the museum's director of learning and programming. "One of the ways to educate is to startwith something famil- iar and move to something unknown." The Canadian Museum for Human Rights grew out of several unsuccessful attempts by Jewish community leaders as far back as the late 1990s to attract government sup- port for a national Holocaust museum, or a Holocaust gallery at the Canadian War Museum, in Ottawa. The ef- forts failed when the federal government, after staging parliamentary hearings, shied away from committing money to a project that memorialized only a single group's history. (InAugust, Canadawill unveil its first national Holocaust monument, an $8.5 million project steps from the Parlia- ment in downtown Ottawa. The monument, designed by a team that includes renowned architect Daniel Libeskind, features six concrete triangles that together create points of a Star of David.) Itwasn't until 2003 that the late Izzy Asper, a Manitoba- born media mogul and Jewish philanthropist, convinced Prime Minister Jean Chretien to sign on to a public-private partnership establishing a national human rights mu- seum similar in scope to the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. Asper, whose family foundation chipped in $22 million, always had his eye on a stand-alone Holocaust gal- lery-indeed, early museum blueprints indicated a Holo- caust section would occupy more than 20 percent of the available gallery space. In the final design, it takes up less than 10 percent of the space. Other galleries examine contemporary cases of human rights abuse, the history of civil rights in Canada--in- cluding the "head tax" that Chinese immigrants were charged in the late 19th century--and the work of Raphael Lemkin, the Polish- Jewish lawyer whose work on defining the term "genocide" led to the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in 1948. From the outset, museum fundraisers and programmers were adamant that the Holo- caust serve as the intellectual and emotional starting point for the museum's approach to human rights education. In 2008, a government advisory review wrote that the Holo- caust "provides our paradigm for understanding the causes and processes of all mass, state-sponsored violence, as well as provides the inspira- tion for human rights protec- tion on a world-wide scale." That sort of language, at a museum striving to tell mul- tiple histories, has led to what Dirk Moses, a historian at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, has called a "traumatic memory com- petition between those who postulated the Holocaust's uniqueness and those who rejected it." Moses has written Museum on page 14A At 2014 U.N. (;eneral Assembly, ISIS likely dominate discourse By Uriel lleilman Libyanstrongman Muammar Gadhafi delivered a rambling NEW YORK (JTA)--The 90-minute diatribe that in- circus is coming to town. cluded conspiracy theories No, there won't be march- about both the Kennedy ing elephants, lion tamers or assassination and swine flu. motorcyclesjumpingthrough And, of course, therewerethe rings of fire. But there may walkoutswheneverMahmoud be wolves in sheep's cloth- Ahmadinejad, then president ing, tightrope walking and motorcades blocking traffic. :We're talking, of course, about the United Nations General Assembly, held every September at U.N. headquar- ters in midtown Manhattan. It's an opportunity for presi- dents and prime ministers toffy into the Big Apple, get tir 15 minutes in front of a global audience, and perhaps engage in the kind of theatrics that will have pundits' jaws flapping and constituents cheering back home. Recent years have been filled with memorable mo- ments: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's declaration in 2006 that the podium still stunk of sulfur because President George W. Bush, "the devil," had stood there the day before. In 2009, oflran, started babblingabout the Holocaust or America's alleged role in perpetrating the 9/11 attacks. Those characters are all gone now--Chavez and Gad- haft are dead, and Ahmadine- jad is a private citizen--but that doesn't mean there won't be grandstanding in Turtle Bay. Twoyears ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made headlines and invited some ridicule when he bran- dished a cartoon image of a ticking bomb and colored it in with a red marker to under- score the imminent danger of Iran's nuclear program. Netanyahu will be back again this year. Will he have more graphics in tow? In an email to JTA, the Israeli Prime Minister's Office declined to offer details about Netan- yahu's plans. But we can safely surmise a few things: United States President Obama is slated to speak on Sept. 24, just hours before the start of Rosh Ha- shanah. In all likelihood, his message will forecast some bitterness for the year ahead. With the administration expanding its fight against ISIS, the Islamic radical group in Iraq and Syria, expect Obama to use his