Dont boycott Holocaust museum

That two groups of Orthodox rabbis would propose a boycott of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum because it contains information on gay victims of the Nazis is a slap in the face to Jews everywhere.

We acknowledge the fact that elements of the Orthodox movement oppose homosexuality. We also acknowledge their right to observe halachah (Jewish law) however they see fit.

However, it is unjustifiable when those beliefs spark incendiary, divisive rhetoric aimed at preventing the public from the crucial experience of learning about the Holocaust.

Holocaust education should be a goal shared by Jews of all movements — and indeed, the Rabbinical Council of America, which represents some 1,000 mainstream Orthodox rabbis, agrees.

But not all concur. The Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada, one of the groups proposing the boycott, said: "We strongly urge people not to visit museums that maintain exhibits glorifying homosexuality."

How could material that chronicles murder be considered glorification? Such material only highlights the disdain and discrimination gays and lesbians have faced in the past and continue to face to this day.

The Washington, D.C., museum does not contain a special section singling out homosexual victims of the Nazis. It includes their pictures and stories alongside those of other victims because 10,000 to 15,000 of them were killed.

As one museum official notes, it is impossible to visit the museum and not conclude that the vast majority of Holocaust victims were Jewish.

In the end, the proposal to remove gay-related material from the museum is, in effect, denying the truths of the Holocaust.

The Nazis killed homosexuals. To erase that evidence from the museum would be to obliterate part of the historical record.

That Jewish leaders would advocate doing so boggles the mind.