In Israel, “a right-wing extremist” at the head of the Yad Vashem memorial

The appointment of Effi Eitam as head of the International Institute for the Remembrance of the Shoah in Jerusalem crashes the Israeli daily Ha’Aretz as well as the scientific community. They see in this initiative a new proof of the divisive policy led by Benyamin Netanyahu.

“Eitam’s rhetoric and hatred of Israeli Arabs and Palestinians clashes head-on with the declared mission of the Yad Vashem Institute” : Here is what we can read in a petition signed by 220 researchers, historians and other public figures who oppose the appointment of Effi Eitam as Director-General of Yad Vashem.

It is on this petition that theeditorial by Ha’Aretz, the major Israeli opposition daily:

The choice to name precisely a right-wing extremist as head of the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem is typical of the approach of the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. He never misses an opportunity to rekindle the differences between right and left in Israel. ”

Because, for the head of government, “Any person and any institution can legitimately be the object of political struggles”, still considers the author of the editorial.

Controversial figure

Effi Eitam is portrayed as a colorful character who likes to kick in the stretchers. A retired reserve general, he was one of the first senior officers of the IDF (the Israeli army) to wear the kippah.

Former Minister and Member of PNR, the National Religious Party, in the Knesset (Parliament), it distinguished itself by a series of cookie-cutter statements, in particular directed at the Israeli Arab population.

At the start of the second Intifada, in 2000, he compared the Arabs of Galilee and the Negev to “A time bomb that undermines democracy in Israel”. And he still claims that “Israeli Arabs are an existential threat to the country”.

The appointment of Effi Eitam as head of Yad Vashem will soon be approved by the Israeli government. The editorial of Ha’Aretz calls on ministers to vote against this appointment “With all the necessary force”, for “Protect the Shoah memorial”.


First newspaper published in Hebrew under the British Mandate, in 1919, “The Country” is the newspaper of reference among Israeli politicians and intellectuals. Today located in the center left, Ha’Aretz has always cultivated a line


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