antisemitism, Holocaust

Chatila: Tolerance Comes Before Peace

President Rivlin with Lebanese-born Swiss businessman Abdallah Chatila

A Lebanese businessman, Abdallah Chatila, bought €600,000 worth of items relating to the Nazi era, including a top hat that was once owned by Adolf Hitler, and a silver-plated copy of Mein Kampf that belonged to Hermann Goering. But before you come to the obvious conclusion that Chatila is an antisemite, know this: he bought the items to keep them out of the hands of neo-Nazis who would have used them to glorify the Final Solution. Instead, Chatila donated the odious objects instead to Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust museum.

Asked what motivated his actions, Chatila said, “A lot of people asked me why I bought these items. For me it was not a matter of money but a symbol, and symbols have no value. If every one of us would do the right thing then the right would win. Tolerance needs to lead us all, it’s not about different religions, tolerance needs to guide us with neighbors, friends and family. It comes before peace. That is the message that I hope will come from here.”

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