address to build support for the anti-ISIS coalition. He'll probably argue that the United States is only reluctantly ratcheting up its military efforts against ISIS, try to dispel the notion that the United States has an axe to grind against Muslims and highlight the threat that ISIS poses worldwide. "The United States will hold the presidency of the United Nations Security Council in September, and we will use that opportunity to continue to build a broad coalition and highlight the danger posed by foreign terrorist fighters, PAY MORE TO PRI ' Cartridge World-ARamonte Springs 801 W SR 436, Ste 1025 407-767-0680 N www.cartridgewo s5" OFF mrchase of s30 . or more. loud on .Ca. rtridge World only. Valid.only with Limit one per customer, household or ous,ness. participating store. Not valid with any other offer. Offer expires 10/02/2014. OFF CARTRIDGE Buy I cartridge at regular price, % nd receive 35 off2 one of equal or lesser value, 50 max value), 500d on Cartridge World cartridges only. Valid only with coupon. Limit one per customer, household or besmess. Valid at participating store. Not valid with any other offer. Offer expires 10/02/2014, including those who have joined ISIS," U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry wrote in an Op-Ed column in The New York Times on Aug. 29. "During the General Assembly session, President Obama will lead a summitmeetingofthe Security Council to put forward a plan to deal with this collective threat." Israel With Israel uneasy after this summer's war, not least because it believes the world does not have its back in its conflictwithviolent Islamists like Hamas, expectNetanyahu to attempt to link ISIS to the threats facing Israel. "Hamas is ISIS, ISIS is Hamas," Netanyahu said over the summer. "They're the enemies of peace. They're the enemies of Israel. They're the enemies of all civilized countries." The prime minister also is likely to use the U.N. stage to try to revive international concern about Iran's nuclear program, which hasn't gotten much notice lately. The four-month extension of talks between Iran and the world's leading powers expires in November, and Tehran hasn't taken all the interim steps it promised in exchange for the temporary easing of some sanctions. Earlier this month, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran had failed to explain research it had conducted on detonators that could be used for a nuclear weapon and calculations it made on the explosive yield of a nuclear weapon. Iran also has barred U.N. visits to a military site suspected of housing nuclear component testing and is working on completing even more pow- erful centrifuges to make nuclear fuel. Netanyahuwon't ignore the Palestinian issue, but because he believes the Israeli-Pales- tinian conflict gets outsized attention when people talk Andrew Burton/Getty Images Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, left, meeting with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 26, 2013. about the problems of the Middle East, expect Netan- yahu to focus most of his talk elsewhere. And don't be surprised if the prime minister engages in a little Israel boosterism, as he often does, noting, for example, the Jewish state's remarkable economic, tech- nological or scientific contri- butions to mankind. He'll be speaking Sept. 29 or 30. It's still unclear whether or not this U.S. visit will include a Netanyahu-Obama meeting. The two have been on the outs lately over Israel's treat- ment of Kerry and the White House's halting of a missile delivery to Israel during the war. Iran Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is a relative moderate compared to his predecessor, so don't expect Ahmadine- jad's fireworks or conspiracy theories. When Rouhani speaks on Sept. 24, he's likely to promote the notion that Iran is a peace-seeking nation and argue that the country has been singled out unfairly for special opprobrium. He may not come out swinging against the United States, but he'll likely knock Wash- ington and other Western powers for double standards when it comes to the use of violence and their treatment of Iran. "Those who harp on the so-called threat of Iran are either a threat against inter- national peace and security themselves or promote such a threat," Rouhani said at last year's GeneralAssembly."Iran poses absolutely no threat to the world or to the region. In fact, in ideals as well as in ac- tual practice, my country has been a harbinger of just peace and comprehensive security." More interesting will be what Rouhani has to say about ISIS. On the one hand, the United States and Iran share a common enemy in ISIS, a militant Sunni group that has massacred Shiites (Iran is a Shiite regime.) On the other hand, the Iranian ayatollah has accused the United States of being behind ISIS's creation. It remains to be seen how Rouhaniwill walk this tightrope. It's also not clear whether U.N. on page 14A