Israel's Holocaust Memorial to commemorate other holocausts

Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem holocaust memorial in Israel, announced today that the museum would expand to include memorials to victims of other holocausts.

"Unfortunately," Shalev said, "the Jewish people are not the only people that has endured racially-based violence and genocidal attacks, and thus we feel it is time to acknowledge their suffering as well."

Shalev said one of the first of the new exhibits to be added to the museum would commemorate the genocide inflicted on the Armenian people by the Turks, in which an estimated one and a half million Armenians died between 1915 and 1923.

"And of course," Shalev said, "we can't forget the devastating holocaust of the Native Americans, who lost up to 95% of their people during the European invasion and conquest of North and South America."

Shalev said that future additions to Yad Vashem would include memorials to the estimated 800,000 Tutsis slaughtered by the Hutus in Rwanda in 1994, and the Cambodian genocide of 1975-1979, in which approximately 1.7 million people lost their lives.

"By making this gesture," Shalev concluded, "the Jewish people reach out in profound sympathy to all the peoples of the world who have suffered in similar ways, and we pledge that the state of Israel will remain a champion of oppressed people everywhere."